Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice
Over the past few days, the early morning temperature has been hovering in the mid-‘30s; I don’t like these low temperatures and the feeling of being cold from head to toe.
I’ve always complained about feeling cold. My husband teases me about this and blames my Mom for always bundling me up when I was little. I usually scoff when I hear his explanation and would reply with a snarky comment that in my previous life, I must have lived in the desert.
Lyme disease is known as the “Great Imitator” as there are over 300 symptoms of Lyme; Lyme can present differently in different individuals. Lower body temperature is one of those symptoms that seems to affect me adversely.
This week, the bone-chilling cold has moved its way into my joints, causing me to move a bit slower. My office is set up in the coldest part of the house in the northwest corner of our home which gets the least amount of natural sunlight. I have work to do, yet I am cold as I sit at my desk. It is hard for me to stay focused and on task. The cold days make me want to climb back in bed or hunker down on the sofa, buried beneath a mound of blankets.
Friends have posted on social media about the cold; a few have commented about how it is affecting their health from colds and flu to fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
When I read posts about the latter, my immediate thought is “Check for Lyme. Please, oh please, check for Lyme.”
My Lyme journey has led me to believe that Western medicine typically looks at symptoms, rather than cause. I experienced air hunger, sinus infections, and headaches and was treated for asthma, allergies, and migraines. I had fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety and was treated for fibromyalgia and depression. The symptoms were accurate, however, the diagnoses were not.
When my current doctor asked if I was ever bitten by a tick, I was caught off guard.
I told her that I remember being 10 years old and, while on a Girl Scout overnight, found a tick embedded in my belly button.
I remember the doctor’so office and lying naked on an examination table, held down by my Mom and a nurse while the doctor removed a tick from my bellybutton and a second one from my groin. I remember the embarrassment and humiliation of that doctor’s visit as well as being very ill and having to take antibiotics.
For years, I never felt healthy yet nobody, myself included, ever considered the possibility of an underlying cause.
Never, never, in a million years, would I ever think “Lyme”.
I wish my Mom was still here; I’d ask her what remembers. She had a great memory and would have remembered the tick bite and my tears at the doctor’s office but alas, she isn’t. I am just grateful I now have an answer.
I can’t help but comment “Please check for Lyme” for when I do, I feel I am helping to shed some light on a disease that has been in the dark far too long.