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  • Lyme Lens

Only the lonely...

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to. ~Carl Sandburg

We have been blessed with a beautiful “supermoon” over the past few nights. I truly hope that you had a chance to take some time in your busy schedules to stop everything that you were doing to go outside and simply glance up into the sky and appreciate its beauty. I am glad that it happened over the weekend. It seems that during the week everyone is rushing home from work to cook dinner, then slipping the kids into the bathtub, getting their pajamas on, reading story time and finally putting them to bed. After that you have to pick up the clutter around the house, prepare your work for the following day, make bag lunches for tomorrow, catch up with your spouse, maybe unwind a little in front of the television, perform your own bathing rituals and eventually collapse into bed in utter exhaustion before the routine starts all over again after very little sleep.

During that time the moon has risen over the edge of the horizon in its glorious splendor, climbed up into the sky, traversed across a plain of twinkling stars and descended again behind the earth, completely unnoticed, as the sun makes its ascent to signal the beginning of your day. Everyone looks for the sun. It wakes you up. It warms your skin. It signals that you are supposed to be doing something productive with your time. The sun has many jobs. It tells time, it directs your path if you are lost and it can even start a fire if you are talented enough to utilize its beams. Heck, it can even create power if you have the equipment to harness its energy. The moon, on the other hand, is supposed to just quietly do its job without bothering anyone. It is supposed to just rise dimly while you slumber and then fall making room for the powerful sun to take over the sky.

For some of us, the moon holds great mystique. I am talking about those of us who suffer from insomnia and severe photophobia. You see, we spend more time with the moon than we do with the sun. To us, the sun is the enemy. Let’s take the insomnia issue first. Since having Chronic Lyme Disease, my biological clock is totally screwed up. This disease has attacked my autonomic nervous system and that is responsible for the circadian rhythms that make the body relax at night to go to sleep. My best time of the day is actually from 2:00-4:00am. I do most of my writing at that time. I typically get tired during the day when everyone else is awake. This does not bode well for holding down any type of normal employment, even if my body could actually handle a job. Therefore, being a writer is a great job for a person with Chronic Lyme Disease.

Most people with my illness struggle with insomnia and they have to try multiple forms of treatment if they need to abide by a “normal” sleep schedule. There is melatonin, valerian root, over-the-counter remedies, prescription medications, sound machines, acupuncture and a host of other methods for trying to force our bodies into sleeping at night but the fact remains that until we get control of our disease, we will constantly battle insomnia. I have come to terms with the fact that I will be awake all night and I must sleep during the day. The more I try to force myself to adhere to a sleep schedule that my nervous system just doesn’t want to do, the less sleep I will actually get which is detrimental to my overall health. So, I sleep when I am tired and I stay awake when I am alert. There is nothing I can do to change that right now so I have come to appreciate the moon.

The sun has become my enemy due to severe photophobia which means that when the sun shines directly into my eyes it feels like there are daggers being jammed into my head. This is a side effect from the two episodes of meningitis that I had secondary to the Lyme infection. The pain can be so severe that I have spent the past five years wearing sun glasses while in my apartment. I live with my curtains constantly closed and any degree of sunlight is bound to inflict a headache, if I don’t already have one. This makes the daytime a very unpleasant time for me to be awake. I would much rather be moving around by moonlight when I know that I can safely walk around the apartment or even go outside without turning a corner and instantly feeling the stabbing pain of a dagger in my eye. The only remedy will be the eventual healing of the lining of my brain when the Lyme has released its hold and the headaches are no longer a part of my daily life.

For the majority of the population, the moon is a planet that they may occasionally see for a moment or two if they happen to be taking out the garbage or pulling the car into the garage at night. I hope that you took some time this past weekend to take a look up into the sky to appreciate the beautiful “supermoon” that was up in the sky. It only happens once a year, when the moon is located that close to the earth and is seen at its fullest form. It won’t happen again until August 10, 2014. For the rest of us who are awake at night when the whole world is asleep, it is a wonderful time of peace, tranquility and solitude. Sometimes it can feel a little bit lonely but then you can always just go outside, take a look up into the sky and have a chat with the moon.

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