Recently I have been asked on few different occasions why I chose The Lyme Poet as a pseudonym for my writing. What was the reason behind it or what was the connection between Lyme and my poetry.
To answer the question, I will say that Lyme and poetry are two of the things that describe me the most. I write poetry and I am a Lyme disease advocate. I even write poetry about Lyme disease.
As a chronic Lyme disease sufferer I have seen my health deteriorating to a point where I thought there was no turning back. Lyme stole my best years from me and threw me on a roller-coaster ride that I was not prepared for. It took me a few good years to get back on track.
That’s after I spent two years trying to get a proper diagnosis and seeing over twenty-six specialists who passed me on from one to another, shrugging their shoulders as they were unable to tell me why my health went down the hill so fast.
When I was in my late twenties, within less than four months, I went from 154 pounds (70 kg) to 99 pounds (45kg) and I lost my ability to walk without help. In addition, while I was fighting chronic pain, fatigue and having a wide array of debilitating symptoms (burning under the skin, muscle twitches, electric shocks in the limbs, numbness, migraines,etc.), I plunged into a depression that lasted a few good months. As a bonus, I developed anxiety as well. I had hit rock bottom when I was supposed to enjoy my best years.
Needless to add the levels of frustration and anger were skyrocketing. You can’t imagine how it feels to have your whole life, your future taken away from you. The perspective of ending up in a wheelchair for the rest of your life is not something that crosses your mind when you are in your twenties!
Due to my invisible illness and the lack of a real diagnosis, people thought I had become anorexic. I lost a lot of friends on the way because they were not able to see what I was going through and I had no strength or energy left to explain how I felt. I had doctors telling me my symptoms were not real. I never gave up looking for an answer.
If you are interested in knowing more details about my Lyme journey, you can read them here.
When I finally discovered that I had Lyme, my illness was already at the late stage, which meant the recovery was going to be a slow and lengthy process. I had change my lifestyle completely, make tabula rasa and find new ways to define my so called normality.
I turned into an obedient patient who alternated cocktails of antibiotics with homeopathic remedies just to ensure my liver had a survival chance. I went a gluten- free, sugar-free, yeast-free diet for more than five years. I downsized twice and adopted a minimalist lifestyle.
I had friends and relatives from all over the world bringing me medicine (antibiotics) that I was not able to get within my country. Thanks to Lyme I lost my job, my friends and drained my bank account.
Fast forward a couple of years. I got better and I learnt how to keep my Lyme symptoms under control. I got better at blocking or ignoring the pain and focus on the positive things in my life.
Therefore, I was able to see the silver linings of my condition. Lyme allowed me to reach my real potential, discover the myself and see things in a different light.
A few years ago I finally took a step and became a Lyme advocate. I realized that if I was not going to Lyme-educate the people around me, they won’t know what’s going on with me.
Last year, I started my own awareness campaign for Lyme disease. On A-ZLYME.COM website I wrote about Lyme disease in detail from how to diagnose it to ways of transmission and available treatments.
Some of my Lyme-related articles have been also published by THE MIGHTY and then featured by Yahoo. I was glad to see that I got such a wide exposure. What got me thrilled was the fact that my words reached those who needed them. I got messages from people all over the world who suffered from Lyme or had someone close to them affected by this illness.
The reaction I got from the readers humbled me. It was for the first time when I actually experienced the feeling of a support community. It encouraged me to continue my awareness campaign because I know somewhere around the world, someone needs to hear that he is not alone and that the symptoms he is experimenting are real.