Yesterday I spent the day with one of my closest friends and his family on his birthday. Lyme has taught me a number of things. I can roll of information about Lyme Disease and Ticks in a moment's notice. I don't have to think about it anymore. It is just ingrained. There is one small thing that Lyme taught me. If I could take Lyme away and never have had it in the first place, if that meant not learning this one thing ... I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't give it back. I would take this journey all over again as long as I learned this one thing.
Lyme Disease is very tough on friendships. I've lost some friends along the journey of Lyme. It is just what it is. However, you know how you have friends that you don't realize how special they are until they do something to step it up? Something unthinkable. Well this post is about how a friendship like that came to be. We were merely acquaintances in middle and high school until he stepped it up when I needed it. It had nothing to do with Lyme Disease or health issues. I didn't even know I needed it, but he stepped it up. Ever since, we were tight friends. When we both went to college, we emailed a lot. He became my sounding board. When I was going through unbelievable trials and tribulations, he listened. I didn't want suggestions. I just wanted someone to listen. And listen he did.
When I finally got diagnosed with Lyme, he was one of the first friends I told. He rejoiced with me in the fact that the unknown was finally known. He shared my sorrow in the fact that the journey would be a long one. I shared my concern that I would lose all of my friends and he made me a promise that our friendship would remain strong and intact no matter what I experienced. I am blessed by the way with some of the best friends ever --- Lyme has made those bonds stronger.
When I was undergoing the most experimental and controversial of treatments, he didn't criticize my choices. He didn't question the doctor's choices. He just listened and when I had run out of ride home options --- he offered to pick me up after a treatment. After those treatments, it wasn't pretty. I did not like people to see me like that. It was difficult to walk. It was difficult to talk. The muscles in my mouth didn't work properly after a treatment and it was difficult to swallow my own saliva. And each treatment was slightly different in end results, but I needed rides to the treatment and home from the treatment.
I did not want a "friend" to see me "like that." My husband was my main "escort." He carried me to the treatment always and most of the time he picked me up to carry me home. However, we needed help. So I called on my immediate family. One week, they couldn't help and I thought I was going to have to stay at the doctor's office until night. I was "woah is me-ing" to this friend and he said, "I can pick you up if you need." I was shocked and had to decide if seeing me like that was something he could handle and allowing a friend to see me like that was something I could handle.
I confided in him the things he might possibly see and asked if he could handle it. I trusted him when he said he could handle it. Leave it to me to have the worst reaction ever on the day he had to pick me up. He literally had to carry me to his car, carry me into my home and as I stumbled to try to make it on my own, he picked me up and put me in my own bed. I don't remember much from this day, but I remember thinking how very blessed I was to have a friend that would be willing to literally pick me up from treatment. I was terrified that I would never see him again after he saw me limply laying there looking like that with a mouth full of saliva rolling down my cheek, hitting my chin and drenching my shirt, but that moment brought us closer together as friends.
Like I said, if it meant that I wouldn't learn this one simple thing, I would not take this journey back. I would do it all over again.
Now onto the Advocacy part of my blog post.
Advocating Lyme One Blog Post at a Time.
We are one week into Lyme Disease Awareness Month. This is the 7th post about Lyme Disease in the month. I found a video created by a woman that includes 7 Lyme facts that could have improved her health. If she had known these things, she wouldn't be as sick as she is now. She created it for you to learn to help prevent others from getting as sick as she has.
There was only one part I truly was conflicted on. It was regarding the use of Tom Tick Twister. I have no personal experience with this tick removal tool, but I've always been told to avoid twisting a tick upon removal. I don't know how this tool works, but it appears that it's twisting around the tick. I personally prefer fine point tweezers or the Pro Tick Remedy.
I hope you enjoy the video.