Entry # 1

I am stepping out of my cave because I have something to say. 

It has been easy to be silent, to crawl into a hole, to wait it out. 

It has been easy to play it tough, to convince the world I'm getting better… even if some days I don't believe it myself.

It has been easy to hide when I'm not feeling right…but I have been an empty shell of my former self for far too long. 

I could just keep my struggle between me, my dogs, my family, my doctors, and my loving, supportive other half. 

However, I am learning that being silent and letting that emptiness fill me like a tick gorged with once-healthy blood does not help me or anyone else. 

I have been struggling with Lyme Disease for a year-and-a-half.

Now I refuse to remain silent. 

Lyme Disease is a thing, a very real thing that is commonly misunderstood by the most educated medical professionals. It is a scary, tick-transmitted disease and the fastest growing epidemic in America. Lyme Disease has been documented on every continent except Antarctica. Despite these staggering statistics, there is yet to be conclusive, affordable testing for Lyme and the various co-infections that often accompany the disease. People can be misdiagnosed for years or decades. The spirochete bacteria— so graciously gifted by the infected ticks—can wreak havoc on your brain, your heart, your nervous system, your joints, and your mental and emotional health. It can affect every organ in your body and rob you of your energy, cognitive function, and the ability to live and move.

Still, there is a lot of controversy and denial about Lyme Disease in the standard medical community. I have been to the Infectious Disease Department, supposedly the highest level of care for this sort of thing, where they said Hey, you are okay. 

I wanted so badly to believe them. 

I have ended up in the emergency room, where the doctors told me that Lyme Disease is not actually around here. Don’t worry.

I wanted so badly to believe them. 

It is hard to advocate for yourself when you are sick, but I’m here to say that Lyme Disease is real. It's here and nearly everywhere. It took me a year to find a medical team who knows and understands the disease’s effects and can treat me appropriately and successfully. Right now, I have full confidence that I am finally on the right path back towards health. 

Yet it took me time to get here, time to crawl out of my cave. 

I hope that in speaking up, in moving forward, I can give someone else a straighter path to recovery. I hope that someone else who is battling Lyme Disease knows that they are not alone and that much like myself, they will find the strength to speak up and share their story.

"Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us."
Pema Chodron