Tuesday, May 19, 2009


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.


  1. I actually received your blog as a notice from google alert for Lyme Disease. I have late stage neurological Lyme and am getting treated for it after 23 yrs. Your husband is very blessed because he has gotten help right away! Yahoo!! Get all the help you can...I know it is none of my business, but I would suggest a Lyme Literate Doctor if necessary.
    Your blog looks interesting!

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  3. You have a tough road, Renee, and I'll be thinking of you. I'm glad you're getting treated after so many years.

    I've added your blog, http://www.lymeliving.blogspot.com/, to my bloglist and will be following your progress.

    Thanks for the recommendation about a Lyme literate doc. It's good advice. So far we've been very fortunate with the treatment.

  4. Kat, Unfortunately this is the first time I have come to your blog. My heart goes out to you... I like your affirmation, and I believe that what we confess we possess.
    My Dad had a precious saying...
    When he was asked how he was doing ( and he had all the reason in the world to be a "bitter old Man" He would reply--BETTER THAN EXCELLENT!
    I am going to claim that Denny has a "BETTER THAN EXCELLENT' chance of getting well! Psalms 8
    The sunset pic takes my breath away... B

  5. Buck had to take some doxycycline for a suspicious tick bite several years ago. His Mayo Clinic doc in Jacksonville prescribed it. (The bite had occurred about a week before our routine annual physicals there.) They have a good web site with reliable info at www.mayoclinic.com.

    Quick treatment like Denny has gotten is very encouraging. His general fitness will stand him in good stead here, too, I'm sure.

    It's awful to feel helpless when someone you love more than your own life has been attacked.


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