“But, you don’t look sick, you look healthy and your coloring is good,” said the man getting IV treatments yesterday as the nurse accessed my port for my infusions. I took a deep breath and waited…”it’s amazing what makeup and hairspray can do. If only you could see the inside of me and my organs, or the pain that I feel internally on a daily basis.”
Honestly, what does sick look like? He meant well, they usually do, but having a chronic illness is often something that no one truly comprehends unless you’ve been there yourself. My husband and my parents get it, and my fellow Lymies and a few friends from my old life do their best, but no one truly gets it unless you are there to see all of the ugly parts. I’m not typically going to post on social media pictures of myself at my worst, I have but even then that doesn’t really show you how hard this disease is. For example, there are days I literally cannot get out of bed. I’ve stopped making commitments to things in fear that I will just have to cancel. Some days when I walk I feel like I could pass out. I can’t lift my children. I don’t say these things to make you feel sorry for me, that doesn’t do any good for anyone. I say these things so that you try your very best to stay healthy and prevention is key.
It’s predicted that in the year 2020 that 80% of the population will have Lyme Disease. It’s a bigger epidemic than AIDS and Breast Cancer. I don’t state these statistics to scare you. I am saying this so that you know that you could be next, and to never downplay this serious, deadly disease. I am here to inform you and to help you understand the severity of this disease.
Prevention is key. Knowledge is power. I don’t want you to be like the thousands that I now know that are suffering like me. This is something I will have for the rest of my life. There is no cure, just hope for remission. There are things that I will never be able to do again. I will never be able to have a baby again, I will never be able to ride a rollercoaster again, I will never be able to run for miles like I used to, I will never be able to eat whatever I want and not pay for it the next day or even that week, I will never be able to keep up with my children, and my husband will never have his “old wife” back again.
Yes, I’m getting better. Yes, I have more good days than bad now. But, with every activity like a train ride with Santa, or a family get together, or even seeing a movie, takes its toll on me. I have to be careful. Careful not to overdo it and even more careful about germs. You see, if I look at a germ I get sick. Most of you can touch germs, even lick them if you wanted to and perhaps you would catch a cold but maybe your immune system is so awesome that it doesn’t even affect you. That’s where my problem lies. My immune system is exhausted from fighting the Lyme for so long that it doesn’t really exist anymore. I really should live in a bubble. But, what do I do instead? Take care of two kiddos that are exposed to germs and bring them home, and then I go to a doctor office where sick people go to get better. You see the problem here? I can’t hide from germs. They will find me. I’m an easy target.
So, I pray. I pray for this world we live in. I pray my kids don’t get it. I pray for all those fighting invisible diseases. I pray for those that aren’t suffering to have compassion and empathy. I pray that no one else that I know and love gets it. I pray for a cure. I pray for the meds and supplements to work. I pray that financially everyone can afford to take care of themselves. I pray that God will heal me. I pray that God will heal others. I pray that if I die that I will be remembered as a loving, open-minded, and once a free spirited woman of God. I pray for peace. I pray for my husband to be strong and to not waiver. I pray that my kids will not remember mommy as being sick but as being a good, fun, and loving mommy.
Life is hard as a healthy person, you do not want to experience life as a sick person. All those things like showering, buying groceries, sitting on the floor with your children playing, fixing dinner, cleaning, shopping, walking, eating, can easily be taken for granted. Do NOT take them for granted. Trust me.
Love life and love it to the fullest because we never know when it may end. Things can change in an instant. Appreciate the small stuff, the big stuff, and all the stuff in between. Remember how blessed you are and thank God or whoever you believe in for your blessings.
Before you judge someone by appearance; remember everyone is fighting a battle. Some are more obvious than others, but have an open mind and an open heart. No more judgment.