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© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

Last summer I worked and travelled in America and half way through I got very sick. I tried to brush it aside, telling myself it was a combination of hangovers, late nights and early mornings, days spent running around after little kids. Anyone would be tired and achy right? Except after a month of working I couldn’t run after the kids anymore, I’d fall asleep with my sunglasses on during swim time, it felt like every conversation was happening through a glass window, in slow motion, it didn’t feel like my skin or my body belonged to me. Deep down I knew something was wrong but I kept pushing through.

One day after work I went on a bike ride. I collapsed and hyperventilated on the side of the road. It made no sense?! I use to go to the gym for a couple hours every day. After the job ended, I travelled with people I’d met there, but I felt like a grandma. My back was in agony, alcohol made me feel terrible (more than usual terrible) and I could barely walk a couple miles without feeling like I needed to vomit and collapse. I wanted to say yes to everything they did but my body was telling me not to.

I had a few days where I just couldn’t move and didn’t know why. When I eventually got back to England and still felt awful, I told myself it was jet lag… yeah the jet lag that still hasn’t ended. Well, the test for Lyme Disease came back positive and here we are. After a month of IV treatment for Lyme I’ve been told I have post-viral ME/CFS. A friend said to me, “but it looked like you had the summer of a life time.” Yeah I met amazing people and I got to live in and travel America, but the majority of my time was spent agonizing over what was wrong with me, thousands of miles away from home. Smiling photos don’t show the half of it • I am what a person with an invisible illness looks like •

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