Well, Borrellia, I have a wonderful new friend. She reached out to me a few nights ago. After reading our little blog, Borrelia. She too has been devastated by you. So I called her. And we talked. And connected. There is a reason we found each other.
THE LION. I shall call her Aslan, as in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. To protect her identity but also to make some analogies using the Chronicles of Narnia series as my creative inspiration. Yes, she is like Aslan because underneath the tiny, sweet voice, is a powerful lion, fighting with strength and courage. Like Aslan, her life was “taken” until at last, a diagnosis is slowly bringing her back to life. Just as Aslan was brought back to life. How did a diagnosis bring her back to life, you ask? Because since 1997, my poor new friend suffered terribly. With serious and odd symptoms. Blood in her spine. A brain bleed. A hemorrhaged bladder. And most recently, paralysis of her arms. P-a-r-a-l-y-s-i-s. After one emergency room visit, they told her the paralysis was caused by a deficiency in potassium. Without even checking her electrolytes. That was the hardest they could try to help her? And later, doctors from one of Boston’s finest hospitals sent her home and excused the paralysis away as virus associated…and promptly, ordered a psyche eval. If that doesn’t make anyone feel like they are in a crazy fantasy world fighting for their life as Aslan did, I don’t know what would.
THE WITCH. Obviously, Borrelia, you are the witch. The White Witch. In the series, the White Witch terrorizes Narnia. You–you, Borrelia–terrorize our anatomy. In its entirety. The spell of the White Witch in the series is that Narnia is “perpetually winter, but never Christmas.” Wow…couldn’t have expressed better myself what life can feel like with you, Borrelia. And for my new friend….Forever winter….but without any Christmas….That feeling that in your world, the skies are gray and you can’t see the light, you can’t even be sure if there is a light anymore. Can’t be sure if joy exists. Or hope. Yes, that feeling. Winter. But never Christmas. And what about the White Witch’s special powers? Turning her enemies to stone with her wand? Borrelia…seems that is exactly what you have done to my new friend, turned her arms to stone–with the paralysis she currently faces. How dare you, Borrelia? How dare you.
THE WARDROBE. You are wondering how the wardrobe analogy fits in, Borrelia. It’s quite simple. My new friend and I…Aslan…we just “fit”. Like a glove. Like a shoe. Like a comfortable sweatshirt, whatever wardrobe analogy you can think of, Borrelia. We both experienced an agonizing journey–years–of symptoms and issues, with only questions and no answers. We suffered as moms, worried we would not be well–or alive–for our kids. We both felt we were dying, while the traditional medical establishment told us we were going mental instead. We now share the same lyme literate doctor, and shared the same piecing together of the diagnostic puzzle–inconclusive antibody tests, followed by low CD57, for the ultimate determination of lyme disease. And what about the coinfection we share (are you listening Bartonella??!) We share our outlook–one of gratitude. Yes, gratitude. Gratitude for finally having some answers. Gratitude for not having some of the other conditions we were tested for. Gratitude for an action plan. Gratitude for our positive attitude in getting through this. And now, gratitude that our journeys have brought us together. And you know what, Borrelia?? That makes me feel even more hope. For the both of us….like perhaps maybe our winter will have a xmas. Or better, yet, a spring.