In this Lyme interview we hear from Laura. She is a Chicago-based Lyme patient, like myself, and was diagnosed with Lyme in 2015 after a misdiagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I think you will enjoy her lighthearted spirit and good sound advice.
Tell us a little about who you are:
I’m a 25-year-old professional in Chicago and trying to balance getting better with building my career.
What are your passions?
After getting involved with Lyme advocacy, my interest in healthcare has grown non-stop. This is leading me to look into jobs in this field, where I can really make a difference.
How long did it take for you to get a diagnosis?
That's a great question. From the time that I started looking for answers, it took me about a year and seven doctors to get an official chronic Lyme diagnosis.
What was your lowest point and how did you find your way out of it?
I'd say when I went through my first round of treatment for Lyme. I had the strongest Herx reactions I've ever had in my life and it felt like I was dying. I went through so much pain and doubt and thank God that I got better. I got through it by remembering that pain can't last forever, and this too shall pass.
What is the one thing that you have found most helpful in treatment?
I'd say it’s a tie between sleep and my Lyme specialist. Sleep has so many powerful properties for me, from resting my joints to recharging my mind. My Lyme specialist has always made me feel normal and given me hope, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.
What do you want people to know about Lyme disease?
To patients, I would say that it's okay to have Lyme. You have Lyme, Lyme doesn't have you. It's absolutely possible to get the treatment you need and live a normal life. It's not easy but it's so worth it. And for those who don't know about chronic Lyme, I can assure them that it certainly exists, and it won't be long until researchers, scientists and doctors will back it up with more studies and data so we can ultimately find a cure.
What are you most grateful for in your healing journey?
I'm most grateful for my family and boyfriend. They have always been understanding when I need to rest, need to eat a certain diet or vent about something. The first few bouts of Herxing were so difficult, but having a support system made a world of difference.
What is a quote that inspires you?
"For what it’s worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
I'm Kerry and I am a licensed therapist, writer & speaker. This is a positive space focused on how to thrive in any situation and the transformative power of suffering.