Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Been A Year

April 28 marked a year since I was officially diagnosed with Lyme Disease. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. I remember thinking, what timing, when I got diagnosed last year. I can't even begin to figure out where the last year of my life has gone. In some ways it has flown by. Yet in other ways, it has dragged on and on. Things have certainly changed. The direction of my life is different. The things that matter the most to me are different. My perspective is different. Surprisingly I am still on a little bit of an emotional roller coaster about this whole thing. Some days, it just hits me, and I have hard time excepting the fact that I am sick. Right now it looks like I will have this disease for the rest of my life. There is no cure. That does not mean that I am going to expect to feel sick for the rest of my life. I am certainly not going to settle for locking myself up in the house and giving up. I can fight. I will fight. It is hard for me to say, I will fight to feel great AGAIN because I don't know if I have ever felt great. I can say though that I will fight to feel great, maybe for the first time in my life. Now that is exciting. That gives me hope. There has to be better than this. I've get things to do. My job is not done here.

This next week is bound to be a little stressful as I prepare to go back to work. I have all of the paperwork I have to get figured out with HR and my doctor. I'm praying it goes smoothly this week so next Monday, May 9, I can put that Fire Department uniform back on and head back to the job that I have given 10 years of my life too. I will have about a week at work until my Lyme Cycle hits. It will certainly put me to the test right away. We will see how I handle things. At least I will know and I can adjust accordingly. I think I am finally okay with what ever God has planned for me. If it's His will that I do fine at work and can jump back in full time and help provide for my family, great. If it's His will that I can't work at my job anymore, then I will be okay with that. He has provided for our family up until know. I don't doubt He will continue to do so. I just have to trust. The numbers don't add up, the bank account is falling behind at a rapid rate, the medical bills are increasing...but He has a plan.

I still struggle with identity and how Lyme Disease affects it. I am not Lyme. I can't let this disease be what defines me. There is also no denying it. It's reality does not go away. I don't believe that one day will go by when I don't think about this disease. I don't day to day or even moment to moment when some part of this disease will rear its ugly head. Even if I get to the point where my symptoms are gone, I will feel the need to spread awareness and help support the cause. It is a part of my life.

I need to say I have been extra burdened the past few days over two Lyme related deaths this past week. There are a lot of Lyme related suicides and I believe that was the first death. That just breaks my heart, but I understand. I have been there. I know how dark things can get. I have been blessed to have been pulled from the dark pit of despair when I didn't think I could feel any worse then I did at that moment. Those were the times when I was literally screaming for God to rescue me because I was so afraid I may do something horrible. When you have to fight for a diagnosis, fight for treatment, find a way to pay for it all, and pray you don't lose your friends and your family over this, after you have probably lost your job and been told you were crazy and you aren't feeling better for months or years on can get to a very bad place. The other big cause of death related to Lyme from what I have heard is heart related. If you have ever had heart issues you know how scary they can be. I definitely have some heart problems. I know now they are related to Lyme. It absolutely scares me though. People with Lyme don't usually get diagnosed and then die in the next week or two. You can read about people who have been fighting this disease for years before it takes their life. The second girl that dies this past week- 29 years old, waiting to confirm it was heart related, dies right after treatment. It gets your attention for sure. I'm doing my best to not worry about it but it is in the back of mind that I can be in treatment for years and this disease may still win.

I am asking as always that you keep me and my family in your prayers. Pray for my healing, pray my girls don't have it, pray we can get the finances we need to not cause ourselves or my parents to go bankrupt over this, pray for better testing and diagnosis. Just pray. I am also asking, in light of Lyme Disease awareness month- educate your self. This disease is found in all 50 states and multiple other countries. It knows no boundaries, everyone is at risk. This disease can be fatal. This disease has symptoms that mimic up to 350 other diseases or problems. This disease is commonly missed diagnosed. Next- support us. Tie a green ribbon on your car or a tree in your award. Spread the word. Offer financial support if you are able. Thanks for reading and keeping up on my journey. I pray that I am the only person you ever know that has had to engage in this battle.

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