Friday, January 25, 2013

The Fellowship of the Lymies

We are in the Lyme doc's office. Everyone is here because they are sick. Some desperately so ... in a wheelchair, on oxygen, unable to walk or talk or see or think clearly. Others don’t look as sick. But they can’t function fully. They are too weak, in too much pain, too foggy in their brain. Some are new to this, and tentative. Will all this be worth it? They have tried so many doctors before. Some are clearly getting better – they will tell you their stories, about years of sickness, then hope and treatment, and now some health, some vitality. They tell us about their protocol, what helped and what didn’t, how they spent everything they had to get to health, how grateful they are to those who have helped them. They give us all hope, and help us to persist.

The prescribed treatments are long, painful, and complex.  No two are quite alike, because the progression of each person’s disease is a little different.  The doctor prescribes and guides your treatment, but you have to say yes. You have to participate.  There are medicines to be taken, things to be avoided, regimens to be followed. No one does it alone. A friend or spouse or family member has been there to hand them the pills, hook them up to the IV, push them in the wheelchair into the office. Restoration comes slowly.

Online, I read reviews of the practice. “They saved my life”... “They are disorganized” ... “they want you to take all this expensive medicine.” Some have given up and settled for existence instead of life. Too hard, too long, too expensive. I don’t want to take all those pills. I can’t afford to come to this doctor. Maybe there is an easier way.

But we are here by faith. We have enough evidence to believe. We pay the cost and follow the regimen. Where else could we go?  And in the process, it is good to be here. The other patients and their caregivers understand. We are the Fellowship of the Lymies, in it together. Getting well.  “Yes,” we tell the others, it is worth it. Stick to it. The doc knows what he is doing, even though he may not be explaining it to you. (Would we understand it all anyway??)  He gets people well.”

I have told you a parable. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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