The Home Stretch!
While I’m in the home stretch of treatment here at Stemaid in Mexico, I haven’t even begun to tell you the story of how I got here so rest assured (unless you’ve already had enough) this blog is only just getting started. Living The Lyme Lie is about me and how I lived well over two decades not even knowing I was sick. The above picture truly warms my heart and I’m tearing up just thinking about it as it was such an emotional time yesterday when all of us that happened to be in the room at that moment did an impromptu group picture as Jason (the handsome man in the chair in the back) and his beautiful wife Kate (back row, far right) were leaving for home this morning after 5 weeks of treatment. Jason’s progress here has inspired me to no end. I believe he’s had Lyme for over 20 years but it finally really took its toll in the last few years when it paralyzed him. He was a cop — can you imagine? I’ve known people who went through the police academy and know the level of physical fitness one must have to make it all the way through and receive their badge. Lyme is one evil disease let me tell you. Since I got to know him, with the help of the daily infusions of stem cells and physical therapy (something I only recently started at home but thankfully didn’t need here) Jason has been able to move his feet and then his legs. Last week with the help of his therapists, he was able to get out of his wheelchair and into a standing position and all on his own he bent his knees and straightened his legs several times. Miracles! We all jumped in for pictures here and before you know it we had nurses, other staff and Carlos who has a staff of drivers that picks patients up every day and brings them “home” after treatment. Kris and I rented a car after our first day so I’d have more independence but Stemaid truly thinks of everything to help take the pressure off their patients while undergoing treatment here. We sat in this position for several minutes while a few people took pictures and then Jason just pretty much lost it and started crying — I imagine they were tears of joy for how far he came in five weeks. And of course it was contagious and I lost it along with most of the others. It was a bittersweet goodbye. Most of us Lymies have chronic sinusitis (who knew??) and being an esthetician I do a lot of acupressure and lymphatic drainage in my facial massage so I had the honor of working on Jason’s face a couple times over the last two weeks to help drain some of the built up fluid in his sinus cavity. I’ve been sneezing a ton and a little drippy myself so I know something is happening in my own. Kris flew back here yesterday to get me through the last couple days of treatment and help me return home on Wednesday. As luck would have it Jason and Kate were staying right across the highway from our condo so we got to visit them one last time in Cabo (I have made it my mission to see them again in the future and I KNOW that he’ll be walking by then). I taught Kate the pressure points so she’ll be able to keep working on him at home.
It’s Sunday and it’s the one day the clinic is closed so Kris and I will tool around a bit but I don’t want to do too much as I’m beginning to get a little nervous about leaving the bubble I’ve been in the last few weeks and going back to real life where people will be expecting things of me. A week from now I’ll return to Al-Anon and you can be damned sure this time I’ll get over my fear and I’ll be asking for a sponsor — it’s been several years since I’ve had one.
My life has been irrevocably changed — coming here was no accident — a higher power led me to the research, to this clinic, to the exact dates I scheduled for, to the people who treated during this same period of time. I already scheduled dates to return end of December — this time with my teenage son who has (miracle of miracles!) asked to come for treatment because he’s heard the difference in my voice.
Soon I’ll tell you how I came to learn I had this evil disease. I’ll tell you about the pain and weird symptoms I’ve lived with my entire life. I’ll tell you what a flook it was that I was even diagnosed. I’ll share with you how doctors are losing their licenses because they’re treating people like me. One parent here actually received a call from the head of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) telling him he was killing his daughter with antibiotics and pleaded with him to stop. I’m not kidding — I watched the video of him on the call because he had someone record it.
So much to tell you but it’s my last Sunday in this beautiful place for a while and I need to start my day so I can see the very healing and beautiful Sea of Cortez that I’ve been gifted with.
Hug those close to you — appreciate the small things — even a flower — or the sound of a water fountain — or the laughter from a child — trust me I know it sounds cliche — but I pray I don’t take life for granted again — I know I will on some days because as we say in Al-Anon it’s progress not perfection. But today I will live in the moment.