I don’t know what brought this to the forefront of my mind, but I decided that having late stage lyme disease is comparable to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. However that caterpillar goes through the larvae stage is the same as the way we get infected without knowing and as the caterpillar grows with all its legs, lyme grows and attaches itself to our bodies wherever it pleases.
I’ve decided that each caterpillar leg represents a test that we have had done while trying to determine what is wrong with us and then for all the follow-up tests; MRIs, EMGs, EKGs, quarts of blood, urine, saliva all to make the determination that finally someone believes we are truly sick with lyme.
When the caterpillar begins its cocoon phase can simply be the time that we are treated with endless antibiotics, IVs, PICC lines, ports, detox diets and baths, herbal remedies and when we least want to be seen or have to participate, so we are wrapped up tight and firmly holding strong to the belief that we are going to get better.
Then the cocoon begins to change and loosen and we battle to rise above all the tests, medications, therapies and the non-believers to shed our walkers, canes, dependency on everyone and emerge as a new being: a butterfly! Slow to work our way out of the cocoon and then to take flight, knowing that the whole time in the cocoon was a work in progress. It was not a period of rest; it took immense strength to change completely from that caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly free to fly and experience life.
Maybe it would be easier to stay in the cocoon where it is safe and you feel protected. Unfortunately there are times that the transformation doesn’t take place and death occurs. It’s very sad to think that the caterpillar struggled so hard to improve and change and either gave in or didn’t have the strength to finish the monumental task placed in front of him.
I believe I am coming out of my cocoon. I feel very confused and anxious. I can’t sleep. I am capable of so much more than I was when I was finally diagnosed with lyme. My doctors that believed and my family saved my life; they gave me the will to live and fight with every part of my being. I cook, I go to the gym to work on my balance and muscle memory without any walking aids. I am still on too many medications to list, but I know it is a necessity.
Honestly I wanted to give up many times. That cocoon was so nice. Everyone was surviving fine without me and I was just a burden otherwise as I needed help with everything. My younger sister could hear it in my voice and was over or stayed on the phone till I finally admitted where my mind was and how tired I was of being dependent. My husband and daughters never complained and picked up the slack.
I am becoming that butterfly – I can feel it. The thought of being free of the confines of my house is beautiful. I don’t know how far I will get on my first “flight”, but I now believe I can do it as I have so many people pulling for me and I have always been a fighter. I may have to rest a lot at the beginning of my new journey and I am pretty sure I will have setbacks. But I can’t let that ever stop me from trying to get my life back.
This is the one life I get to make the most of and I am not going to miss any more of it! To all my fellow “lymies” please stay strong – you are more loved and wanted than you can imagine.