We went to see Dr. Lyme, Sky King and I. We had our usual gear---water bottle, purse, gigantic checkbook, notebook and file filled with lab tests, diagnoses, etc.
As we sat, I overheard the stuff I usually do----phones ringing, people answering, magazine pages flipping.
And as usual, I heard people on the phone telling callers that "he has a few callers waiting, and his 9 o'clock is already here". That's me. I'm the 9 o'clock.
At nine oh five, I was still patiently wait my turn, perusing back issues of Dwell and Outdoor Living and Treehuggers United or some such drivel. And, I like the wait. Not just because I find amazing uses for empty watering cans and recipes for the "best pork rib marinade".
Because Dr. Lyme spends each morning, from 8 to 9, taking calls. From patients, from potential patients, from people that have heard what he does, who he treats.
And sometimes, that caller is me. I call in, and wait. When he picks up, he has my file, and he is thoughtful. He is patient, and answers my questions, encouraging me to call with any other questions or concerns. Who does that? Dr. Lyme does.
But maybe you are wondering why I don't sing his praises out loud---let everyone know there's a guy out there that helps people like me. And, maybe there's more-maybe there's one for you, or your friend, or your loved one.
Because LLMDs (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors) have to be on the down-low. They have to keep their practices safe from insurance companies that wish to discredit Chronic Lyme Disease, and the treatments we receive. The treatments that help to make us well. Or at least better.
There is an organization, ILADS.org, to get information about Lyme Disease. You can email them for a doctor near you, that will treat you. But you can't see a list, or scroll through a ton of options. Many doctors won't treat me. Or, they will, but they will treat me for pain. Or for depression. And if I had Lyme Disease, I am done with treatment, because the longest approved treatment, according to the IDSA, is 28 days of antibiotics. That shit happened, oh, 7 months ago. I guess I was cured then, but it just takes a while to catch up?
So anyway---I have this amazing doctor who spends too much time with me. Then, he gives me the medications he sees fit, based on MY situation. MY symptoms, MY results, MY reactions. Which is why I see him so often, and call between visits. And for this, I fork over enough money to send my entire family on a whirlwind European vacation. Instead, they get to open doors and jars and water bottles for me, and secretly wonder if I will get well, or if this nasty disease will kill me. I tell them it won't, that I am on the mend, that I will never be as bad as some of my friends online, the ones with the seizures, the ones that are bed-bound. I tell them we caught it early enough (because after 27 years is when it gets really bad, I suppose...).
And all along, I hope I didn't pass it to any of them, through birthing them, loving them.