Sunday, January 2, 2011


Time was, this part of the year had me in bed with the covers over my head as I cried myself to sleep. Christmas, my birthday, New Year's--all markers of one more year gone, one more year of nothing but illness to look back on.

But I can look back on 2010 and say it was a truly good year. The Poet and I had many happy moments together, I had two short stories accepted for publication, I danced in the Fremont Soltice Parade, I started running and riding a bike again, and I passed many content hours working on my stories and my memoir.

And yet, when people ask me how I am doing and how I spend my time, this is only part of the picture. The truth is, I still spend hours and hours a day being a Lyme patient. The routine I go through just to get to bed (Heparin injection, endless pills, several glasses of Vitamin C and Alkaseltzer Gold, plus brushing teeth, etc) takes 45 to 60 minutes! Many more minutes go by during the day taking pills, calling pharmacies, going to the doctor, getting myofascial release so my legs don't cramp up, and of course the daily nap and 90 minutes devoted to exercise so my lymph system doesn't clog up and keep me from sleeping.
It seems so crazy, almost impossible to explain-- how can I be so much better and still have so much of my time taken up in these seemingly trivial tasks that in my mind should take no time at all? Why does taking a nap and exercising each day mean I can't also spend a full day writing, or holding down an actual job?

The truth is, after three years of treatment, I still spend over half of what I consider 'work' hours on Lyme, and it's no less complicated than it was.
But now the hours when I am free from Lyme are truly mine. I'm not watching TV, or staring out the window in a daze, or sewing because it's all I have the energy for. I am strong and focused, I am zooming around. My sister-in-law, who has only known me after I got sick, said last summer when I arrived at her house on my bike, having just been swimming and now ready to babysit, it was as if she saw the real me for the first time.

Time was, on New Year's Eve I would always say the same thing: 'let this be the year, please please let this be the year I get better.' Now I now that in the coming year I will get better. I am still working with Lyme, or working my way around Lyme, but now I have other hopes for the coming year that have nothing to do with Lyme disease at all.

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