I have Lyme. I’d like to not have it anymore. I also just want cake.
April 1st was a momentous day for me. But also a weird day… with unexpected conflictions.. I’ll explain later. After just 5 days short of one year, I had my PICC line pulled. The end of an era. Truly. Let’s revisit some moments.
If you felt undertones of sentimentality… you were meant to. If it seemed like it was about to include shots of me cuddling my PICC in front of a rented movie, or of us laughing at each other’s jokes or holding hands as we ran through a field of wildflowers or even sharing a milkshake with one straw, it was. In some weird way… in some totally intangible touchy-feely deep in my soul way, I loved that little purple tube that went into my arm, piercing my brachial artery and following it up my through my shoulder and down into my chest, ending at my heart’s front doorstep.
Get over it. Hear me out. Dr. J’s IV therapy program was no easy sailing. Duh, you’ve heard this by now from me like 900 times. And if I’m being honest, I will reveal to you straight up that due to non-Lyme related things, neither were all of my 20’s. The difference though, the significant difference between my 20’s and Dr. J’s IV Lyme therapy was that I choose Dr. J’s program. The trials of my 20’s were all just put upon me. But this, this I choose every day for the entire time he prescribed it. It wasn’t one of those things where you make the choice and then there is no backing out. I also had to re-choose it every day… for 360 days. I could have very easily quit and done something easier at any time. But I didn’t. I went to him for the big guns, and I took it. I consider completing it one of the biggest accomplishments in my life. Especially so when it appeared I was sick enough that he advised I go beyond his 7-8 months of projected IV therapy, which then turned into a whopping almost-year. That’s 4ish extra months of re-choosing it but this time with no known end-date. It had turned from 7-8 months into, “whenever”. That becomes really hard on the psyche ya’ll. But I chose it until he said stop. Not me. He.
And I don’t feel vain or self-absorbed in saying it (I have no platform for being vain, Lyme took from me an athletic build and half my hair while replacing it with dark circles, procedure scars, and atrophied muscles). AND, Lyme has (hopefully) made me the opposite of self-absorbed… all I do all day long is empathize and feel more strongly for others and go through boxes and boxes of tissues while traveling the full spectrum of gratitude to God. I don’t know how I went from the below examples of before and afters. He must have had a lot to do with it.
Me during my IV treatment
But back to my PICC. Prior to this whole Lyme Disease thing, I had survived my 20’s and felt “I can do hard things”. Since the whole Lyme Disease thing I feel that now, “I can choose hard things”. And the only tangible symbol for my strength, my accomplishment, my ability to overcome fear and pain and everything else the body tries to throw at you when it’s trying to get you to take the path of least resistance, was my PICC line. And in another weird, gross way, it kind of became a part of me. Aside from the fact that it was literally inside me, it was part of my identity for a while. “This is Tara, and that is her PICC.”
Nobody likes a PICC?
Fine. I know when I’m loosing an audience. Suffice it to say, yes I will always agree that I mostly hated the PICC. I hated the IV Treatment, I hated the dressing changes and anxieties over infection or clotting. I hated how it itched and I hated the blisters that would form under the adhesive. I hated that I couldn’t sleep in my favorite positions and I hated bathing in 5 inches of water. I hated the caustic sensations of strong chemical cocktails being pumped through my veins. Also, I really hated those heparin flushes. BUT, I chose it. I chose it, I relied on God for the strength to endure it, and I love where it all got me. Better. Stronger. A conqueror.
(That’s the ultimate recipe for success, by the way. Challenge + you + God = Awesomer you.)
That being said, enjoy the happy moment where Me and my PICC finally parted ways below.
I’ve decided to replace the hole my PICC left (pun intended) in my life with real showers. Guys, did you know showers are like, really, really nice? Here’s to the next chapter in treatment!