Having Lyme Disease seemed to be no big deal until I dug in and started treatment in earnest. The first month of antibiotics and supplements went smoothly with the exception of a little headache here and there. And the twice-weekly intravenous Vitamin C treatments went smoothly - until it started hastening the killing of the infection. Which is the point, right? But as the infection dies off and leaves your body, it can be somewhat unpleasant. It feels like you're getting the flu for about 4 hours at a time - and then you can rebound and be fine. This is known as a "Herx Reaction" and is actually a good thing; it means the treatment is working.
One day recently, after a half day of fine, the flu-ish symptom that decided to pay a visit was VOMITING. I'm not good at vomiting. I will do just about anything to keep from throwing up. It shoots me back in time to when I was pregnant and spent 4 months with my head hovering over a toilet bowl; a life lived in a constant state of on-the-verge. My cheek spent so much time resting on the side of a toilet bowl that I started longing for one of those fuzzy toilet seat covers; just a little bit of comfort would have been so nice. This was a time when eating food was so uncommon that I can tell you everything I ate during that time. At one point, I was compelled to pray to see if that would stop the vomiting; and as I hung my head over the bowl, I wondered if I needed an intro like "Dear Jesus" or if I could launch into it. What's the protocol? Would it still work without a greeting?
So now the Herx nausea visits me and I'm astounded at the lack of concern in my house. I'm always amazed at how there's really only one caretaker in each house. In my house, it's me. So what happens when the caretaker is sick?
After 2 hours on the couch, post-vomit, with no care whatsoever, I feel steady enough to rise and confront my delinquent housemates - who have been having fun right under my nose in their non-vomity world while I suffer.
I walk slowly, a little hunched over, ever wary of the feeling in my stomach. I climb the stairs and enter the party in the rec room like a Thriller zombie. And no one even turns and looks at me. With steering wheels and wii remotes and eyes glued to the giant TV screen, it was the perfect example of "what's wrong with kids today." And their fathers, too, apparently. So taken in by flashy graphics that they are completely oblivious to the suffering in the world.
Finally, I say, "Is no one going to check on me?"
Daddy shakes off the wii coma and says, surprised, "Oh! You're up and at 'em!"
"No, I'm not. Just up. I need someone to check on me and see if I'm ok. What if I need something and I'm too sick to get up?"
One thing I've been working on with Mike (unsuccessfully, for 17 years) is that a sick person can't yell or call out when they need something - either because they don't have the energy or because calling out will hasten the vomiting. As in dude, if I'm dying on the couch, I can't just call for you when you're at the other end of the house like "MIKE! I'M GOING TO THROW UP SO IT WOULD BE GREAT IF YOU COULD BRING ME A BUCKET, PLEASE! THANK YOU! LOVE YOU!"
That's why you check on people.
So I chastise the party in rec room and the boys rally - they come downstairs to check on me and to make me a nice tray of sick food and drink. Liam has quickly drawn a get well card and put a dollar inside. So sweet. But then it turns out to be a fake dollar and I'm annoyed. Don't do me like that, bro. Nauseous people are not so understanding of jokes.
Mike suggests I try a little ginger ale which sounds great. And Liam offers to make me some toast. But when they get to the kitchen, they start yelling questions at me and expect me to yell my answers back to the kitchen. Omigod. Seventeen years I've been working on this.
"DO YOU WANT GINGER ALE OR MAYBE A LITTLE PEPSI?"
"MAMA, WHERE'S THE GLUTEN FREE BREAD?"
"KRISTIN! IS THIS BREAD ON THE COUNTER GLUTEN FREE?"
"MAMA, DO YOU WANT GLUTEN FREE MULTIGRAIN OR GLUTEN FREE CINNAMON RAISIN?"
I try to squeak out answers but they keep saying, "WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU?"
So I just stop answering and hope they'll wise up and ask me face to face so I can give my answers with less effort; so they don't pay the ultimate price for their laziness.
Like "CINNAMON RAISIN, PLEASE!" (hork). Cuz I'm not cleaning that up.
The vomiting is short-lived but it is something to managed; as in don't drink juice while taking the antibiotic or don't take the antibiotic with more than one supplement or don't take too many things in the morning or don't take the antibiotic too early in the day or don't eat dairy within 2 hours of taking the antibiotic. It's a puzzle.
If I don't follow these rules, a minor headache can also weave its way into my day. And a basic wooziness. A fuzzy, tingly head. Not totally unpleasant. As long as I leave the forklift in the garage.
Everything is relatively minor (except the horking. and, frankly, i'd rather be lymey than horky). So I follow the rules and I do what I'm told and I wait patiently so I can fully purge this New Hampshire tick business get the bleep out of here.