Really, I’m fine

Many years ago, I bought a t-shirt that featured a cartoon cow lying on its back, feet straight up in the air, and at the bottom the caption read, “Really, I’m fine.”

I wore that t-shirt until you could no longer discern hooves from the actual words, and at last I had to finally toss it.

Tonight at church, Fiddledaddy and I attended a class on parenting an adolescent.  Because we have absolutely no idea what we’re doing with a certain 11 year old, who is solely focussed on pushing the boundaries.  And my buttons.  Which reminds me, I need to make that weekly phone call to my Dad to again apologize for everything I put my parents through.

Afterward, as I hobbled up the aisle on one crutch, probably no fewer than a dozen people stopped and patted me on my shoulder, asking how I was doing.    I gave them my standard answer, “I’m doing fine.” Occasionally I get more creative and offer, “I’m up and out of the house!”

Fiddledaddy finally looked at me and asked, “Why don’t you tell them the truth?”

And I really couldn’t answer that, except to say that I really don’t want to tell anyone the truth, because I’m afraid I’ll just start weeping.  The truth is, that I’m scared.  The truth is that I hurt all of the time.  And the truth is that I have days where it’s all I can do just to put one foot in front of the other just to get from the start of the day to the end.  The truth is that I’m struggling.

Driving is beginning to be an issue.  And as Fiddledaddy learned when I hit the 7th month of pregnancy, and he has to confiscate my car keys because I can no longer fit behind the wheel, I AM NOT HAPPY IF I CAN’T EXPERIENCE THE FREEDOM OF HOPPING IN THE CAR AND BURNING RUBBER OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY.

It’s just a small part of feeling autonomous that I’m been awfully attached to.  But, as I’m losing more use of my left arm, turning is becoming very difficult.

I’m good as long as I can go straight.  But someone had the nerve to build roads around here that CURVE.  Also, as I learned tonight, I’m losing the ability to give a really good hug.  Or to reach out my arm and pray for someone.  Or just raise my hands during a really great praise song in church on Sunday.

I’m beginning to experience some of the neurological issues that sometimes come with advanced Lyme Disease.  I have difficulty finding words, or finishing a sentence, or remembering what the heck it is I went out to the garage to find in the first place.  I’m foggy.  And so tired.

I debated in my head whether or not to spill my thoughts onto a post.  But more than anything, I want to be honest about what this disease does to you, and what my experiences are with Lyme Disease.  Today I borrowed a DVD about Lyme Disease called “Under Our Skin” from a girlfriend of mine who is also fighting Lyme.  I haven’t been able to get through it, because of how close to home it’s hitting.  And I’m just fighting mad at how much controversy there is within the medical community regarding the diagnosing and treatment of Lyme.

Today my coping skills have taken a big hit.  And I know I’m going to have days like that.  And likely, tomorrow will be better and I’ll cringe when I reread this post.  And that’s okay.  I want always to remember this journey, so that I can be a help to someone else who is struggling.

It’s okay to have bad days.  And it’s okay to be honest about them.

I begin treatment next week in earnest.  I’ve been fighting some of the smaller co-infections this week, and I suspect that accounts for the little dark cloud over me right now.  Lyme is putting up a fight.

I’m up for it.  Lyme is picking on the wrong girl.  

I love you guys.  Thank you for letting me vent.  And thank you for your continued support, encouragement, and prayers.  And thank you for your comments.  I tell you what, you guys make me giggle daily with some of the stuff you come up with.  It’s such a comfort to know that I’m not alone in my insanity.  🙂

December 1, 2010

50 Responses to Really, I’m fine

  • Sending you a big hug from Colorado! <3

  • Sending you a big hug from Australia 🙂
    Praying for you!

  • Praying for you, DeeDee.

  • Grrrr…it makes me (and all your other blog friends, I’m sure) so stinking mad to think of all you’ve had to go through and you’ve done it with a lot of humor too, which is amazing. I’m sure you’re helping others too as you share your journey with Lyme. Keep up the fight my sweet friend. Praying for you.

    Hugs,
    Kat

  • You are loved and prayed for.

  • Oh, goodness….what a burden you are bearing. I am praying and sending hugs your way too.

    Mary

  • I had a lump in my throat after reading this. I pray peace and healing over you.

  • (((HUGS!!!))) You continue to be in my prayers, DeeDee! Hang in there, girl. Lots of ~~~prayers and positive thoughts~~~ coming your way! <3

  • Vent away, my dear. I love your honest self. Take HUGE comfort in the knowledge that you most definitely are not alone in your insanity, or forgetting words, why you went to the garage, the end of sentences, I do all of those too…in spades!

  • So sorry things are so hard. here’s to kicking that Lyme in the butt. Do hang in there – you have so many people rooting for you.

  • Like all the others here, VENT AWAY! you have something to say and it’s important that you do say it. Go for it. It will really help you to fight even harder a we all are praying for you.

  • Praying for you this morning, DeeDee!

  • You don’t have to be “fine” with me…please let us know how you are doing so we can pray more specifically. I can read your blog, but would love for you to feel like you can share. I loved what you said last night…and I knew what you meant. Brandon and I have been praying for you and want to know what we can do. And maybe it isn’t anything more than prayer but regardless, you have a church family that loves you and will hold you up!

  • It’s totally ok to have a bad day. And ‘fine’ isn’t always the answer..especially around friends that really care about you. Hang in there, my friend. Know we’re praying for you!

  • You will NOT cringe because we will not let you. Just please go ahead and be real. It’s OK, once in a while, to just lay it all out there. We can also read between the lines on days when you hint at it, and that is perfectly fine, too. I know you’re in for a fight, but you are right; Lyme’s has chosen the wrong victim in you. Don’t know much about it, except that I was supposed to see Hall and Oates in concert, but they canceled a tour several years ago due to Daryl Hall’s diagnosis. I read his blog, and I realized what a dreaded thing it is, esp. when they’ve gone a long time without diagnosing correctly. This also happened to a person on my church staff. So just keep talking and venting and laughing when it’s appropriate. You’re actually helping others in the midst of your pain. Pretty cool.

  • Hello Erma…I mean DeeDee,
    I don’t comment very often but wanted you to know that you have been on my heart and in my prayers. Hopefully you will have more good days than bad ones soon. Yes, Lyme picked the wrong girl….

    And you know what, you have helped so many people over the years (I can tell that by your thoughts & words). It’s time to let others return the favor and give you the support you need, even if it hard to humble yourself and tell the truth.

    Wish I lived closer to help but will do my part across the miles! Laurie

  • Dear Weepy,
    This might be one heck-of-a-mountain this time, but not for a climber with a God the size of ours! If anybody can do this, YOU can. Just look at all the cheerleaders!!! It’s time to entertain some angels, Dee… This is for you:

  • Here’s to kicking Lyme disease in the butt! I am praying for you and so are many others. Sometimes, when you are dealing with a long illness and chronic pain, the mental and emotional are more difficult to deal with than the actual symptoms of the illness.

    Everything that comes to us has already been sifted through God’s hands. Hang in there, Girl.

  • Sending you a big hug and a powerful prayer from Ocoee, Florida. We’ll stay strong for you when you’re just not feeling it!

  • I wish I could say something that would make it all better and go away 🙁 Hugs are coming from here. And we all want to know how you are so we know what to pray for. Best wishes!

  • Well no wonder you are feeling down you have had a LOT to deal with the past year. No worries here I think I speak for all your readers when I say that we all love you and your posts. For me personally it is refreshing to see someone who can keep her sense of humor which I suspect is the main thing keeping you going, while going through something so tough. It is inspiring to hear your stories written in your style of writing, and what a great thing for your kids to read later on in life. If I am having a bad day I always go back and read some of your posts both present and past and I always cheer up. I am still petitioning for you to put a disclaimer on the top of your blog though that says “warning do not drink liquids while reading, there is a great danger the liquids will wind up on your computer” I learned that the hard way…just sayin. 🙂
    hang in there our awesome blog friend and keep your chin up!

  • Remember: By His stripes we are healed!

  • Deedee, please don’t cringe when you re-read this. You need to share, it will help with the depression.

    Pleeeeaaase share with your church family what is really going on with you. They can be a great help, not only in prayer but also sometimes physically with things around the house. Let them have the privilege of earning more jewels in their crown by helping and praying for you!

    My prayers go out to you and to your family. I also prayed for you where the 11 year old is concerned 🙂 I have a 16 year old son who is getting better but my 12 year old daughter is really getting an attitude. I am trying hard to harness the will without crushing the spirit. Good luck to both of us!

  • As another person who is struggling right now (not with illness, but just life), I could identify with what you are saying. Thinking of you and your family. Hang in there.
    Jana

  • Vent away DeeDee! You are not being a “Debbie Downer.” You are being honest and we applaud you for that. I second the comment made about sharing with your church family. God gave us to each other to help and support each other in good times and in bad. My husband is in stage three kidney failure and it made him suceptible to shingles. After two weeks of caring for him, our infant daughter and our toddler son a woman at church asked how we were doing and I accidentally blurted out: Jodi, this really sucks! (pardon my French …) We both burst out laughing and she said how glad she was to hear an honest answer to that question for once. We love your honesty and wouldn’t want you to “hide” your feelings. Let us know what we can do to support you!

  • Love and hugs from the left coast!!!

  • Hi my friend. So glad I finally subscribed to fiddledeedee so I can keep up. My heart is heavy for u in all that u r going through but eagerly anticipating with great hope all that God is doing as He brings healing to you. Love you, my friend.

  • When I say I’m fine, what I mean is that I really don’t want to talk about it. I say, “oh, I’m fine!” a lot. Drives my husband crazy. He worked out a system that suits him without me having to go into detail. Instead of asking me how I feel, he asks, “Same, better, worse?” I can pick one and not have to go into details unless I want to. I get so tired of even talking about what is wrong with me. I want to talk, think, live something else.

    You are in my prayers, dear. Hang in there!

  • DeeDee,
    It’s the honesty that I love about you! It’s the real you! Thank you for sharing you life with me, with us. You are strong and this disease has no idea what’s in store for it! Prayers, hugs, and much love headed your way!!

  • I’m proud of you for being able to be honest about what it is really like. I’m proud of you for coping with it all with such humor and grace. I find myself looking up to you with each new post you write. Please don’t cringe when you read this post later. I am absolutely certain that it will help those who are struggling, whether with Lyme or with some other trial, and I am glad you continue to post. I am praying for you.

  • I’m having to learn that not every day is a progress day. Some days are just maintaining what you did yesterday. And some days are seeing what you did yesterday slide away. Which is why morning comes after weeping. Our gracious Lord does remember us when we’re in that valley and He walks right there. I’m praying that you will experience His peace no matter the valley, that you will remember in the dark what you have learned in the Light.

  • Oh yes. I feel you. I am praying for you daily. When my arthritis flairs, and I can’t walk, it is a good time to pray for others. You will make it! Hugs from Texas, Marie

  • While certainly not as serious and systemic as your diagnosis, this reminds me of the way I felt when I broke my leg in three places and dislocated my ankle. An absolutely life-changing injury and the road to recovery seemed long and arduous with no light at the end of the tunnel. It took awhile for me to learn that God is the light at the end of all our tunnels, our Shepherd in the midst of the valleys of life. While certainly breathtaking, nothing grows on the mountain tops. That’s why they speak of a “tree line”; nothing grows above it. Real growth occurs in the valleys.

  • I got a little teary eyed when I was reading this post. I wish I could say that I knew what you were going through and that it would be better soon, but I haven’t dealt with Lyme disease before. I will continue to pray for you and your family!!

  • Oh my friend…..not sure there are words….
    so {{{{{{BIG *GENTLE* HUG}}}}}}!!!!
    And never forget that FINE actually stands for –
    Freaked out….
    Insecure….
    Neurotic….and
    Emotional!!!
    So there, you are telling them the truth! Has always worked for me….yes, I am fine. just fine.
    Love you!!!

  • Thanks for ‘going first’ and speaking the truth. It makes it easier to know we’re not alone in feeling this way. I am on meds for depression, and despite that they normally do a good job of keeping my chemical level pretty even, some days I just fight to stay upright. Stay strong!

  • My mom had a friend in her cancer support group who would say she was “peachy”, whether it was a good or bad moment. So everyone once in a while I grit my teeth and say I’m peachy!

    We’ve been ingrained to not show our hurt, especially at church. It helps to know that others are experiencing hurts, pains, and just general things that they’re dealing with. 🙂 But it’s common to not to want to become a blubbering mess at church either. 🙂 It’s ok to ask for prayer, that you’ve had a tough week and leave it at that. I pray that your fight is quick and very successful, thanks for sharing your journey.

    My kids are watching High School Musical and said they wanted to watch #4 and #5, Lord help me! 🙂

  • Sure am thinking of and praying for you.

  • Deedee,
    My husband and I facilitate a Grief Share group at our church. (it is for those who have lost a spouse, child, or parent) The truth is that grief over loss is not just for when we lose a loved one…we have grief in life over various things. Because of this illness you are going through you are grieving the loss of your health, mobility, freedom to drive, all the daily things you took for granted etc. etc. One thing we tell people in our group is that it is okay to ask for help. God never intended us to be lone soldiers in this journey of life, shouldering all our burdens alone. It is humbling to let others know how we feel—when we hurt. God knows how you hurt and he understands your frustrations—and people are placed in your path for a reason.
    Sometimes He calms the storm….and other times He calms His child.

  • Bless your heart. I don’t know which one is worse to deal with, the Lyme or the 11-year-old. I haven’t dealt with the Lyme, but I have had experience with adolescent girls. I know how hard that is. It does get better! Those hormones are brutal on everyone. On the positive side, Tangled is a delightful movie if you want to take the kiddos and get a little break from real life!

  • I have read your blog for a long time…you. are. so. funny!
    Every day I about spit my coke out while reading. I have never commented before but I just wanted you to know how you have lifted my spirits many many days. Thank you for that! Prayers are going up for you…I promise.

  • Losing words, not finishing sentences.
    Are. you flipping. kidding. me.

    I think the D-R and I need to have a talk.
    And a test.

    (FYI-Last round- nothing new_.

    And there you have it.

    ——————————-

    Do not give up.

    Get a therapist who deals with chronic illness patients. Get a recommendation, or call me and I can get one from here.

    You are going to need a place to dump outside FD and your family, friends to so you and everyone around you can survive this next year.

    Seriously.

    I know I have said this before, but baby, it is just getting warmed up now. Time to go to war on all fronts.

    And giving FD that downtime to focus on knowing your are getting the hgelp you need will give him the mental rest he needs to continue being the warrior god he has been this far.

    (Editors Note: that was meant in a heckofalotmorelove than came across).

    This is now a marathon, and y’all need to pace. Mentally, especially.

    It gets harder.

    But, you have it in you to win. I. know. that.

    We will cross that finish together.

    I promise. I love you.

  • Dee, I love your website, and I sit here in tears reading about what you are going through. You and your family are in my prayers.

    I know you have a lot of people helping you, but I have to tell you about what we have been doing to help my husband, who is suffering from Gulf War Illness.

    We have a naturalist who uses Rife Frequency Therapy. While they can’t say it cures anything, the science behind it is sound. From experience, I can tell you it works. And they have a treatment for Lyme disease. Please look into it. God Bless.

  • When I was going through an extremely difficult time, I had a wise friend/mentor who came to me and said “let me walk along side you and hold your arms up”. Figuratively, not literally. I’m praying today for you for a friend, close by, to do just that for you during your journey.

  • DeeDee, I am praying for you every day. I’m so sorry this crummy disease is doing this to you! I know a sweet Christian homeschooling mom online (from the Sonlight Curriculum forums) whose husband has been battling late-stage lyme for a long time; her website is so very informative and uplifting. Here’s a link: http://www.hopeismyanchor.com/index.html

    Hugs.

  • Oh DeeDee I am so glad you spilled it out here. I wish I could do something. I will be praying so hard.

    Steph

  • Awe sweet sister…I just read your post. Praying and thinking of you. Sometimes it’s just hard. He knows and there are so many people praying.

  • Hang in there, I’ll be sending positive thoughts your way.