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How has Lyme Disease affected your life?

I was a young girl when Lyme began to alter my life. I wouldn’t know why I had the persistent dizzy spells, infections, vertigo or any of the numerous other symptoms I experienced until I was nearly 27 years old.

Lyme took pieces of my normal at first. A missed day or two of school here, a week there. Limited ability to keep up in PE, but I would try to muscle through. ER visits that ended with pain meds without a clue as to the cause of my pain.

In college things began to progress more. I now recognize it was when I had some of my first bouts with depression, began to lose feeling in my right arm and hand, had trouble sleeping normal hours, and began experiences stronger neurological issues.

Since the age of 24, things have gradually spiraled downward with my health. The most significant change beginning at age 26, when I became too disabled to work or function normally.

In many ways, Lyme has stripped me of the life I used to live. Even though I was sick before the worst decline began, I could function. I could hike when I was up for it, work long days when needed, attend functions and be actively a part of society.

Now my days are spent at home. Treating, detoxing, healing. I spend my days focusing on beating this dang tick that stole so much of my ability and normal.

And as much as this disease has taken from me, Lyme has not, WILL NOT take my spirit. My passion. My drive for wellness and for finding purpose, even in this disabled life.

The fire in my heart for comforting others in their own fight with Lyme and spreading awareness is fanned into a blaze with each day of suffering I face, each day I step closer to healing. This is not the end of my story…this is merely one chapter that happens to be tinted Lyme.

What inspires you?

Every time I hear another Lyme patient’s story, my heart is filled with gratitude and inspiration. I can see the fight within them, the strength and courage it takes to face each day of suffering.

This road is not easy, and the stories of all the other warriors fighting their own daily battle encourages me to keep going. To keep fighting for health, for awareness.

Their light and honesty in the struggle give me comfort. They inspire me to find my own strength and keep climbing.

“Healing comes in waves
and maybe today
the wave hits the rocks
and that’s ok,
that’s ok, darling
you are still healing
you are still healing.”

-Ijeoma Umebinyuo

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