It's been over a year since my diagnosis.
Thousands of shots.
Thousands of pills.
I stutter and tremble. I've pissed myself, crapped my pants, convulsed, seized, cried, drooled and I vomit more often than many people sneeze. At times I've been unable to grip a pen or to spell my name.
All because of an itsy bitsy filthy little tick the size of a poppy seed.
I remember crying in relief the day I got the diagnosis. Finally! An explanation for years of bizarre medical troubles. Finally! A path back to normalcy.
Because A leads to B, right? Diagnosis begets treatment which provides recovery. RIGHT? I'm learning that it's not that simple, especially when the infection has spread to one's central nervous system. After thirteen months of hardcore drugs my systems are exhausted, my bank account is zero and my improvements are modest albeit certainly appreciated.
I'm weaning myself off all the medications to give my body a break. I need to reassess. I need time to decide what's next. I was told that recovery is a marathon and I don't know which mile markers I've passed, but I'm sitting down for a bit on the curb.
As the weather turns warmer and you head outside, I beg of you:
CHECK YOSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOSELF
If you find a tick on yourself, proceed immediately to your doctor and do not pass go. Do not leave their office until you have a fistful of antibiotics. I wouldn't wish Lyme Disease on my worst enemy. Had I been treated initially, as a child, I might have been spared this hellfire. I can't change that but I can shout from the rooftops so it doesn't happen to you.
Actually, that's a lie. I can't shout.
But I can stutter and d-d-d-d-ammit, I c-c-c-care about you. W-w-w-watch for these tiny m-m-m-monsters.