Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Letter 4- Casey: "The Lyme in Winter"

Dear Readers:

Lyme is terrible all year round— for those who don’t suffer from it, we understand that every season has its own set of pains that come with it. But for someone with Lyme Disease, with the consistent pain, fatigue and fogginess - a simple winter cold can turn into weeks of feverish symptoms and an even further drop in energy, mood, appetite…the list goes on.

Chris and I are entering our second winter together as a couple (our 4th as a pair of devoted friends destroying Lyme--- bacterium by bacterium), and the flu-season has certainly brought forth its challenges. Two high fevers back to back within a week, just gives you a miniscule glimpse. Winter just seems to slow everything down and drag it out— progress, traffic, projects….All except time. It never feels like we get enough time, as each thing we do, each foot we lift and put forward in the heavy-snow of day-to-day life— seems to go on forever.

Ever-enduring, Chris pushes on with unrelenting passion for his work and music, and our lives together. We both enjoy snow, although here on Long Island, it never seems to keep its white, soft hush for very long. There is always some interruption, be it man or weather or noise that disrupts the temporary sweet silence of the fresh snow on the ground and the glittery flakes that glide down like alighting flies.

Winter means ‘the holidays” as well, which brings about more stress than any other time of the year. When you have a chronic illness that is not only stigmatized, but thoroughly unpredictable, planning out anything with friends or family is nothing short of a nightmare. As always: we explain, we push, we try —and in the end— we’re always holding each other with a cup of hot tea, and hoping that the feeling of “this too shall pass” comes swiftly.

We are consistently disheartened by the lack of understanding or willing ears…But, winter helps us focus on warmth. The warmth of our blankets, the warmth of our bodies, holding each other so tight on those rough days, and the warmth of love and growth between us. I see this man challenge himself every day, essentially putting his life in danger for our future. I drive on traffic-jammed, slippery roads with a cautious nature, and think THAT’S as bad as it gets?
I tell you, I’ve learned a thing or two these last few years.

I’ll remember winters as times where we receive a cold slap in the face from the world, but stand up to the north wind with red noses and perseverance, pushing through until the flowers bloom. And we are reminded, we have come through the darkest of times.

Warmth & Health,