Tuesday, August 1, 2017

You Don't Look Sick...Or You Do!

     Most times Lyme Disease leaves us in an almost non functioning condition. Simply walking from one room to another seems a huge effort. The majority of us have pain, fatigue, stiffness, brain fog, depression and several other symptoms. Yet we might look perfectly fine.
     On the other hand, some of us do not look fine. We appear sallow, become very thin and have that worn out look. 
     During my various bouts with Lyme, I have had times when I looked ill and other times when I looked perfectly well.
                                                  Lyme - looking too thin and ill phase

                                                               Looking fine phase

     There have been incidents after which I'd decided that it was better if I looked sick, this way when I say I can't do this or that, or go here and there, it is not viewed as laziness, an excuse, or not wanting to be social or helpful...whatever the case might be. Even if I verbalize that I am not feeling up to it, my appearance sometimes contradicted it.
     It is important to do what we have to do to feel better, even if it means missing out on certain events, social activities and even obligations. We need to rest, to pamper our bodies and our minds, as we seek healing of this disease.
      And since there is a lot of ignorance concerning Lyme Disease, it's difficult for those who don't have it to grasp the myriad of symptoms that can swoop down upon us and render us unable to do what we want and often times, what we need to do.
      Many assume when you get Lyme Disease, you have some aches and pains, you take Tylenol and an antibiotic and it's over and done with. That's a possibility but not a common outcome.
     Most people with Lyme Disease have a lot of pain to the point that doing ordinary chores and day-to-day things is a real struggle and exhausting. The pain tends to move around in a lot of us. One day it's our shoulders and then it's the hips and knees or all of these. New pains and discomforts pop up out of nowhere. One day I was shopping at the supermarket and suddenly felt as if my legs could not move. It's often a roller coaster of  feeling terrible and then feeling a bit better.
     The point is, how we will feel each day is unpredictable. So, when we do not feel well, we cannot always say 'yes' to others and that is OK. We might have to cancel going to a luncheon, a shopping trip, dinner with friends, or on a date. And that's OK too.
      If we are fortunate to look well and healthy but feel awful, we need to speak up. At the same time we are educating others about Lyme Disease, so it's a good thing. :)     


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