You *look* great

You look great by jujuridl
You look great, a photo by jujuridl on Flickr.

The tick bites and leaves its bacteriae and pathogens behind, and those frack with your immune system, and your brain and heart and joints, maybe a kidney… But except for palsy or a rash, no one sees them at work.

You still look like a normal person. The lesions and clots are under your skin. And except for the hallucinations and the staring fits, usually no one but the people who know you very well have any idea how Not You you really are.

You see your friends when you are well enough to be seen, but not when you are in bed, blindfolded, on anti-nausea drugs and enough painkillers to stop a horse.

So, you know, you look good. And if Fernando was right, that’s what really matters.

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19 thoughts on “You *look* great

  1. You are so right! It is so good to hear someone else say what I feel! I am so sorry that you feel this way though. Will we ever get well? What do you think?

    • I think yes. It is three steps forward, two back. The two backward ones always depress me, but then I look back at my symptom log (so important to keep one, if only for this purpose) and see that the general trend is definitely upward. I spend every day out of bed now, rather than half my days in bed. I hurt, but I don’t hurt so much that I can’t do stuff. I’m confused much of the time, but I can drive safely. Etc. It’s a slow recovery, but it is definitely recovery… Might be managing this thing forever, but I’m hoping for really long remissions and regaining some level of fitness. Courage, lady!

    • There is hope! It took me 2 years and massive doses of antibiotics, supplements, etc. to get better. Now my only continuing symptom is joint pain. Hang in there and sure to find a LLD. You can get better.

  2. I,for one, am sick and tired of covering up and acting like it’s all normal. I am well enough to go to work every day and my job is stressful and demanding. I got really weird at a meeting one time and had to explain afterward that I was dealing with an illness and no, I didn’t really mean to be such a nasty bitch. I was on 3 strong antibiotics and probably had severe die off that affected my brain. All I remember is that I was practically delirious. I don’t even know how I was able to function that day. But the truth is, nobody knew I was sick at all. I had become so good at covering up.

    • I completely blanked at a meeting. Very awful. Standing there at the whiteboard, unable to recall the prople in front of me or the presentation I had worked over for a couple of weeks prior. No stage fright. Just blank. I think I covered, awkwardly. But yuck, what a terrible memory. Here’s to no more of those meetings, Raven.

  3. Same goes for us with fibromyalgia, some types of ms– and some of my cancer patients– but we are NOT ok…

  4. That’s what I hear again and again. You look good! but inside OMG! what do you say to that? gee thanks, would you please hold me up for the next fifteen minutes? Oh, by the way, i don’t have the energy to feed myself, would you please get me a nice big milkshake with a straw?

  5. That’s what I hear again and again. You look good! but inside OMG! what do you say to that? gee thanks, would you please hold me up for the next fifteen minutes? Oh, by the way, i don’t have the energy to feed myself, would you please get me a nice big milkshake with a straw?
    It’s really hard for me to ask for anything from people. But with Lyme you have to learn to ask. We need all the help we can get. Your blog is helpful. Thanks again for sharing. We are not alone.

  6. hiya! thank god for your drawing and humor. i’m sick of denying myself ‘gallows’ humor so i sound ‘together’, you know, heroic Joan of F-ing Arc saying, ‘it’s ok, i’m just having a ‘challenging’ day’. how freakin scoured is that! it’s been an awful nightmare, undiagnosed for 5 years! Now diagnosed, in treatment for 15 months. I could kiss you for the “let’s NOT make a deal” cartoon. i would love to forward to the understanding few, how can i lift it from the site? again, for use with other lymies and my bewildered family. it’s a genius way of explaining the factions, fantasy and f-ing hell!

    i know how hard it can be to read and write…i’ve got the light sensitivity too…i look like an italian lounge singer, so i want you to know how much i appreciate your sacrifice to post. you rule!
    Hope

    • HOPE! Thanks for your wonderful note. So, you go to the post you like, click on the image. Once I’m caught up, that will take you to Flickr, where you can find the image in several sizes for downloading. But I’m not caught up quite yet, so in the case of the Deal image, right-click with your mouse on a PC, or Control-Click on a Mac, and choose Save Image As, then a menu will pop up on your machine asking you to name the file and put it somewhere. That should put the file on your computer.

      Alternately you could use a nice screen- or image-grabbing piece of software — I love Skitch for this — to take a snapshot of the cartoons you like.

      Sorry that the images are variously loaded up. I really will get around to putting them all on my Flickr Lymejello set.

      Hang in there. It looks as if you and I are on about the same projectile. I’ve been treating now for 19 months, and we think I had the infection for 3 years or so before diagnosis.

  7. Many thanks to all of you for your comments! It is so good to know that I’m not alone. I have had been ill for well over 10 years & have been on a 2 different antibiotics since December ’10. I probably spend 75% of my time in bed. I hurt when I walk, I hurt when I lay on my side. I do feel like my brain is totally scrambled. I have learned to let go of the guilt because I started praying that I would die because I felt so bad mentally & physically. I didn’t care if I ate, bathed, talked to anyone or would keep any appt.s. I just felt so bad nothing mattered. I am better. I feel hopeful, I want to get well. I want think about how I look & get my hair trimmed. I am excited when I see friends rather than just hiding. It is just so hard. I was diagnoised intially with chronic fatigue, stayed in bed for years with it, then the palsy in my face appeared. cat scans, trips to Mayo, finally was diagnoised by a dear Dr who is focusing on Lymes. Ran the tests. Tested postitive for 2 different types!!!!

  8. I love the cartoon. I have had Lyme for approx. 20 years but was just diagnosed about 4 years ago. It’s terribly hard feeling so sick but looking like everything is fine. For years people treated me like I had a character disorder. Nobody can really be that sick all the time, can they? So off I went to a therapist who declared I was sick, not depressed. But it still did not give me a diagnosis and the pain and brain fog were so bad I had trouble making it through my days. I was terribly ill before a Lyme literate doctor finally diagnosed the problem. Things are a lot better now but I was on antibiotics more than a year. The hard thing is knowing that some of the effects of Lyme will always be with me. Besides arthritis, I’ve had neurological changes and my immune system does not function all that well. Winters seem to be the worst. But I am proof that it does get somewhat better. Hang in there and if you have a Lyme literate doctor, count your blessings!

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