May 5, 2011

Lyme Disease? You've got to be kidding me!

Over the next seven years so much had happened. I will try my best to fast forward and keep it brief. My headaches completely disappeared about two and half months post-op. I felt so different. It was awesome! I could actually think without pushing the thoughts through the pain. It was a miracle of Modern-Day Medicine! I would get an occasional "normal" headache, take two Tylenol and it was gone! All I could say was "wow". I continued to have joint and muscle pain and my back still gave me problems. My short term memory was completely shot ( which kind of freaked me out at times) and I lost the ability to plan. That was so difficult to deal with because I was so incredibly organized and organization gave me a sense of control. I was unable to go back to work. Can you imagine having a nurse take care of you who did not have a short term memory or organizational skills? What a recipe for disaster! I stayed busy with volunteer work at my church. I sang, and worked with the teen ministry. I even became a foster parent. I needed some sense of purpose. So I learned to work within the realm of my abilities. I kept my Nursing license and continued to work on my continuing educational credits in hopes that one day I would regain my lost memory. Over the course of the following year, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. I had to see an expert in Conneticut because no one in RI was treating the then controversial disease. I had to pay out of pocket and the visits were $500 a pop! The doctor surmised that I had contracted the bacterium sometime in my childhood while camping in the woods of southern RI. The treatment was brutal. The first week on the antibiotics was rough. I felt like my body was run over by an 18 wheeler. My eyeballs burned and the medicine was hard on my stomach. Over the next five years, I was treated with both antibiotics and herbal remedies. Every time I stopped the treatment, the joint pain and chronic fatigue would return. Then one day, the pain and extreme sleepiness were gone. However, I still continued with the spinal and leg pain. It was hard to climb a flight of stairs and almost impossible for me to walk around the block. The lack of movement and all the meds put weight on me and I felt horrible. So, I decided to join the YMCA and take water aerobics. It was non weight bearing and do-able. I went three times a week for a couple of years until one day, I could no longer even do that. The pain in my hip and back could no longer bare the movements.
I was then forced to quit.