A couple of months back I flew out to Nebraska on what turned out to be a rather ill-fated journey. It was a work trip, and I'd been really looking forward to writing about a different landscape and breaking out a few new adjectives (in case you're wondering, the Blue Ridge Mountains here in Asheville are: rippling, lush, panoramic, soaring, and, well- blue.) But it turns out I was in such crippling pain the whole time I was exploring the Great Plains I nearly lost my mind, just as the many mail-order pioneer brides that had come before me.
That's right, friends, I still have fracking Lyme disease. I've gotten used to being in constant pain, as it's been well over a year now. The fact that we as humans are this adaptable is both a a terrible curse, and the only reason I haven't put myself into a forever sleep inside a snowbank. It's easier to exist in peace when you can't imagine what normal feels like any more, but there's also less motivation to try and get better. What's better?
The trip to Nebraska was particularly haunting, as I'd just reached a milestone in my ubiquitous, longwinded, nebulous and, always, agonizingly expensive 'treatment.' We'd just managed to destroy all 13 species of mycoplasma I'd been suffering from- the stealthiest of all the stealth bacteria. Cause for celebration, because mycoplasma can cause such inconveniences as repeated miscarriage, but also tricky, as they create the biofilm where the Borrelia bacteria can live inside of you forever, cozy and protected from whatever onslaught of antibiotics you throw at them.
Not heard of biofilm? You've seen it. It's essentially a slime colony of bacteria, nature's lowest, basest, most repulsive level of life. Biofilm covers your teeth in the morning and sends you dashing out of bed to the toothbrush. It's the ring of discoloration that accumulates inside the toilet bowl, the one you'd rather die ignoring then face it and live. That's what I have clinging to my organs and vessels and bone. That's where the still-living-after-all-this-time pockets of Borrelia live like seniors in a Florida retirement community, totally insulated, playing bridge, enjoying Holiday potlucks. Swapping genetic information.
At least, that's how things were until the day I successfully destroyed my 13 species of mycoplasma, the biofilm dissolved, a swarm of living lyme was released into my bloodstream, homeless and vengeful, and I blithely hopped on a plane to America's heartland, all excited about seeing the Oregon Trail in person.
I'm catching us up a bit over a series of blog posts. The story continues soon.