I almost forgot I had Lyme Disease, really I did. I know, I know, if you’ve ever suffered with the pain of chronic Lyme you’re probably wondering how that could happen.
My family and I have suffered with Chronic Lyme Disease for at least 8 years that I know of. I’m not really sure because some of those mysterious symptoms from long ago could have been Lyme but I really have no way of knowing.
After several very long years of intense illness, pain and medication I finally had a period of time where I felt normal. I didn’t have pain, I wasn’t fatigued, I didn’t have brain fog and I felt great. I was so happy I could be busy again and clean my house. It’s the little things you know.
I was being treated for Babesia during this time. I picked up a part-time job to help cover some medical expenses and I continued to homeschool and do all of the other Mom things I had been doing. I felt great.
I wanted to forget about Lyme and really I almost did except for the twice a day medicine and doctor’s appointments every 8 weeks.
Even when my symptoms are raging, I sometimes just want to forget about Lyme, I’d like to call it something else. Something that’s more acceptable. Something that people and doctors won’t look at me cross-eyed over.
Sometimes I see others who really don’t give their Lyme infection a second thought, they just go about life as usual and from where I stand it seems like they’re just fine.
I thought if I forgot about it, it would just go away and I could be normal like everyone else, like I used to be. I wouldn’t be defined or labeled as “that woman with Lyme Disease” or “there she is again she and her whole family have Lyme Disease.” The question I hear most is, “how can your entire family have Lyme Disease?”
As much as I’d like to forget about it or deny that I have it, we all know it just doesn’t work that way. Lyme Disease is not a respecter of persons and it certainly doesn’t matter if I forget about it or not. Lyme will come rearing it’s ugly head whenever it wants to. It may be in 6 months, a year or even 10 years after an initial infection. It may even come back after a time of remission.
Quite honestly, I could never have forgotten. My children suffer with chronic Lyme Disease and Coinfections too.
My heart has not become consumed with Lyme Disease but to help spread the word about Lyme in order to educate doctors, friends and even complete strangers.
I want to see legislation changed so that it will get caught early enough to cure. I want it to be understood so it’s not taboo to mention the word Lyme. I want to see that doctors understand how Lyme can be prevented with quick & aggressive treatment and that they would learn about the many other pathogens that can be transmitted which also make people chronically sick. I want to see parents understand how they can protect themselves but also their children who are at highest risk.
As much as I want to forget about Lyme Disease and just move on in life I can’t. It’s part of me, part of my life and most importantly, part of my testimony. It’s how I share with others the wonderful and great things God has done for me & for my family, of His provision, care and tender love.
It’s a hard journey and so often I hate it but as my dear friend gently told me, “God hand-picked this just for you!” I don’t have a specific Bible verse that says, Tricia – God gave this burden to you. What I do have is the knowledge that God is personally and intimately involved in my life and I believe that He could have prevented my whole family from getting this dreaded disease. Equally, I believe that if He chose not to prevent it then He allowed it.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
If we were to sit together, I could tell you how God has used this illness in my family to help me grow in maturity and in my trust in him. Where fear used to rule peace and faith live. Where anger raged, patience and gentleness control.
There are so many wonderful things God has done in my life through chronic Lyme and so when I’m tempted to want to forget about Lyme Disease I’m reminded that I could never and should never forget.
When I grow weary and discouraged I know I can call a few dear friends who will pray for me, encourage me but most importantly remind me of all that God is doing in my life.
I’ll leave you with this word from scripture.
JAMES 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.