I Miss The Old Me – Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

4 Oct

 

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I Miss The Old Me

 

Do you ever feel like you are a totally different person than the person you were when you were healthier? Not just from the pain and symptoms but I mean you feel like a total stranger to yourself.  That is how I feel and I know many of my Lyme friends feel the same way.

I feel like I have been cast in some bad low-budget horror film where something mysterious has happened to me and I wish that by the end of the movie there will be a happy ending. I think of the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers when I think of my disease. It feels like the fun, old me has been replaced with some alien from another planet.

It is hard to describe Lyme disease and coinfections but imagine having the worst flu you ever had, working a 16 hour day at work, you were beaten up by a few huge men, you have a hangover, and you are having trouble using your brain…….that is just a small part of what we feel like every day.

Although I have always been sick my whole life and had bad luck I was always happy, a hard worker, educated, motivated, loved to go out and have fun, women seemed to be attracted to me…..etc. Almost everything from when I was healthier is now gone. It is like I am living someone else’s life. My life is ruined and I am slowly adjusting to the “new me”.

This disease is so hard to explain since one of the main symptoms is cognitive problems which gives me memory loss, dyslexia, loss of words….etc. So what I write here is probably not what I would have written years ago when I was feeling better and I would have made more sense.

Every single thing I can think of from my past has been changed now for the worse. For example; sleeping is not the same, walking is not the same, thinking is not the same, eating is not the same and so on. It would probably take a book to explain all of the changes from the old me to the new me.

Everyone I know does not get that I am not the same old guy they used to know. I don’t even know me. It’s NOT DEPRESSION as some Lyme haters may think. It’s just the fact that so many symptoms and things are going inside of me that it is overwhelming.

I sit alone everyday in my chair and watch TV and the most exciting part of my day is watching a new show that is on or taking a shower. It seems hard for people to understand that I do not leave the house or do the things I used to do.

I would love to drive and meet a friend somewhere to eat dinner but I can’t. I haven’t driven a car in 3 years and I literally don’t leave the house. I have no immune system so being in public I can get sick really easy anyway. Getting even a common cold with Lyme disease takes me 2-3 months to get rid of and makes me feel twice as bad as my usual bad.

I miss the old me. I would love to go back in time and have one day in my old life but I can’t so I need to adjust to this new life. I am never a quitter and I don’t let anything stop me so I will continue to fight Lyme and hope to get better.

 

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What Has Changed

Then: Around the time Lyme disabled me and made me bedridden I was living life just like any healthy person would. I was working as a store manager (with Fibromyalgia) for a major retail chain working 50 hours a week. I was having a lot of fun and I had a lot of friends; I went fishing, hunting, dancing, to bars, and did outdoors activities every weekend. I was making new friends, having great social interactions with others, and enjoying life. Although I had Fibro pain I managed to get through each day with meds.

I used to dress up daily for work in a button-up, slacks, and ties and on my days off I dressed up to go out on the town and tried to look sharp. I shaved daily for work and was always clean cut. I would go out to eat and eat, drink anything I wanted to but at that time I had no time to cook so I ate a lot of fast food. Redbull would help get me through a long day at work and a long night partying with friends.

I was saving up to buy a house and I drove a nice car. I had just graduated from college and I was sending out applications for better jobs daily. I had girls interested in me often and at the time I was looking for my future wife so I wasn’t into casual dating. I had goals and I was achieving most of them. My passion at that time was to buy a house, get married, have kids, and enjoy the life I have always wanted. I felt as if things were finally coming together.
Now: 3 years ago I lost my job (from Lyme), lost my car, can no longer drive, went bankrupt, lost my savings to pay for medical bills, lost many of my friends, can’t go fishing or do any old hobbies, and girls stopped showing any interest. Many new medical issues have happened besides Lyme. I am disabled and thankfully living on a fixed income but I had zero income for 3 years.

My goals have changed and I just have two goals now; to find love and get better. No longer do I think about buying a house, getting a better job, what to do on the weekends…etc. I never know what day it is so weekends mean nothing to me now. The friends I used to hang out with haven’t talked to me in 2-3 years.

I rarely have any actual human interaction besides being on the Internet. I don’t dress up anymore and I don’t buy any new outfits because there is no point. I shave every few days and don’t cut my hair as often. I don’t wear cologne. My daily outfit now is my pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. Now I drink mostly water and tea, and no more Redbull. I try to eat healthier and avoid sugars when I can and I hate fast food (which is a good thing). I sit in a chair under a blanket. And of course there are the 100’s of symptoms and pain each day.

 

*This is just a few of the changes. My brain is really off tonight so I cannot think of many.

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Although Lyme has brought on depression and life seems lost for me I am always happy and I will always be. Life is too short and I will not let this disease take everything away from me. Being an optimist I know something better is in my future so I have to be patient and know one day I will be married and living a better life then I am now. I am making baby steps but I am learning to live with this disease and in my “new body” so to speak.
Never give up living and never give up on life.

 

 

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4 Responses to “I Miss The Old Me – Invasion Of The Body Snatchers”

  1. SHERRY SMITH October 5, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    You are such a good communicator……….I feel just like you do, I was married for 24 yrs…….My husband left me in 2006. I try to go out and find a job, but low on energy. I was bedridden for 6 yrs of my life, my husband ended up hating me because of being sick all the time. No one understands , like you said. I miss the ol me. Jesus is the only one that understands us……we dont give up and we keep moving forward. I will pray for you, that a wonderful change will come into your life……He also took all the money. Im on disability since he left me with nothing, but I praise God for now I live alone and it is sooo hard…..no one to help, when your so tired. I have to talk to myself to get even go to the store for food. You hit the nail on the head, when you said the Body Snatchers,,,Keep writing….my heart goes out to you, Keep fighting each and every day……….God Bless you …………Sherry

    • 49erBry October 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      Thank you so much. I am saddened to hear about your husband. I have another Lyme friend who had the same thing happen to her. Her husband took everything including the furniture because he couldn’t deal with her being sick. Now she has nothing and can’t afford health care in her state/county. My heart goes out to you and I hope everything gets better for you. Keep your head up good things are coming.

  2. james cotharn jr October 6, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    I have just found out about 5 months ago that im in the late stages of lyme, ive been going to doctors for 15 years no answers..so i went to scottsdale az the sunridge medical clinic they give you i.v treatments to raise your low levels . but i was told that i have lyme for 44 years and now im feeling very bad dont think that i can work anymore..just trying to deal with all the health problems….god help all with lyme

    • 49erBry October 7, 2012 at 12:27 am #

      Sorry to hear this. The longer you have had lyme the longer it takes to feel any relief with treatment. I have had it about 30 years along with the coinfections which can be just as bad as Lyme so I expect 7-8 years before I start to feel somewhat normal. Don’t give up hope. I am disabled and you can get ss disability with Lyme if you can’t work. While working the physical activity, stress…etc can make your symptoms worse. If you feel you can no longer work you want to fill out your ss paper work asap. I wish you all the best.

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