Today marks my seventh year since getting sick with chronic lyme disease. Just to rehash my bit for those that are unfamiliar with my story of contracting this illness, here it goes.
Seven years ago I broke my arm and my wrist at a friends birthday. We were running around playing hide and seek, well I guess you could say I lost. I landed on my elbow, snapping it, and the way i landed also broke my wrist. The nerve in my arm was also stretched, paralyzing my thumb pointer and to some degree my middle finger for the following few months. I couldn't feel anything with any of my fingers, my pinky was the only functional finger on my left arm.
Because of this severe injury I had to have surgery. It was a minor surgery, only lasted 15 minutes. Just long enough for the doctor to set my arm in the cast and to place pins in my wrist and elbow.
Well, long story short the drugs, surgery, and the overall trauma of the ordeal killed my immune system...which allowed the lyme bacteria and rickettsia in my system to flourish. I had been bitten by a tick six months previous to this injury, so its assumed that i picked up the bacteria at that time.
Now seven years later, I am still here. 15,000 pills and many doctors visits later I am still here. Here but by the grace of God is all I can say.
This day has been on my mind for at least a month now. I cannot believe it has been this long already. I do not even remember what it is like to feel healthy and "normal". That was many moons ago and a previous life. I will see healthy days again no doubt, but with a new set of priorities in my life. Being chronically ill has taught me what real priorities are, and what things are totally worthless.
I have found that other people, uplifting people, are the best to be around. Those are the people that will stick with you when things go south. I have also found that material things really will fall apart and become meaningless. Activities like sports and hobbies can get pushed to the wayside without the world ending. When life gets rough you won't see a football or soccer ball coming to give you a hand, at least I never did.
I am glad to say I have a nice group of friends around me, I thank God for them every day. This has not always been the case in my life. I have always had what I thought were close friends, but you don't discover who is close and who is a fair weather friend until life gets turned upside down.
My best friends that I had pre chronic illness, pretty much 100% out of the picture. One or two I see every so often, but I just see them, rarely speak.
Anyway. On to why this anniversary has resonated with me so. I was only 13 for a couple of days before I became sick. Well, seven years later I am no longer a teenager. I was never able to beat this disease as a kid or a teenager, I am now 20 years old. That bugs me a lot. I don't like to think about my own personal arsenal of disease and symptoms following me around my entire teenage years. Its not what I wanted. I have fought so hard and so long, I have worn myself out, I wanted to be done by now. This was not supposed to become a part of my life, it was supposed to be a phase that I broke through and beat. I have had this almost half my life, I can hardly call that a phase at this point.
I am happy to report that the last few weeks have been fairly tolerable. Last weekend I had a few days that were very long, rough, emotional, and just no good...but it got better again. Now I am doing fairly well again. I am hoping and praying that this will be the case for a while but I know better than to count on feeling well for extended periods of time. I have had the rug pulled out from under me more than once, this whole last year has been an example of this. Doing well then bam, start over and stick it out again for an undetermined amount of time.
This is just the nature of the beast. I am very grateful I have made it this far and kept as functional as I have, but my heart and mind are getting weary.
I need a break for a while so I can keep on fighting this disease, can I do that? Can I call in a favor somewhere and say Hey, I need a break from my disease for a couple weeks so I can endure this a little bit longer?
Haha, only if.
Until next time :)