Turning the corner*
November 17, 2012 1 Comment
I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, along with Bartonella, babesia, protomyaxzoa, and a wicked strep, following a spectacular parvo infection nearly two years ago. It took a whole lot of painful, expensive testing to figure out what it was – spinal taps, EMGs, MRIs, oodles and oodles of blood tests, For these two years, my life has been on hold – I went through periods where I could not drive, periods of (what’s that word again…) aphasia, a sensitivity to vibration which was so severe that using an electric razor was not possible (and a straight razor was not acceptable according to Jewish law, even under these cases) so I was using depilitories (which largely didn’t work and ripped up my skin instead). I had to quit playing music, bicycling, exercising, and had to get used to saying “no” a lot.
In the middle of this, my father-in-law died, Sarah and I suffered three miscarriages, and I had an unrelated testicular torsion (which redefined my pain scale along with being completely humbling).
So now, after all that awful stuff, there’s something amazing:
my doctors (cautiously) think that my Lyme (et al) are in remission, and so I’m now being moved to the “wean off of the hideous treatment” protocol, rather than the “kill it dead” protocol.
That picture is the PICC line that was removed from me on Friday – I was going to say “removed from my arm” but really it was removed from a lot more than that! Showering no longer involves plastic wrap and tape! As an aside for anyone else who gets a PICC line and is trying to figure out the whole shower rigmarole, first, shave your arm. After that, use regular plastic wrap relatively tightly around the site, followed by press-n-seal over-top of that (but the press-n-seal needs to attach to skin), and then use painter blue tape to seal up around the edges. Make multiple passes with the painter tape. Not having to do that means that easily 20 minutes got taken off of my morning routine. Yay!
Today at the synagogue, I said the prayer recited after recovery from illness, birkat ha-gomel -
הגומל לחיבים טובות שגמלני כל טוב
which is normally translated “[Blessed is God who] bestows loving-kindness upon the culpable/guilty/unworthy for the good, for He has bestowed completely good loving-kindness to me.”
The thinking is that everyone has done something for which they could be culpable for Heavenly capital punishment, and a recovery from illness means that God decided not to exact that punishment upon us this time.
And just like that, a cloud has lifted from me: yes, there are still things wrong; infertility still sucks in spectacular ways, I still have a lot of drugs to wean from (Atovaquone [Mepron] is next), and I still have back trouble, but right now, I feel better than I have in years.
*The title of this post puns on the old name of the Lyme disease activist group “the Turn the Corner Foundation,” which has since become The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance. They are a good resource.