Monday, August 30, 2010

The Lyme & the Coconut

Good News! Ma'ikwe has Lyme disease.

While I realize that most people wouldn't consider that a cause for joy, she's been trying to diagnose why she's been so tired and achy for months [see my blog of Dec 14, 2009, Adventures in Hydrotherapy], and the not knowing has been brutal. She did a battery of tests back in December—including one for Lyme disease—but it came back negative then, leaving us baffled about the diagnosis and therefore unsure about the treatment. Rest has been helping but she just hasn't been getting better.

At the urging of friends who are health practitioners, she did a Western Blot test this time, and this more definitive assessment came back positive. While the treatment probably means an extended course in antibiotics (goodbye intestinal flora), Ma'ikwe is more than ready to do what it takes to put an end to her year of debilitating symptoms.

While the muscle ache and lethargy have been bad enough, the hardest part has been on her coconut (that is, her head). It is hard to maintain a positive attitude when you don't know what you have, whether you've hit the bottom, or even if you'll get better. While she's done a heroic job of maintaining an emotional even keel throughout this ordeal, it's much better knowing what you've got and what it will take to recover.

According to my sister-in-law Kim (Ma'ikwe was part of a Ludwig family peregrination to southwestern Michigan over the weekend to help celebrate her niece's christening), Ma'ikwe was feeling buoyant enough yesterday to indulge in some rolling around on the dance floor with her brother Mark, to the tune of Rock Lobster (by the B-52s). While I'm not sure what this says about her emotional stability, it's apparent that she's feeling more frisky and I take that as generally a good sign.

While with family, her plan was to take advantage of Uncle Ted being among the celebrants to discuss antibiotics. He's an MD with a healthy skepticism about the advisability of their liberal application, and she values his medical opinion. I know she's anxious to get started on the treatment so that she can immediately arrest whatever ongoing mischief the Lyme disease is visiting upon her body.

In a year, perhaps we'll all recall August 2010 as a joyous time, replete with alliterative milestones: Kim & Mark's daughter's dedication, the definitive diagnosis of a debilitating disease, and dance floor derring-do. While Ma'ikwe's been doing a yeoman job of giving her body a lot of rest the past nine months, I'm hoping that with this diagnosis she'll now be able to give her coconut a rest also.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that this has been an incredibly useful post for me, I've also been struggling with what I thought was ME, and now, thanks to your post, I'm realising that this may instead be Lyme's Disease, as I was bitten by a tick while on holiday in Canada some time ago. I'm going to have it checked on Monday. But at any rate I hope that Ma'ikwe pulls through.