NOTE: The following post was written earlier this morning during a flare up. I went back to bed and feel much better now. If you called or were concerned, thank you. Flares can last for as little as 2 minutes or as long as two days. You never know and that's one of the sucky things about Lyme and other autoimmune diseases.
As Denise Lang wrote in her book Coping with Lyme Disease, "The experience of Lyme is such that a patient will have unusual symptoms to the point of being disbelieved by doctors and family and finally disbelieving him - or herself. The disease follows a waxing and waning course. You can't predict how you're going to feel from one symptom to the next."
Although we don't know for sure that I have Lyme yet, my symptoms certainly fit the bill. It's a crazy disease. One day your chasing down the cause of rashes, the next your chasing down stomach or arthritis pain. My hope in writing this is not for pity, but to shed some light and understanding. If it helps just one person be more sympathetic or figure out what's bothering them, it's worth it to me. Thanks for reading.
It's 6:41am and my mind is going crazy. My left foot aches, both hands hurt, my right hip burns, and it feels like someone applied Vick's VapoRub to the inside of my chest and stomach. I'd give anything to rest, but I'm wide awake - jacked up with energy - even though I barely slept for two hours.
Since 2:00am, I've stared at the clock in the bedroom. The pain is unbearable...like the pain that makes you call 9-1-1 in a fancy restaurant. It won't subside, so I grab my pillow, feel around in the dark for some socks, find my computer, and hunker down in hopes of a quick passing.
Desperate for relief, I limp to the front bathroom. Hot water + epsom salt provide some comfort, but it's still pretty awful. The pain and chill migrates. My face tingles. My forearms turn cold. My neck stiffens. My left elbow feels broken. My side feels like it's being stabbed with a dull poker.
To distract myself, I look up classes at the YMCA. Yoga, Tai Chi, or light stretching sound good, but I can't bring myself to get dressed or put on tennis shoes. Restless, I turn on the television. Sadly, I watch Vicki Lawrence promote a George Foreman knockoff grill. Now muted, the Appliance Direct lady (wearing her traditional green plaid outfit) tries to sell me a dryer.
I no longer feel positive or accepting. My fingers ache, my jaw hurts, and honestly, if I had them, I would take some heavy duty narcotics.
In pain and miserable, I finally start to feel sleepy. So, I check my spreadsheet, take my prescribed herbs, and shuffle off to bed. On my way there, I worry about: finding receipts for my accountant, mailing a package, scheduling lab work, canceling my phone service, how my husband's doing, and how we're going to stay afloat in the upcoming weeks.
"I can't deal with that now," I think before I publish this post. One minute at time. One minute at a time.
Altered Today: Sharing Myself, Understanding Chronic Illness and What It's Like to Be Sick