Saturday, January 3, 2015

Yes You Have Found Your Tribe

  I hear this question so many times from new patients diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  I finally got a diagnosis now what?  It can seem like a daunting task and very overwhelming.  I know I remember the week my blood results came back from Quest Labs and my Naturopathic Doctor looked at me and said "you tested positive for Lyme Disease".  My jaw dropped to the floor.  I was hoping for something other than that, something easy.  I didn't think there was a cure for Lyme Disease which is what scared me the most.  I went into a depression for a couple of weeks because I was rocked out of my denial.  And no that doesn't make sense, I felt horrible.  I had nightmares, restless leg syndrome, brain fog, migraines, mood swings, depression, anxiety, bruised easily, I forgot stuff easily, I was angry, upset and I felt all alone.  So you think I would of been so happy to be diagnosed.  Instead I felt more afraid of what was yet to come.  I felt no one could prepare me for the journey ahead.  No one could tell me I would be better sooner than later.  
As I look back at that moment I realize now all the things I could of done differently.  I think the biggest one was being real with myself.  I was miserable and I felt like I was dying from the inside out.  I could face facts and move forward or stay stuck.  I wish I could of given myself more time to grieve the loss of health, loss of myself, loss of the ability to just feel like a normal human.  I wish I had gotten counseling and support sooner.  I didn't have a lot of self love to begin with.  I never really took good care of myself.  I took care of my husband and son and when that was done I had nothing left.  If I had only realized that they would be okay with out me a bit while I took care of myself and healed up.  I didn't need to wear a super woman cape.  Being Lyme Disease was heroic enough.  I have to admit its has been a hard battle but I have made strides and improvements.  Now sick or well or in between I am myself as best I can be.  The dishes and laundry might pile up while my son and I rest and watch a movie.  But I've learned to let things go.  I've learned to be my own best advocate.  And I've seen how all this experience has helped me to reach out to another hand and say "yes you have found your tribe."  
 I have also cabinet's full of help and I try to keep my favorite things around to soothe me when I feel my worst.  My husband, son, and two cats help ground me.  They remind me joining the living is worth it.  When I'm having a flare I feel like I'm from another planet.  Always loosing stuff.  Forgetting stuff.  And sleeping.  Lots of sleeping.  I am lucky enough to have neighbors, friends and family who understand.  So don't give up on them.  They may take time to understand what you are going through but some may get there sooner than you think.  They may even surprise you and offer you help.  Whatever you do, don't stop doing the things you love.  Photography and making cards have gotten me through some tough days and weeks.  You may discover some hobbies you can do while lying down in bed.  Anything is possible.  Please keep your imagination, creativity, hope, and humor.  You will be surprised how much you will need them.  And Yes you too in time will be the hand that reaches out to someone new and says "yes you have found your tribe".