Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lyme thought for today.....

Yesterday I had to go for my bi-monthly blood draw. While I was checking in the person answering the phone had multiple calls and every single one was regarding Lyme tests….so obviously my little antennas shot up and my curiosity got the best of me. I asked if they have seen an increase in Lyme tests. The response I got was…”You have no idea…I think that’s all we are testing for anymore.”

The door then opened and I was greeted by a man who has done my blood draws a number of times over the course of the last 3 years.  He is a person who stands out in my memory of my worst moments because of his kindness and understanding. He held my hand through some rough moments. His face lit up and he said “Well look at you!! You look so strong and healthy and amazing!”….and I couldn’t help but beam with pride. It felt so good to have someone acknowledge how far I had come.

As we went through the process of finding a vein that would cooperate (easier said than done anymore) we chatted about Lyme and he mentioned he no longer goes outside. He has seen too much and while he is not a doctor he has been deeply affected by many of us that have been affected by this awful disease. He looked me in the eyes and said “You are lucky…You are alive…not everyone has been so fortunate.”  His friend died last year. They diagnosed him with ALS but was later diagnosed with Lyme…at that point it was too late and treatment wasn’t an option because insurance wouldn’t pay for it and the family ran out of funds. His friend was 37 years old and left behind a wife and a his young daughter. 

I couldn’t help but cry sitting in that chair with him…because you see…that man was my IV buddy for several months. We had identical symptoms and almost identical treatments….so every week we would sit together at the doctors office for hours on end receiving our medications and IV. I held his baby daughter…my mother bonded with his wife…they would take turns getting us our lunches and taking care of us while at the doctors so the other could get something done. He became my friend in that moment in time….when we were both trapped and couldn’t verbalize what was happening to us. He was someone I could sit next to and look at and know….He understood my pain and fear.

I am still struggling with this…I have thought of him often. Why did I respond to treatment?  Why didn’t he?  I hate that money is what makes treatment available…why should only those with a large bank account survive this nightmare? I feel guilty…and often wonder why me??  How do I make this into a positive change in my life? How do I honor my IV buddy??  Was his cause of death really ALS or was it really Lyme??

Last night I said a prayer for him and his family…and the only comfort I take from this is knowing he is no longer in pain and no longer suffering. If there is a God…I pray that he was accepted with warm loving arms on the other side. He deserves nothing less.


Gerifrog said...

My deepest sympathies to you, Alyssa. It is very hard to lose someone who has been a companion thru treatment, I know. I lost a friend I had made during radiation. We cheered each other on to completion & were recovering well when she suddenly developed complications and was gone.
There are no answers to the questions you have. Just hold him in your heart and know that he will live on in the lives that he touched.
Love, Geri

Renee said...

This really is so sad, isn't it. I am lifting you and his family up in prayer. Glad to hear you are doing so much better.