Mar 22, 2015

Mothering and Lyme Disease

This morning I watched a video that touched me more deeply than I expected.  The information shared in the beginning of the video by Amy Tan and her doctor, Dr. Stricker was very informative but it was the single Mom with two very sick teens that gripped me the most.

It was the tears in Kate Steele's eyes that I identified with, it was her broken heart over watching her children suffer.  It was the exhaustion that she felt because she has to work 2 jobs and still be up all night with her children.  It was her hearts cry that nobody is there when she needs to be there for both children at the same time, going back and forth, with one child who is sick on the floor in the bathroom and the other who can't get out of bed but needs her too. 

She said she has to work 2 jobs because it takes one job just to pay for the cost of her children's treatment.  Chronic Lyme disease is not accepted by most insurance companies and therefore doctor's who treat it cannot take insurance.  This is a burden that no family should bear and I can only imagine how devastating it is to bear as a single mom.

I was touched by this Mom, I identified with her struggle and heart break.  I am also the Mom of children who suffer with chronic Lyme Disease.  I have suffered with with miserable symptoms of chronic Lyme Disease.  I have been the Mom who has had to spread herself thin trying to meet the needs of multiple children who are suffering at the same time and in need of care. 

I've been the Mom up all night with my child only to have to wake early to homeschool and take care of the others during the day, visiting doctors, labs and pharmacies and pushing myself while exhausted, in pain and emotionally drained.  I'm the Mom whose heart breaks while watching her children suffer in pain.  I'm also the Mom who cries with them over their disappointments and frustrations when they feel like they're missing out on life as it continues to go on without them.


I'm the Mom who has spent more then a few hundred hours researching and trying desperately to find an answer, to find a cure, to find something that will help my children feel better.  I'm the Mom who endures unsympathetic comments from others about how could my whole family have this disease while their children have been bitten many times and have never had a problem.

I don't want sympathy and I'm sure this mom doesn't either.  We have been given strength as Moms to do what needs to be done regardless of the difficulty.  It never ceases to amaze me how strong and resilient moms are.  The more of these moms I meet and get to know, who live with difficult circumstances or chronic illness the more I realize this.  I am just like so many moms who are burdened with wanting the best for their children.

As a Christian mom, while I live and breathe to see my kids better, I'm most concerned with their spiritual health and I know that God can use them even if they stay sick for a long period of time.  I also believe that God will not let their experience go to waste but will use it for good.

Despite pushing through on a daily basis, moms who are ill or who have children that are, would still benefit from the nurture and care of others, especially single moms who don't have a caring husband to share the load with.

Some things that were so helpful to me during our most difficult and dark days were really just simple things like being able to take a long nap because I was always so exhausted.  Going out for coffee with an encouraging friend because I needed a break.  My days were extra sweet when I'd receive a card that said, "I'm praying for you!".  Other things that meant a lot were a hug from a caring friend or loved one, a phone call asking how I'm doing or when my husband would order take-out when I didn't have the energy to cook.

If you know a mom who has chronic illness or has children who do, ask how you can help and find ways to encourage her. I've noticed that many people have little patience for someone who has been sick for any length of time. We're all busy and we all struggle with our own problems. Sometimes we don't feel we can help someone else.

Our family has found that helping others even when we could use a little for ourselves blesses us and helps us in our own struggles, it takes our minds off of ourselves and that's always a good thing.

If you have a few minutes, would you please watch this video?  Amy Tan said in the video that the CDC now reports that there could be as many as one million new Lyme cases every year.  If this is the case, you can be sure that you or someone you love will get infected.  It would be worth educating yourself especially so that you could avoid a chronic infection.




Beyond The Headlines: Lyme Disease 

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