When I first got sick, I realized right away that I needed help. I did not have a car to travel from my college campus to the hospitals for blood work. I did not rely on any one person to get me to the hospital for EEG's or Blood work, but several people came to my aide that first semester at school. I began school there in August and by the end of the month I was at the beginning of my illness. I did not have that many established friends so I had to heavily rely on new relationships.
I felt awful that I was needing so much from these new relationships, but they often told me not to worry. There were about three friends that took time to help me often. I stayed friends with all three of them throughout college even after I had my own transportation. In fact, one of the three of them I still talk to once a week on the computer.
Well, when I began heavy treatment I realized I would need some help if I wanted to get well. I would need help from my doctors, from my family and from my friends. Now I really wanted to 100 percent do it all on my own, but I knew that wasn't really an option. At the beginning of the heavy duty treatments, I was going to the office twice a week. After each treatment, it was pretty much required to be carried out of the place and placed into bed. I could barely do anything for myself. My husband would drop me off, go to work for a couple of hours, come back drive me home and then go back to work for a couple of hours. He often missed 2 to 3 hours of the work day when he had to do all of this.
So I had to work it out with family & friends to help. He would drop me off and they would pick me up. I will be completely honest ... I would try 200 percent harder not to look like I felt when family or friends came to pick me up. I wanted to look okay. Inside it felt like the world was going about 500 miles a minute and my brain was going about 5 inches a minute. I would begin to think, "Put one foot in front of the other. Repeat. Don't Drool Jennifer. Don't Drool. Wake UP Jennifer. Put one foot in front of the other. Repeat. Wake up Jennifer. Stop Drooling. Repeat."
Then one day one of my friends that came to pick me up said, "Why are you trying so hard? We know how hard this is. Let us help you." He picked me up and carried me out of the doctor's office. I barely remember things from treatment, but I remember that moment. It was in that moment I realized that they did not care that I felt like a drug addict going through withdrawals that had the flu ... They just cared about me and would do anything to help me feel better.
With Lyme, I discovered how important my friends are to me. I learned who would do and who wouldn't. Who can handle the illness and who could only handle me well. I knew who I could call to complain and who I could call for jokes and who I could call for help.
This video I'm posting is by Connie Strasheim discussing an excerpt of her book "The Lyme Disease Survival Guide: Physical, Lifestyle and Emotional Strategies for Healing," .... specifically how it relates to, "They Will Never, Ever Understand: Accepting Friends' and Family's Limitations."