Pardon my hiatus. It’s August, and I have been busy sowing, hoeing, harvesting, and selling vegetables. In my off time, I have been too weary to find words and inspiration. I have had more good days than bad and am operating steadily at a 6 to 7 out of 10. I am farming most days of the week, which is gratifying, tiring, and enjoyable. I have spent long hours bent over harvesting carrots, beets, and peppers, yanking out weeds and sweating out toxins. I am heavily medicated and highly caffeinated, but I am out doing and that feeds my heart more than any pharmaceutical.
I have made a few friends and spoken with many people through Lyme disease and this blog. Every single contact has been uplifting and educational. I have received many questions that I am unable to answer. “Why is it so difficult to get tested, diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease?” I have asked myself the same question. Why do the majority of doctors in this area deny Lyme’s existence, yet I receive postcards from the veterinarian reminding me to get my dogs vaccinated for the same disease?
This summer, Rolling Stone published an article about Lyme disease, the controversy, and celebrities who have been affected by the infection. They stated, “Lyme has been a known disease for several decades, but only in the past five years has it forced its way into cultural and medical relevance and become something that's widely discussed. Lyme is now the focus of A-list fundraising galas and E! News headlines. Unfortunately, the increased attention hasn't translated to a more hopeful prognosis for Lyme sufferers . . . For a disease that's been studied for 40 years, with many prominent people pushing for answers, the truly shocking thing about Lyme disease is how much of a mystery it still is.”
Though we don't have all the answers, we are still fighting and finding hope every day.
Virginia Commonwealth University News reports of a researcher who “has developed a test to more effectively detect Lyme disease in humans. And after successfully developing a Lyme disease vaccine for canines last year, VCU researchers are now closing in on a human vaccine for the disease.”
I have spent nearly 2 and 1/2 years being sick. My life is suddenly divided into before and after Lyme. Someday soon I will walk upright without a cane or a wobble or a limp. I look forward to when this illness doesn't dictate my plans, my pace. I can't wait to plow through my days and adventures without a nap and when I can go to town without a bucket of pills to keep me going. I crave a good day without fear of paying for it later.
According to the Huffington Post, “In December, President Obama passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes a specific clause that requires reform in the ways that Lyme and other tickborne diseases are addressed by the federal government. This is extraordinarily significant, and is a reason for Lyme disease patients, physicians and other advocates to be both hopeful and vigilant.”
At this point I would rather fight a tiger than battle Lyme Disease. The pace of this race is still much slower than I would like, but I’m still in it and moving forward bit by bit. Most days after work I collapse into a pitiful puddle in my reclining chair with my best pal Harvey. However, the other evening, after a full day of farming, I hopped on my shiny red bicycle and tapped into my old self. My dog Harvey and I ventured down the road to the park, wind in our faces and around and around until we made it back home. It was a short ride but a huge sign of progress. I can see the rainbow on the other side of this shit storm, and I believe we are approaching the happily ever after.
In the past couple years The Mountain Goats have comforted me with lyrics that sing straight to my heart. “This Year” is one song that speaks to me and this Lyme adventure.
“My broken house behind me and good things ahead
I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me”