So, I told you that I’d give you my responses to the questions from the Lyme Warriors Answer blog post. Here they are!
Question #1 – What are some of the most common things people say or do when they hear you have Chronic Lyme Disease?
“Oh I’m so sorry.” “What’s that like?” “That must really suck.” “When will you be better?” “Does it ever go away?” And many other questions of the like. Many people have some sort of idea of what Lyme is, but not many understand the extensiveness of the disease. I am bombarded by questions, hugs, and the all too common happy-sad face – which I quite honestly will never understand how someone can look so puzzled, so sorry for someone, and so intrigued all at the same time. I appreciate the kind words and gestures, and I know that most of the time people’s reactions are out of pure curiosity and they have loving intentions. However, I just ask, that when someone tells you that they have a chronic illness, or any condition/situation for that matter, that you simply act respectfully, avoid turning the conversation to yourself for at least the first seven words. Try showing empathy instead of pity, and know that it’s not always necessary to avoid the conversation, just ask the person how they’d like to go about it.
Question #2 – Daily thoughts – what do you think about when you wake up, when you’re in pain, when you’re in public, etc?
I think about a lot of things, but frequently, the following cross my mind, in no particular order: I really gotta move. I need to do yoga. I should really go for a walk. Oh crap, it’s noon and I haven’t taken my morning meds. I really need to eat good today, c’mon Elise, eat the greens! I miss Minnesota. I’m so excited for college. I miss my friends. I’m so grateful for my life. I’m incredibly blessed to have the parents that I do. I miss my brother. I love my dogs. Oh, the puppers are so cute! Oh crap, here comes the stomach ache. Oh no, my legs hurt soooo bad. I’m so nauseous. Ugggg, I don’t want to swallow 25 pills. Is this ever going to be over? I can’t wait till I’m my normal self. I should really do something productive. I’m so tired, but the likelihood that I’ll fall asleep is zero to none. Another episode of FRIENDS? Okay!
Question #3 – What are some goals you hope to achieve now, in the next month, and in the next 5 years?
Personally, planning my future, thinking about all of the things that can come out of this disruptive season of life can be overwhelming, but also totally humbling and helpful.
My goals for now consist of getting on my mat everyday, taking my medicines, doing at least an hour of something productive – yoga teacher training, blogging, photo editing, etc., drinking an adequate amount of water, and keeping my blood sugar in check. My goals for the next month include: getting through the first 200 hours of yoga teacher training, continuing to blog, get stronger and increase my physical endurance. My goals for the next 5 years are: put Lyme into remission (hopefully before 5 years), graduate undergrad, pursue my passions, continue to listen to God and follow His path for me, and continue to find my place in this world from my career to my physical location to my spiritual strength.
So there you have it. My personal answers to those three questions! If you haven’t read the first Lyme Warriors Answer post, I encourage you to do so. Three Lyme fighters offered their time and focus to respond to my questions, and their answers are beautiful and informative.
Let’s start talking. Remember to check for ticks, always, even if you only been outside for a few minutes! Remember that Lyme Disease and co-infections aren’t only in the Upper Northeast and the Midwest, but EVERYWHERE! Take precautions, use bug spray, tick repellent, and be mindful of your physical and mental condition always. Visit ILADS, LymeDisease.Org and/or ALDF for more information and resources if you think you may have Lyme, or someone you know may have Lyme.
“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”