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  • Lyme Lens

The lost summer...

I find it hard to believe that it is August 18th already and the summer will soon be over. Living in the south, the temperatures remain well into the 90’s at least through October so I am not missing out on wearing shorts, t-shirts and flip flops by any stretch of the imagination but I am amazed at how quickly the time has passed. It feels like yesterday that we were exchanging Christmas gifts and ringing in the New Year. I literally have no idea where the summer went.

That tends to happen when we are chronically ill. Each day runs into the next and before you know it, the calendar pages are turning before your eyes. I find myself waking up and wondering if the clock is reading AM or PM. Thanks to my room darkening curtains, I often have to rely on my cell phone to tell me what day it is and whether or not I have slept through another full 24 hours. Chronic Lyme Disease has wreaked havoc on my sleep patterns, making me sleep during the day and stay awake all night. Sometimes I will stay awake for two or three straight days and then crash for a full 16 hour stretch. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

I have tried valiantly to regulate my circadian rhythms but to no avail. I have forced myself to stay awake during the day, even though I am bumping into walls with exhaustion, in the hopes that I will sleep through the night and get on a “normal” schedule. It may work for one or two days but then I am right back to being a night owl. In reading many other blogs, I have found that this is a common problem among the Lyme community. We seem to become overwhelmed with fatigue around 2pm that is completely unbearable so we fall asleep but at 2 o’clock in the morning we are raring to go! Apparently, it is related to the damage that Lyme has done to our neurological, endocrine and adrenal systems.

Regardless of the reasoning, it is a pain in the butt. There is not much that can be accomplished at 2am when you share a household with other people who are blissfully sound asleep. I try to do my writing, answer emails, read the news or maybe watch a little TV but I am trying to remain as quiet as possible so I don’t wake anyone up. Then during the day, I fall asleep and they have to do the same for me. It is a difficult arrangement, to say the least. Before you know it, another week has passed and then the pages of the calendar are being turned once again.

As we approach the end of summer, I am getting a little bit stronger and I am glad to have the fall just around the corner. It is just too difficult for me to leave the apartment when the temperatures are soaring over 100 degrees with high humidity levels. I would like to be gaining my strength by walking in the hallways of my apartment complex but they are open-air corridors so the humidity is too much to bear, even at night. The change of season will be a good thing for me.

Before we know it, the Christmas season will be upon us once again and this year will be over. I can’t say that I am sorry to see it go. This was one of the most difficult years of my life and when that ball drops on New Year’s Eve, I will be shedding tears of joy as I say goodbye to 2013. After eight months of IV antibiotic therapy, being bedridden for at least 3/4 of the year, coming pretty close to death and struggling to crawl my way out of this bedroom I can honestly say that thirteen was a very unlucky number for me this year.

This was my “lost summer” for sure but that is ok. With any luck, I will have plenty of summers to enjoy in the future when I beat this Chronic Lyme Disease.

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