It’s been about two months now since I stopped antibiotic therapy for Lyme. Up until last week, I have had only confidence in my decision that I was finished with treatment. I had run out of money for treatment with my doctor in Seattle and I figured you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. So I did. And I felt good about it.
Then, the ringing in my left ear came back with a vengeance. At first, I thought, “gosh, my allergies are really bad this year.” Because they are. Then my teeth started to hurt so bad when I brush, that I had to stop using my electric toothbrush. TMJ pain started up again also. This is when the fear crept in. It was a slow creep in the beginning. I was able to talk myself off of a cliff pretty easily. Then, I went and did a mountain bike trip with friends on one of the San Juan Islands and the fear got pretty darn loud. I had been having intestinal distress for about three days and that day wasn’t any different. On top of that, I started to get some brain fog. Then, I bent over to pick up my hydration pack off of the ground and completely strained my shoulder for no apparent reason. Overall, I felt weak and unhealthy. However, I was still able to ride just fine. I was insanely tired the next day and found myself sitting around the house all day despite sunshine and warm temperatures outside. Then I really started to worry. It was happening. I was getting sick again. My worst nightmare was coming true. What would I do? How would I pay for more treatment? How could this happen?
Fear is an ugly thing and although some level of fear is healthy, when you reach the paranoia level, it isn’t. I was there. I could feel myself holding my breath and my stomach getting tighter. Lyme Disease was the absolute hardest thing I ever had to experience and I want so badly to never have to go through that again. My brain latched onto every small pain or discomfort in my body and the sense of dread was overwhelming. Then, I woke up the next day with a cold/flu. That was it. That’s why I had been feeling tired all weekend. I was coming down with a cold. No big deal.
So now I sit here mouth breathing, and contemplating my future and hoping that I have the courage to move forward without fear, since the concept that we can predict even the next moment is ludicrous. To understand that even if I DID relapse, I could find a way to get well again. I don’t want to live in fear of this illness. I want to practice calm abiding for whatever comes my way.
Letting go is hard. But I am trying. For now, please excuse my paranoia.