Faces of Lyme: Linda's Story
After my daughter Lori passed away at a young age as a result of a brain tumor, I mourned her loss with my entire being. Despite the severity of my grief, I knew it would not make me immune to tragedy or hardship in my future, so I did my best to carry on with my head held high. My belief in Heaven and God comforted me and gave me strength.
I went on to have three more children; Mike, Amy, and Jimmy. It is impossible to describe the emotion that gripped me when little Jimmy was born with a brain tumor just like Lori's, his poor sweet sister he would never have the opportunity to know. By the grace of God, he survived, but the trials weren't over. Another tumor turned up in his sacral joint, which also needed to be removed. He was left permanently disabled, but alive! Though we were tested as a family, we made it through together and were a more tightly-knit group for the experience. We pressed onward.
Then, three years ago, we were struck with yet another blow when I became sick with Chronic Lyme Disease. Like most of those afflicted with this brutal condition, I was forced down a labyrinthine path toward treatment. Between an inability to find a Lyme-Literate doctor in my area and the obstinance of my insurance companies, I was prevented from getting treatment up until this past May when I finally found a competent doctor. I am now on IV antibiotics as well as other medications, hoping to put this disease into remission.
Most days, it's hard for me to walk or even take care of myself. Jimmy is 21 now, but mentally and functionally he's more like a toddler than an adult. His brain damage is severe, but he his our miracle. His needs are constant. He's still in diapers and requires a special feeding schedule. His older siblings still live at home and have been a great assuagement in both Jimmy's care, and now mine. I don't know what I would do without their unconditional love, loyalty, and dedication.
As the holiday was approaching in December, I broke down and cried. I felt so small and helpless. All I wanted was to be able to give my children a gift in return, because I feel that they deserve so much more than I have been able to give to them recently. My husband works as a nurse, but most of his pay has been going toward my treatment, and the bills just keep growing.
A friend of ours in the Lyme community helped us to set up a PayPal account where donations can be sent. If you could find the charity in your heart to help our family through this tough time, our gratitude would be inexpressible. Every bit helps, no matter how tiny that bit may be.
--As Told By Linda
Written by Ginger
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