Because I’m not merely “tired” when Lyme gets me in it’s grip, I’m far beyond that. Tired is what happens to well people who overdo. It’s what happens to heroines in Victorian novels who faint on chaises.
Isn’t there a better pronouncement for what happens to people with chronic illness—sometimes even when we do nothing at all?
In my opinion, “chronic fatigue” is so overused it has no meaning. Continue reading →
Actually, I’ve learned many people need a little help from me to truly see the pain.
Lyme is known as an “invisible” disease. That’s because oftentimes we look pretty good on the outside despite feeling myriad symptoms inside. And—unfortunately—many of us are darned good at keeping those symptoms invisible.
My own reasons include:
- I don’t want those around me to worry.
- I don’t want people to know how sick I really am because I’m afraid they’ll abandon me.
- I hate the thought of becoming that depressing person who is constantly complaining about how crummy he or she feels.
But I’ve come to see that a dose of reality is a good thing. When people understand the seriousness of this illness, they offer empathy and support.
Beyond that, we need others to know how serious chronic Lyme can become, so more people understand diagnosis and prevention—and stay well.
Continue reading →
Credit: Taylor a’s Flickr stream
I did it again just the other day. I ran out of gas.
I accepted an invitation to meet my friends Susan and Eva for lunch in Maryland 25 miles away from my Virginia home, even though I already had a doctor’s appointment on my calendar for that morning.
I climbed into my car and drove thirty miles to my appointment. Then I got back in the car and, instead of going home, I drove to the restaurant. And then I ran out of gas.
Meaning that I hit the wall physically. And this keeps happening to me because I can’t get it through my head that lyme means you never have the energy you wish you had. You want to do things you’d normally do, but wishing doesn’t make it so.
I’m learning to think of my energy like the gas in my car. At this point in my treatment, I would say I have about 1/8 of a tank. Continue reading →