Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just When I Thought It Was Safe ..

I was delighted to be surprised by a text from the Engineer yesterday. He was in town for the weekend and so we agreed to meet up for breakfast this morning. This was my first big chance to prove to myself that I could stick to my Lyme protocol schedule and "have a normal life" at the same time. HA!

When the first drug alarm rang I hopped right up, downed only ONE pill, drank some water and went back to bed. So good so far. Then 2.5 hours later the second alarm rang. Hopped right up, took the drugs to counter the first drugs and went back to bed. So good so far. (Except I did know at some point I WAS going to have to get up, get dressed, and act like a MOM.) I could deny it no longer when I got a text reading, "I'm on my way." My four sons range from 23 -32 and if there's one thing I know for SURE about them it's that they want NO PART, I repeat, NO PART of seeing me in anything but full dress. Even jammies and a robe makes them slightly uncomfortable. So I hopped out of bed and into the shower where it hit me. I was gonna puke. Not that "I have some throw up in my mouth" kind of puke but hurl. My meds and counter meds had been in me long enough for me to know it was safe ... not that THAT was going to stop anything, and once again I realized I just LIVE in my body. I do not always control it.

Twenty minutes later when there was a knock at the door I had cleaned things up (myself included), gotten dressed, brushed my teeth several times, and I do believe I was wearing earrings. Things are going well for the Engineer and we drove in his work purchased vehicle ... which is a whoooole lot nicer than any vehicle I've ever owned ... or ever will, for that matter. It has a "nice ride." A little TOO nice, if you asked my stomach ... which I was praying would NOT make itself known because I can assure you, mom puke would be a whooooole LOT more terrifying than mom jammies. Especially in one's 23 year old's brand new car, for BOTH the driver and the passenger (moi.) We got to our destination and were quickly seated (thank you, thank you) and although a very cute 2.5 year old was screaming about Easter candy just a couple of tables over, the Engineer and I enjoyed a lovely time.

Just in case I haven't made this abundantly clear, I LOVE my sons and cherish every single moment I have with them alone and together. It thrilled me to no END that the Entrepreneur was driving a little faster to make it "home" in time to see the Engineer before he headed off to watch U of M kick some March Madness ass. Breakfast was good ... and I found something on the menu I could kind of eat. Bacon, eggs, and green tea. GO ME.

When I got home I showed off my "guns." Yup. My biceps are looking GOOD thanks to those 2 lb. weights from TJ Maxx and I'm gonna show 'em off to every son and DIL I can get my hands on. Last night Vito repeatedly asked just how many times I was going to make him feel my biceps and pronounce them "ripped;" and although he played along, the Engineer declined upon my second offer/request to "feel my guns." Undaunted I changed into a T shirt so he could SEE that I actually have a line in my flesh that announces, "THIS WOMAN READS PINTEREST AND DOES EXERCISES FOUND THERE." I will admit he was visually impressed. He actually raised his 23 year old eyebrows and then suggested how I could do squats w/out weights to begin to regain some muscle, oh ... ANY muscle on my pretty much wasted legs. So I did three squats and got all hot and sweaty. Despite a brief convo about the benefits of detoxing through sweat via urine, I knew this was not detox sweating. This was, yeah ... that again. I excused myself, lay down on my bed, did some deep breathing, and prayed the Entrepreneur would get there quickly. And bless his 25 year old heart, he DID! There were about 15 minutes of brotherly posturing and bantering before they announced they both needed to get going. (I hate that. BOTH? At ONCE? Really!?!)


After a minor flurry of hugging and kissing, getting a little weepy, and asking for just one more hug (they oblige in that area as long as mom jammies are not involved) they were gone almost as quickly as they had come. A text and boom. Done.

I'll be honest, I was a bit relieved as I was tired, too full, and getting that gross kind of sweaty. Then my alarm rang. Oh yeah. "The shake." I don't think we've discussed "the shake" before. It's a concoction of vitamins, oils, unsweetened coconut milk, protein powder, and frozen strawberries that "tastes GREAT." Um. Not so much. It could be the Calamari oil ... that orange flavored stuff. I'm allergic to mollusks. Not intolerant. Allergic. And yeah, well ... I'm gonna guess you're smart enough to figure out what my symptoms look like. I knew I'd been pushing it with the uncertainty of the pedigree of an orange Calamari. I truly hadn't realized until yesterday that Calamari WERE mollusks! I googled them where I sadly learned they're not just mollusks, but shellfish. Things were not looking good for them. I know, I know. I was thinking things like lobster and shrimp were shellfish, and oysters and mussels were mollusks. How was I supposed to know where an orange flavored squid was going to align himself? Well, the nausea that would not end should have been my first clue.

I've known that mollusks are not my friends since a particularly nasty episode after a particularly delicious heap of mussels in ME, shortly after my divorce while sobbing in the arms of my best friend from high school. My kids have grown up adoring her. A definite DYT Type 1. Fun loving, spontaneous. SO not me. We lovingly call her the PSYCHOtherapist although she did a really good job before/during/after my divorce. Some day I'll write about her flying from ME to MI to teach me how to flirt. Sort form: I failed.

But back to crustaceans ... of which I'm still uncertain about squid. In order to be "compliant" (a term much loved by LLMDs world wide) a patient MUST follow the rules. So, to my two eggs lightly basted; two turkey sausages; and two strips of turkey bacon, I added "the shake" ... including the Calamari oil. And THAT is the last time I'll be doing THAT. Not just because tomorrow is Monday and I can go the health food store and pick up some flax seed oil (nom, nom) but because I spent the afternoon feeling both very "rumbly in my tumbly" (Winnie the Pooh, for those haven't memorized it) and sweaty. Again, not in the detox way.

Yet when it came time for my detox bath in I went ... sweating in the GOOD way. Having it run down my face and neck, into my eyes, between my fingers. All the gross stuff I'm starting to appreciate about detoxing. The salty GOODNESS of toxins leaving my body. I've learned to lounge while the water leaves the tub and my heart rate begins to return to normal before I stand up to rinse off one more time. I mean, who wants to sleep w/toxins? Certainly not me. My final shower is usually pretty quick in the hopes that my blood pressure won't tank and I won't end up sitting on the floor of the shower crying because I'm afraid to stand up. Lyme disease is demeaning to begin with. Just how many times does a grown woman need to crawl from the bathroom to the bedroom? Really. But tonight my BP stayed normal, or at least normal enough, and I showered quickly but happily until I bent over to get my towel off the floor and BOOM.

I am now cleaned up and have been in bed long enough that I am no longer sweating in that no good very bad way and can tell you four things with absolute certainty:

2. I WILL drag my exhausted toxic body to the health food store tomorrow and purchase flax seed oil.
3. I cannot remember the other two.
4. Just for good measure, I hate Lyme disease. Hate it. Hate it enough to endure this treatment so I can get what's left of my life back and WIN.

Oh. I remember.

3. I start my supplements tomorrow and there's nary a mollusk to be found (Vito and I read all the labels.)
4. I add in a new drug. Woot.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day Four of Treatment: The Down and Dirty

See also: how to live alone while treating late stage chronic Lyme disease.

Yeah, it ain't easy being green. Kermit had it right. In my former life ... the healthy one where being a single mother of four; graduate student; teacher; and "Girls on the Run" coach was no big deal, I had some mad crazy organizational skills. I could be at work on the phone w/the parent of a student, on hold for a convo w/a teacher of one of my own sons, and grading papers and entering grades into the computer ... while planning dinner in my head and deciding what I was going to wear on a date that weekend. For starters.

Now? Well, let's just say that the supplements that arrived last week are still sitting on my counter and I still haven't been able to truly read and comprehend my LLMD's treatment manual. And it's well written ... this former teacher can hardly find a "whoops" although I'm having to index things with those nifty color coded Post-It sticky arrows for ease of reference. (Wouldn't have needed to do that in the days of yore. I'd have just remembered the page numbers.) My PLAN was to put all my supplements into a month's worth of plastic pill containers: one set to take with breakfast, one set to take with dinner, and one set to take at bedtime. Once cataloged, off they'd go to the fridge so my prescriptions could ride shotgun on the kitchen counter. Yup.

I'm on Day Four of treatment which means there are only about 1,091 days to go. Supposedly this gets easier as one gets further into treatment. Yeah. We'll see. According to the "Treatment Manual" days 4-6 of any new med can usher in a pretty big herx. That's "Herxheimer Reaction" for the uninformed ... the mother of all "die offs." Yup. After about four days ones blood levels contain enough ammo to CLOBBER those spirochetes and they do not go quietly into the good night. They kick and scream causing pain, vertigo, possible seizures, muscles spasms, loss of vision, and lots of "spin the wheel" symptoms. Or nothing at all. "What did she win TODAY, Johnny?"

Yesterday I phoned eight pharmaceutical assistance programs as I can't pay the $560 co-pay for ONE of my drugs. ONE drug. Others get this drug for a mere $8 or $30 co-pay, but not me. I guess I'm lucky as SOME insurance companies don't cover it at all and out of pocket it's $1,800 every four weeks. Woot. Go me. And geesh, I HAVE insurance!! But I can't afford my co-pay. Is there any sense on the face of this EARTH why erectile dysfunction is covered by insurance but chronic diseases aren't???? Wait. Lemme guess. Those higher up on the Big Pharma food chain are not just sharks, they're boy sharks. And yeah, I don't qualify for any of the assistance programs.

Bad night's sleep last night. Bad, bad, bad. I dreamed a former LLMD emailed me to tell me I was never going to get better. Yeah, I sweat all night and no, it's not menopause. I paused and then stopped that nonsense years ago. It's Babesia, a co-infection of Lyme ... the source of many drenching night sweats. The kind that would make you get up and change the sheets if you had a sleeping partner, or the kind that demand you roll over onto the dry spot if you're single. I've got it easy.

So I really can never tell if I can't sleep because of insomnia, or Lyme, or Babesia (really getting drenched w/sweat is startling) or just plain old free floating anxiety ... which isn't really free floating at all, and is directly nailed to my diagnosis. But I didn't sleep ... the sweaty bottom line.

My goal for the day was to put the above mentioned supplements into their little boxes, tuck them into the fridge and let Big Pharma hang out free range on the counters. Yeah. But it's Day Four. DETERMINED to beat this into submission I got up promptly when my first "drug alarm" rang to go take the round one. I've got this down now. Use the restroom, brush my teeth, feed the cat, take the meds, eat some nuts, go back to bed. After feeding Larry I marched myself right into the kitchen, filled up a glass with water, slugged back 2 pills with the water, and in true defiance pounded the glass down hard on the counter only to realize I'd taken twice the amount of my meds. On Day Four. Not feeling good about this I consulted with the "Peeps" (some of my Lyme BFFs) and decided it wasn't time to call my sons and tell them I love them one last time. No need to wake up the Designer in CA and have her wake up Mr. My Baby so his Safta could tell him how very much she loves him and how very much she will miss him. No need to call the School Psychologist to tell her to remember to let my soon to be grandchild from Ethiopia know I have prayed for him since his father was about 4 and I was ready to shoot him ("may G-d have mercy on his children.") No need to remind her to remind HIM that yeah, his Safta knows the angst of adoption. No need to fill Larry's dish so he'll be ok until someone finds me lifeless because the reality is, a double dose isn't going to kill me, I'll just wish it would.

I loves me my Peeps. They graciously commiserated with me and told me they'd done the same thing. We bantered about whether or not I should take my dinner time dose later on. And then we bantered until the pharmacy was open. Seriously ... shop locally. Screw those one stop toilet paper/lipstick/candy/trashy magazine/drug stores and get thee hence to a local pharmacist. Really. Why? Because I said so. Because I LOVE "Skip" and he tells me whatever I need to know in his lovely boy-next-door midwest way. He reassures me. He explains things to me. And at precisely 9:00 AM this morning he told me I was not going to die, but I probably should be a little bit more organized so this didn't happen again. And not to forget to take my evening dose because those blood levels gotta be high to kill off those little buggers. The Peeps concurred and again reassured me. But Day Five and Six lay in wait.

So I decided to do exactly what one of my "pins" on Pinterest says. I'm going to follow the advice I'd give to a friend I love. What WOULD I tell a friend who is healing from late stage Lyme and had just double dosed on Day Four? (One I REALLY love.) It might go a little like this, "You what? You're joking, right? Oh. OH. Whoa. Yeah ... well. Ok. You DID call the pharmacist and you're going to be ok? Yeah, I know. I meant you're going to live. That's good news, right? Ok. I'm going to believe that one for you today. It's good news. I love you, your kids love you, your grandchildren love you, there's work for you to do in the world, you count, did I tell you I love you? Good. Go back to bed."

And I did just that. I went back to bed until the phone rang ... the surveyor was on his way to resurvey my property a third time because my swell neighbors keep pulling out the property line stakes, asking me how it happened, and promising to build a fence on my lot. Really. Stick a fork in them. I'm done. So I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed (screw being presentable) and walked the line w/him. I took pictures of the lot markers buried in the ground. Took photos of the THIRD set of markers in place and then, lo and behold, a knight in a pick 'em up truck arrived with metal stakes which he pounded into the ground while the surveyor watched. Hopefully The Lawyer will send off a nastygram worded ever so nicely which gets across the following point. "IF YOU HAD WANTED THAT PROPERTY YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT." But he'll make it sound nicer than that. Hopefully he'll sign off with, "Ms. James considers this matter done and will no longer discuss this with you. Should you have any questions regarding the lot line, have your lawyer contact me." Yeah. Go Lawyer ... and how I love you. WAY back when you were four and I started praying HARD for your spouse and children I knew your career had been revealed. I mean what four year old innocently asks his mother, "Do you THINK before the words come out of your mouth" and DOESN'T become a lawyer? Really.

So I appeared disheveled but normal for about an hour and have been in bed for the duration (and intend to remain here.) I did get up to drink my concoction of oils and powered supplement and realize that I DO prefer adding strawberries to adding blueberries. I actually ate lunch ... and in a couple of hours I'm going to make myself some salmon and the requisite "Miracle Salad" (which really is quite good.) Then it's OFF to the detox bath for an hour where I hope to sweat out some toxins and a quick shower to ensure I don't have to sleep in them.

Then maybe a little bit of reading, perhaps a convo w/Vito, and then it's lights out and ceiling fan on.

My goal for tomorrow to put the above mentioned supplements into their little boxes, tuck them into the fridge and let Big Pharma hang out free range on the counters.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chronically Awed

Well, whoa. Just whoa.

A dear friend drove me to meet a new LLMD this week and I have come away with my mind blown (LLMD = Lyme Literate Medical Doctor.) Not only do I finally test undeniably positive for Lyme, but for a wide variety of co-infections, and I can actually see how all paths have been leading to this moment. I'm not saying I'm just going to stand here forever, but right now it's a pretty amazing view.

I've imagined this day since I got sick in April of 2002 ... being able to turn around and look backwards on all those who were wrong, looking inward and promising not to doubt my "gut" again. I had Lyme and I knew it.

I'd love to list the name of every single one of the 30+ insensitive, cold hearted, uneducated doctors with whom I shared a "patient encounter." Really. But I'm thankful to be able to say my medical team is full up and none of the aforementioned made the wait list.

The enemies have names now: Lyme Disease, Babesia, Bartonella, Anaplasma/Erlicha, Chlamydia Pneumonia, HHV-6, EBV. I think that's it. But here's the news ... I win. I am now on a kick a$$ regime that at the very least will put me into a loooong remission, and if I'm fortunate, cure me.

I'm on day three and I hear days 4-6 of each new med usher in a new level of hell to be endured just long enough to get one's head out of the toilet and clean up before the next medication is introduced. For some it's a year of treatment. For some it's five. Who'd have though that 11 years into an illness and seven years into disability I'd be in the mid-range, but I am. Three years and I could be looking back on ALL of this and forward to a new career; one that utilizes both my educational degrees as well as my work AND life experiences. I can hardly wait and so soon as I take my next 17 pills and wait the requisite 20 minutes until I can throw up, I'm going to start staging my comeback.

And now a quote from one of the good guys:

"In the fullness of time, the mainstream handling of chronic Lyme disease will be viewed as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of medicine because elements of academic medicine, elements of government and virtually the entire insurance industry have colluded to deny a disease."

Kenneth Liegner, MD.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chronically Aging

I was born fifty eight years ago yesterday, at a time unbeknownst to anyone but my birthmother ... who took it with her to her grave. This makes it difficult to see if my watery fish, Pisces, is on the cusp of anything other worldly, and I HOPE they got my birthday right. "They" being the State of New York. The Empire State. The city of my birth, New York itself. The Big Apple, and more specifically, Manhattan ... which never sleeps. While I don't suspect anything particularly sinister out of them more than I do out of any other form of bureaucracy, I'm not a fan. So they had me for two years when I was Constance Hasbrouck. And then, miraculously by the stroke of a pen and a rap of a gavel, I became Ruth. Constance ... be gone, and take your 24 months and unknown birth family with you.

Yeah. I've never liked my birthday.

But it shows up every year like clockwork, and every year I have to deal with it.

As a small child I suppose I was distracted momentarily with crowns and cakes, but not being a Princess type girly girl, it was all show for someone else. I can see it in the 50 odd year photos. A small ashy haired blue eyed girl in a sea of tall dark family members, staring into the camera perfectly still, at odds with the gaiety which surrounded her. I wonder if my parents ever noticed and I KNOW I tried to keep the pain of the day under wraps because I wasn't allowed to be publicly sad about being adopted.

Every March 13th, the night before my birthday, I cry myself to sleep. One would think I'd have outgrown that, but I haven't. It's only morphed into crying for different reasons. As I child I cried, "I miss my mommy" cries and "I hate not knowing" cries (which far outnumbered the "I miss my mommy" stuff.) As a teenager they were typical teenaged angst "But maybe she would have UNDERSTOOD me" cries. As a young mother they were "Does she remember labor? Did she know she was in labor with me?" And a couple of nights ago on my birthday eve they were cries of, "Did you know when you were dying? Did you grieve your children as you died? Did you grieve for me? Even then?" As one can easily tell, they're all just variations on a theme. The WTF theme of relinquishment from the child's POV. Even a nigh-unto-58 year old child.

Every March 14th I wake up crying. I try to list the things for which I'm thankful: I grew up in a very upper class environment with a mother who fed us well and a father who adored me. OK. I had a father who adored me. I went to a good school and went on to graduate from college. I married (badly) and have four sons I adore, two daughter in laws I love dearly, a GRANDSON on the other side of the country, and other coming from Ethiopia. I love my home ... it's comfortable and has great views (something VERY important to me.) I have a cat who both annoys and loves me. FB has provided me the opportunity to have "friends" I wouldn't have otherwise ... and disability gives me lots of time to think. But most importantly, I have G-d. My Abba. The Parent who will never leave me. I cry anyways. I cry because I miss my birth family. I cry because my maternal brother and sister are ill and another one won't talk to either of them. I cry because, WTF people!?! You've had each other your entire lives and tossed that away? I cry because my own adoptive brother, ex-con/womanizer/abuser that is is, won't talk to me. "Like you WANT him to?" you ask? Yeah, well ... maybe. I cry because I miss my earthly father, "daddy," the man who raised me, the man who "got" me, the man I trusted. I cry because on my birthday someone should CARE - really CARE and be THANKFUL that I'm on this earth. I cry because, and I don't mean to be all self absorbed and whiney, but it's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to. You can trust me on this. I cry because my ex husband of 20 years gave me sweatshirts on my birthday. Sometimes one from the college where he "teaches" and sometimes ones from Walmart or KMart if I was lucky and he took the time to make the trip. I cry because he was and is a jackass.

I try to be open minded. A good friend from college is always reminding me to have an "open heart and an open mind." And I LOVE her, INJF that she is!!! Another quiet reserved type who, given the opportunity and was, runs a large gov't agency full of males. Quietly and authoritatively. But I'd bet my life when she comes home she makes tea and sits for a good hour or two ... just so she can reflect the day away before she makes dinner.

Yesterday I got text messages from all four sons (one of whom told me I was a difficult person to get ahold of); emails from each of my DILS (women seem to be a bit more communicative); and a text of Mr. My Baby trying out flailing his arms and legs on the porch. That made me cry some more ... this little Bunny Boy nugget of goodness full of exuberance just because he is alive and kicking. Two people came to the door bearing gifts: a "birthday twin" I adore (but had forgotten we shared the same birthday) and a friend with flowers. Of course, I cried. Vito sent several emails throughout the day, a card in the mail, and promised to take me to a documentary to which I responded, "Thank you, but I really don't want to go." He acknowledged my response by saying it was ok and that maybe I'd feel more like it when he got there. I didn't. He arrived early with another card and flowers. Stoically I thanked him, put the flowers in a vase, left the card on the table (have I mentioned I don't like to react publicly?) and excused myself to go change my clothes (where I threw myself on my bed and sobbed some more.)

Having Lyme Disease is a GREAT excuse for all sorts of weeping as one can always say, "my eyes are REALLY sensitive right now." I'm sure I used that one ... it's tried and true. So off we went. First we ate at some BBQ dive that was actually great (Vito and I like food dives.) I had some sort of "Kentucky Hard Ass Red Necked BBQ" soup which was aptly named and came with some week old cornbread. But tasty in that "y'all step on out here and lemme show you my truck, and I mean Y'ALL y'all" kinda way. Vito had a sandwich which he throughly enjoyed and he's a harsh food critic. Together we shared some form of evil fries with pulled pork on them (I don't eat pork and will admit I shoved it to the side, but the BBQ sauce on the cheese fries et al was interesting, and made me thankful I didn't grow up eating like THAT!!! No tears were shed.

But the documentary, the Oscar winning "Rodriguez" blew my mind. Vito, a not very physically affectionate INTJ, actually held my hand through it except for when I was wiping my eyes (stupid Lyme disease) or blowing my nose because OMG, what a MUSICIAN, what a FATHER, what a HUMAN, what a FILM!! (I love documentaries.) On the drive home Vito and I discussed the merits of poverty (although he's healthy and employed so it was a bit more theoretical from his side of the car.) We DID decide to get pie because after all it WAS 3.14 and I'm a math nerd. So together we sat at my kitchen bar eating pie and talking about the film. He left at an appropriate time to go home and get a good night's sleep and I read his card.

"Once upon a time there was this PERSON who came into the world in the ordinary way. And every day that person LEARNED a little more and grew a little more.

That person had TALENTS and GIFTS and THOUGHTS and IDEAS like nobody else. That person had LOVE to give and HAPPINESS to share.

And that person made a DIFFERENCE in other people's lives every single day.

So, as it turns out, the day that person came into the world wasn't ordinary at ALL. It was the beginning of the unique and important life of extraordinary YOU.

Happy Birthday."

Then were were some lovely personal thoughts and a signature, "Vito."

I cried.

A few minutes ago the above mentioned son called to remind me that just because I don't like my birthday doesn't mean I don't have to respond to my children because they love me. And as we were speaking one of my birth brothers called through. I just got off the phone with him ... he called to wish me Happy Birthday as well, and to invite me to Bach's birthday party (April, if you're interested ... he'll be giving a lecture.)

The Ides of March have been teary. Be aware. Be very aware. Open heart open mind.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chronically Counting

I'm either awaiting something or recovering from something ... but if it's not one it's the other. Sometimes simultaneously, but I don't enjoy doing double duty at ALL, which is precisely where I find myself this month.

Having just gotten back from The Land of the Grandson a week ago and anticipating a visit to an new LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) in ten days has me in a bit of a twitter (no social media pun intended.) I realize this is No Big Deal for the normal healthy person, a slightly abnormal healthy person, or even a normal slightly unhealthy person. But I don't fit into any of those categories anymore. I've been unpacking and resting up from my trip westward while trying to pack and emotionally prepare for my trip eastward. The truth is, I'd rather be with my darling boy, who slept seven hours the other night, than in the hinterlands of the Midwest anticipating a 12 hour road trip (one way.)

I've been fretting all day, not feeling well, and trying to both get my taxes done as well as get my paperwork in order for my trip to the LLMD. Of course, I'm missing ONE key element to finish my tax prep and couldn't find the info on where to stay for a reasonable price outside this major city I'll be visiting. Both had me near tears, the latter convincing me I've truly lost my mind and will probably never remember where I left it. Thankfully I live in small quarters with very little belongings so looking through them all took maybe 15 minutes, and no ... I didn't find what I was missing. I quantum leaped to "I'm going to need to go into a nursing home" only to receive an email reminding me that accommodation recommendations were on the doctor's website. Oh. So I'm not crazy; I haven't lost my mind; I didn't misplace anything and yeah, this is SO just like living the Vida Lyme Life. Wait. Not just like. This is it ...

To be fair, one of my dear friends is taking me and I'm not only looking forward to spending time with her, but am thankful she'll be there with me when I get "the news" ... whatever it may be. I'm trying to prepare myself for "it" by telling myself that no matter what I'm a fighter, a survivor, and a pray-er; and that no matter what if G-d is for me than who can be against me? Except"who" isn't an issue. It's the what. Right. Ticks. The ticks are definitely against me.

There are two possible outcomes to this trip.

1. I get another diagnosis of Lyme Disease with a side of compassion and at least three years of long arduous treatment likely to leave me penniless. Go watch "Under Our Skin." Really. Go listen to Dr. Richard Horowitz sing "The Ballad of the Deer Tick." Really. Three years will be LUCKY and this is on top of 11 years of illness (seven of them while "legally" disabled.) So how do I feel about this? Scared. Excited. Scared. Hopeful. Scared. Thankful. Scared. Encouraged. And scared.

2. I get told that, YES, there's definitely something physically wrong with me, but doctor #30 Something can't figure it out either. How do I feel about THIS? Scared. Disappointed. Scared. Relieved. Scared. Resigned. Scared. Comfortable in familiar circumstances. And scared.

So, given a choice I really don't have, which door do I want? The one with the diagnosis and treatment, please. Because after all fighters, survivors and, most of all, pray-ers always win.