I’ve now gone 15 days without having to take any pain relievers. It’s an odd feeling. I don’t think I’ve gone this long in maybe 15 years. I was 23 (I’m now 40) the last time I didn’t have to carry my migraine meds everywhere I went. I told my doctor the other day that I kind of don’t know what to do with myself. I’m so used to being sick that’s it’s a little unsettling for me to feel okay.
I’m still exhausted yet have to medicate to get to sleep. (That’s one of the greatest ironies and most difficult symptoms of Lyme – being exhausted beyond words yet not being able to sleep). But I haven’t had the migraines or fibromyalgia-like pain the last couple of weeks. When you’ve been sick for a long time, it just becomes part of you, part of your identity. I don’t really have much of a memory of being pain free. I’m beginning to recognize that it’s going to take some time to think of myself in another light.
Accepting my diagnosis has been a huge challenge. There were so many years with no answers that I stopped looking for them and just assumed that this was how it was gonna be for me. When I finally started to get some answers, I just couldn’t let myself believe it was true. Would I really start feeling better? Could I go more than a few days without a migraine? Could I have enough energy to accomplish more than just what absolutely, positively had to get done? Would I start remember things and being able to come up with words more quickly? Mind you, Chronic Lyme is not exactly an awesome diagnosis to get. Once you’re diagnosed, treatment is a bitch. I’ve been on antibiotics for 7 months now and it could be another couple of years. I’ll spare you the details, but long term antibiotics are brutal. The alternative is much worse, of course. The truth is, I’ve had these suckers in my body for so long now that they’re most likely in every organ. I’ll never get rid of them completely and will need to be vigilant for the rest of my life to keep control over this disease.
For now at least, life is relatively good. I know there are mostly likely bad days around the corner, but I can handle it. It’s actually what I know best.