Worst Case Scenario: Treatment After Lyme Pregnancy
Whenever I get nervous about anything (not just health related), I ask myself, "What's the worse case scenario?"
I had to ask that question many times throughout the course of Lyme pregnancy, and as someone still undergoing some heavy treatment, I don't anticipate stopping anytime soon.
During pregnancy, I worried about not being able to care for my babies. I feared the dreaded relapse, and I didn't even want to think about what would happen if I passed on the disease. Worst case scenario? I'd find help in advance, whether it was family, friends, or if we were desperate, paid. I'd push through another round of treatment with the upper hand, as I've already seen rock bottom and and it's not my first day on the job, and of course, if my babies were ill, we'd treat immediately, let the guilty feelings go, and put all of our efforts into fixing and moving on. Being rational as often as possible is the key to getting through this journey smoothly.
Often times easier said than done. As I'm writing this, I'm tucked away in a bedroom, hooked up to an IV, listening to a chorus of cries and wails coming from the living room. My husband is juggling both unhappy babies, as well as a whimpering dog. Quite the symphony. Undoubtedly, someone has a stinky diaper, someone is hungry, and everyone is overtired. Nothing I can do at the moment, though, and quite frankly, there's little I can do to contribute for the time being. Anxiety and guilt on my part? Oh yeah.
Worst case scenario? Twenty-eight more days of hearing my family soothe the Crying Choir while I blast out this last round of Vancomycin. That's less than a month. Will I be cured? Probably not-- sorry, I'm not optimistic anymore--however, I will feel better than I do now, and even now, I've certainly been much worse off than this.
I was afraid to start this treatment. What if I'm knocked completely on my ass? What if I can't find help and I can't handle everything on my own? What if I'm leaning too hard on family, and they start to resent having to help all the time? It's only been five days of treatment, and so far, all of these things have happened at some point (sooner than I expected!) You know what? We've revised plans, had heart-to-heart talks, taken it day by day, and we've made it so far.
This is all about perspective. Some days, during pregnancy and beyond, will be painful and scary. We are literally fighting to get our lives back. When there are children in the picture, the stakes are higher, and everything seems to matter a million times more. I've noticed that 90% of the time, in retrospect, it's never as bad as I feared it would be in my mind.
For me, relapse has been no picnic, but these symptoms aren't strangers, and I'm doing what I have to so they'll go away again. I have a lot of love and support, especially during the hard times, and despite some discomfort, I'm pretty happy. My kids bring me joy and comfort, and I bring the same to them. Not the kind of life I had in mind for us, but who knows what will happen down the road. Worst case scenario: I stay sick. I wouldn't trade this life for anything, even if it is kind of broken.
I am a mother and writer with Chronic Lyme, on the road to acceptance and recovery. I was bitten in 1996, diagnosed 2008. I am living proof that it is possible to live meaningfully and have happy, healthy children while battling this terrible disease.