This is not how it was supposed to go. I was very social, loved being out, active and involved. I was incredibly active, competitive and adventurous. I managed 50 properties and parks, taught health and fitness, loved the outdoors and inspiring others to do the same. So how is it that I am sitting bundled inside on a snowy day, grateful for my puppy companion, trying desperately to figure out how I got here. Is it possible that a one second move, an improper removal of a tick, derailed my whole life, the existence of who I thought I was and who I was going to become? I dare say, it was.
I don’t know this person, who just four short years ago was doing a 300km hike, in record time, by herself, training for an ironman and always rallying her friends to join her in something active and outdoors. That person is so non-existent now, that it is almost hard to believe she ever existed.
That person now, has used up most of her savings on treatments, has no income, tries desperately to make plans that usually she can’t follow through with, has a Doctor in the US that will only treat Lyme, a GP that won’t treat lyme and another doctor, that won’t treat Lyme, nor someone without a GP and an insurance company that denied her claim because her diagnosis’ don’t match and a government that for 3 years has promised to do something about this epidemic, but has done nothing. Lost and lonely doesn’t begin to describe how that makes someone feel.
I never imagined life in a country where a major epidemic that I suffered from would be ignored, or a doctor who would say “I don’t want to hear about it”, or decades of hard work and commitment that would pay into a benefits plan that would deny with one quick stroke. All of those simple promises that were made to me growing up in a privileged country have been denied. This is not how it was supposed to go. This is not how I was promised my life would be, not even close.
So I sit here fighting this lonely disease that stops me from doing all the active things I love to do, that keeps me from friends and social activities that I enjoy and makes me feel abandoned by a system that I believed in and yet, I feel blessed. I have family who have stepped up and helped me along the way. I have friends who have changed their schedules and accommodated my needs at every chance. I have co-workers that check in and remind me there is a place when I am better. Local businesses have offered assistance in amazing ways and community groups that have funded and helped in unusual ways.
As I sit here feeling abandoned and alone I realize I am anything but. I am blessed. I am not alone. Somehow, at the other end of this will emerge me, the real me. The new me that will from now on, will believe in my instincts instead of only the professionals that so badly let me down. The me that now knows I don’t live in a country with equal rights and care for all. The me that will fight for a cause knowing that justice doesn’t always prevail. And the me, that will find a way to help others, much like me, who are lost and lonely. I look forward to meeting that version of me when I get to the other end of this battle. Until then, I will have to believe in all of that or I will become bitter and hurt by the system that let me down.
I have to believe there is a greater purpose in all of this. I have to believe that we deserve better. I have to believe justice will eventually prevail. I have to believe that someone with influence will soon listen. I have to believe action will take place sooner than later. I have to believe that this insane reality will end someday and solutions will be available. I have to believe that someday, someone will admit they wronged us. I have to believe it will all sort itself out, because until then I am lost and lonely in Lyme with only my blessings and my belief.
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