My latest essay from the Global Lyme Alliance blog describes my 16-year journey to diagnosis. GLA created the above graphic to go along with the essay, and seeing my life laid out in a timeline like that was a powerful reminder of everything I've been through, everything I've overcome, and everything I'm still working so damn hard to heal.
It's not easy being reminded of how much of my life--my childhood, my adolescence--I've lost to this disease. It's not easy to remember the betrayal I felt from doctor after doctor after they dismissed me with a wave of their hand and a pat on the shoulder.
When Lyme patients explain that they experience trauma at the hands of the medical community, this, here, is what they mean--this casual disregard for the real and frightening pain that patients are experiencing as they fight hour after hour, day after day, year after year just to save their own lives.
Recently, I was expressing my frustration at having been so sick these past five years. One of my closest friends turned to me and said, "Susan, you've been *healing* for five years. You've been sick for over twenty."
That put it into perspective. Sometimes we all need a little perspective. For me, this graphic is a powerful show of just that.
Wherever you are on your journey with Lyme disease, even if it feels like you have so far to go, please remember how far you've come.