Posts tagged lymedisease
Sense Of Self

Lyme disease can be very insidious, sneaking its way into places, thoughts, and memories where it shouldn’t be, making it a daily struggle to find the line between your sense of self and your illness. Sometimes I look back at moments from my life and I cant help but question `whether or not Lyme played a role in them. I question if my identity evolved and grew organically, or if those changes can be attributed to a bacteria existing outside of my control effecting my moods, personality, and health. At this point in my life it’s hard for me to actually remember what it felt like to be healthy, but I can picture it. I see snapshots of myself full of action, moving through life with an electricity I can’t quite grasp anymore.

I see a little girl swinging from trees, a slightly older version dancing ballet or riding horses, I see myself at 13, a girl full of ideas, just starting to glimpse the real world. As clearly as I can picture these images of health, I still can’t feel that feeling. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with that, and to be able to forgive myself, and my body for not being able to feel it...

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Lyme Isn't a Crutch. It's a Catalyst.

I was diagnosed January of 2014 after my immune system plummeted when I came down with the Epstein barr virus (mono). It was devastating and relieving news all at the same time. I contracted it around the age of ten when I was living in the woods of NJ. For over a decade I was in and out of doctor’s offices running tests and looking for answers. When the tests results came in positive it gave me something to treat, something to work on. Before, I was discouraged and frustrated, shooting in the dark with strict diets, supplements, and palliative measures. I finally knew what my body was screaming at me so desperately trying to communicate. On the outside I look healthy, but on the inside I feel like my body is failing me and at 22 years old that is not acceptable. I have my entire life ahead of me and I will not let this disease change how I live.

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Laura Ehlers

I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in early 2013, after ten years of searching for an answer to my chronic migraines which turned into chemical sensitivities, mold sensitivities and neurological symptoms. My health became drastically worse about one month after I married my husband, when I moved into his home- a brand new starter house. You may not be aware that new building materials are highly toxic and give off chemicals such as formaldehyde in the form of a gas. Some people with strong bodies have no noticeable problems with this, but I was not one of those people. My body was so damaged from the Lyme Disease I did not yet know I had, that the chemical off gassing triggered downward spiral. We barely had a newlywed stage and jumped right into "in sickness and in health". The saddest part of this experience for me has been fighting for better health instead of being able to immerse myself into my marriage right away. I'm not able to work full time, because the stress of being mentally "on" for forty hours a week is too much for my adrenals to handle.

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Aviva Peltin

Q: Letting go. In the process of being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, what things have you had to sacrifice and let go of? And how do you cope and adjust to this new way of life?

Aviva: I became chronically ill the summer of 2010, the year before I thought I’d leave home and go to college in California. I thought life would be so different. Not following my prescribed timeline was incredibly painful. Especially when we are young, each age has symbolism attached. When you’re 18, you’re an “adult.” Having to stay home when all my friends had the opportunity to become independent, go on adventures, and see the world was really difficult.

I just turned 22. This age has personal significance attached as well. If everything had gone according to plan, I would be graduating college this year. Becoming chronically ill dramatically shifted my timeline. But, I like to believe that this timeline is going to bring me more opportunity, joy, and fulfillment than if everything had gone according to plan.

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Katelin Kuykendall

My diagnosis came just as I was beginning to follow my dream of being a musician. I had worked so hard to make this dream a reality just in time for Lyme Disease to take it away. This illness chooses to affect my joints primarily, followed by cognitive functions. Due to this, I am no longer capable of being a percussionist. It took three (if not four) years to really grasp the reality of losing my music and appreciate the talents of others. I would break down at the simplest triggers, unable to mourn the loss of this passion. It was hard, ugly, and long, but I overcame. While this was a devastating and life altering realization, so many wonderful things have come from this new path. I’ve learned to appreciate what I had and look forward to what the future will bring. I transferred schools to have a fresh start and learned so much more about myself and my identity.

 

Adjusting to a new way of life - especially one of difficulty - can seem daunting. Just when you think everything is routine and under control, a new symptom sneaks its way in. Because of this, I’ve learned to take it as it comes; one day at a time, one appointment at a time, one feeling at a time. Looking too far ahead with treatments and tasks can be overwhelming, so it’s important to keep the right perspective.

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Gemma Fernandez

Q: Letting go. In the process of being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, what things have you had to sacrifice and let go of? And how do you cope and adjust to this new way of life?

Gemma: I’ve been ill for over three years but recently we discovered I’ve been dealing with Lyme disease all this time. I’ve had to sacrifice my study, my internship and my job. I was studying to become a veterinary technician (specialized in surgery), I was an intern at a Veterinary Clinic but due to my illness I have had to put that on pause. I’m not sure when I will be able to start. Due to Lyme I had to quite my part-time job, so you can imagine the stress that it brings. I try to life from day to day and not let the stress get to me. Just because it isn’t working out right now, doesn’t mean it will never work out, right?

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