As a part of Lyme Disease, I suffer from cognitive issues. I swear my IQ has gone down since my illness took hold, but also since I started treatment.
I use to be a smart cookie. I could multitask with ease and I once had a sharp sense of humour. I successfully completed a Master’s degree in Public Administration, completed the strategic development process for a number of organizations and am raising two little boys.
However, now, I can only handle little bits of information at a time or my systems overflow. That is the only way I can describe it.
Reading comprehension is difficult for me, so I am finding that I am not reading as much as I use to. I am also having to write down things so I don’t remember.
This is more than “just getting older” and forgetting.
And this is why I my posts and articles are less than 500 words.
With Lyme Disease comes some pretty odd symptoms, like the morning my big toe turned purple for no apparent reason.
Or the full body twitches.
Or when my jaw locks up.
This morning is no different.
I woke up with these three little dots on the inside of my arm. They look like a face to me.
I have no idea what they are.
Was I abducted by aliens? And is this their calling card?
Someone asked me about the name of this blog….I Prefer Gin with My Lyme. They were wondering what it means….
It is suppose to be funny.
The joke is that if I were to ever have Lyme Disease (lime), I would like it in my gin and tonic. But sadly, I have Lyme Disease and not lime in my cocktail.
I once heard a comedian say that if you have to explain the joke, then you are not a comedian and you aren’t funny.
That statement is true.
It has been 7 months since I disappeared. Seven months since I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease and went on medical leave from work and started treatment.
When people ask me where am I and I tell them that I have Lyme Disease. Sometimes get, “oh no! Get better soon!” or “that sucks” or even “too bad”. I chalk it up to folks not understanding what Chronic Lyme Disease is all about.
Lyme is carried by a nasty little fuckers called ticks. There are over 20 types of ticks in British Columbia. I was bit by a Lone Star Tick that gave me Lyme and Ehrlichia.
My symptoms include:
joint pain & arthritis
heart complications (POTS, heart block, PVCs, thickening of the heart etc.)
neurological issues (confusion, difficulty concentration, brain fog, memory loss, etc.)
teeth grinding and TMJ
There are other more gloomy syptoms that I would prefer to foget. Lyme is a chronic and complex disease and it has impacted every single system in my body.
To further complicate things, not everyone with Lyme Disease has the same systems. And since the Center for Disease Control (CDC), does not recognize chronic Lyme Disease (for reasons I do not understand), there are no consistent treatement protocols.
Lyme Disease is a intricate illness with no cure and limited treatment options.
There you go. Lyme Disease 101.
As you can see, Derrick is back. Or did he ever really leave?
The summer I was 16 years, I lived in Ottawa, Canada. It was one of those cliché summers that movies are made of. It was the first summer my friends and I could drive. We would head out to the banks of the Ottawa River to catch fire flies and have bush parties around the fire.
That summer I was also bit by a tick on my arm. It gave a ‘funny rash’. I didn’t think much about it.
By Christmas I had lost considerable weight, was depressed and I could not concentrate. By February, I was unable to attend school and I ended up in hospital. I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
I never recovered. I struggled with fatigue and body pain.
On a hot summer night when I was 30, my husband and I had a romantic picnic in the park. I was wearing a cute summer dress, eating sashimi and sipping white wine in the grass. It was lovely.
The next morning, woke up with a huge bull’s eye rash on the back of my leg. I went to a walk-in clinic and was told by the physician, “well that looks interesting” and was told to simply watch it and not to worry about Lyme Disease is not in British Columbia.
I pushed through and got my Master’s degree, got married, had two babies, traveled and had a rewarding career.
And it was slowly killing me.
I could not focus, I slept a lot, I snuck naps whenever possible, my body was on fire and my heart felt like it might just explode.
I went to my doctor. A lot.
She recommended that I exercise. So I did. I started to run 5 km races.
She recommended that I take antidepressants. So I did.
She recommended that this is simply life for working moms. I believed her.
But then, after the loss of a pregnancy, I decided that I needed to take control of my health. My life.
I did my own research, found specialists for my symptoms and I am in the process of being diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. The effects have impacted every system in body, resulting in more diagnoses. I am just now getting treatment.
This blog is my journey.
Derrick and Angela have vacated the premises.
I asked the surgeon if I could record a short video of the procedure for all you guys who like watching gross online videos (Hello, Dr. Pimple Popper). But the fine doctor declined.
After he frozen my hand, he took a large, wide gage needle and pulled out a bunch of orange goo from my wrist & then he put a cute bandage on it.
It didn’t hurt much, but I am wondering how I will feel once the freezing come out?
Let me introduce you to Derrick the Ganglion cyst.
He appeared a year ago and he is a bit of jerk (thus his name–he is named after my sister`s ex boyfriend). He is also annoying, gets in the way and is generally a pain. Also like my sister`s ex boyfriend.
A few months ago, he got a girlfriend named Angela (named from American version of The Office and equally as annoying as Derrick). They live side by side on my left wrist. My Sweetie jokes that they will have babies soon.
Not so fast buddy.
Wednesday I have an appointment to get them book removed. The jig is up. It is eviction day.
I have asked my Sweetie to record the procedure.
But do not fear—-it is my objective to do the video footage myself.
Today is rough day in Lyme Land. It is day four of my 8th round of IV antibiotic treatment. I am doing the IV treatment at home, which I am thank you for as it saves me time, effort and money doing. But I depend on my Sweetie to do it.
I have been with my Sweetie for over 17 years. We met when we were young and I was healthy. He is my comfort, my touchstone, my cheerleader. And in recent months, he has become my care giver.
I depend on him not only to do my IVs but also to wash my hair as I cannot do it alone anymore. He prepares my meals and takes me to doctor`s appointments. In fact, he takes notes as I have cognitive issues and I often forget what my doctors say.
I am dependent upon him and it kills me.
I am struggling to let go of so much; my career, my sailing, my quick wit and now, my independence. I try to focus on the positive and be thankful that I have my Sweetie. But at times, I feel like a burden and a disappointment to him.
I am angry.