We've been unsettled lately. Denny has done an unusual amount of traveling in the last few months. Not a bad thing, just an adjustment. The last trip was to Virginia and he went birding while he was there. He got to see a scarlet tanager. We're fond of their cousins, the summer tanagers that bring their fledglings to our bird baths in summer, but the scarlet tanagers don't get this far west so it was a treat to see one. The business trip worked out well too.
Denny came back with some bites from the birding trip, spider bites, he thought. I looked at them. Hard, red, itchy bumps. A few days later the spider bites were at the center of wide-red-angry-circular rashes.
A loved one suggested he see a doctor as soon as possible. She said the rash had characteristics of erythema migrans, a rash which sometimes occurs with Lyme Disease infection. When I heard that, a fist lodged against my diaphragm. We know more than we ever wanted about the debilitating effects of advanced Lyme disease. A family member has it. She's getting help and improving, but the last six months have been excrutiating.
Denny and I are fortunate that our family doctor is conversant with Lyme. She prescribed antibiotics. Denny will also see an infectious disease specialist this week. It took about a week to get everything in order but Denny is getting the most effective treatment.
All good but I was still unsettled. It felt like my brain was in deep shadow. My pulse was elevated, I wasn't sleeping well, I was tired all the time. I couldn't concentrate--didn't write more than a page the whole week. All of the time, no matter what I was doing, a loop was running...an endless routine of the danger and risk to my sweet husband.
When Denny realized that I hadn't been able to get out of living the crisis, he sat me down and gently, sweetly told me I had an unbalanced view and it was hurting me.
I tried telling that to my brain but the loop didn't quit. So I took a black marker and made two signs, one to post above my desk and one for the bedroom mirror, places I see often. The signs say, "Denny has the highest probability of getting well." I repeat the sentence to myself every time I see it and any time I feel the loop starting up.
The fist is gone now and I'm sleeping peacefully. Because it's true, Denny has the highest probability of getting well.
Sometimes the operative truth is not the downside but the upside...and we just need to see it.