Posted on Dec 7, 2009 in Blog |

While on vacation over Thanksgiving, I read Amy Tan’s The Opposite of Fate; Memories of a Writing Life. I didn’t read her bestseller, The Joy Luck Club. But I knew Tan had Lyme disease and I wanted to learn from her. I wanted to read her experience, strength and hope. Her Lyme story didn’t surface until the final chapter (starting on page 367), but by page 23, I was busy highlighting: ‘We were both easily moved to tears, for we felt deeply and were warmly touched by the warmth of the love that so many friends freely gave to us.’ I read the book slowly; I didn’t want it to stop. Amy and I had become friends in just 23 pages. So by the time I reached page 367, I was dreading what I knew was coming very soon: the end of the book. And then, on page 372, the words popped up from the page. ‘She [the doctor] wanted to do more tests so we could rule out a tumor in my pancreas.’ I don’t have a tumor in my pancreas. But doctors thought I did starting in 1985. I don’t think it really matters, except to satisfy my curiosity, to figure out when I contracted Lyme disease. We know I had it at least five years ago when I tested positive for h.pylori during an endoscopy. Unfortunately, my gastroenterologist didn’t know that h.pylori is a co-infection of Lyme. But I think I have had it since I was 18 years old. My senior year of high school, I contracted viral meningitis. Just a few months later, in college, I was sleeping 23 hours a day. I had to drop out of school and come home to many blood tests that ended up showing nothing. Years later, I suspected that it was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Epstein-Barr Syndrome. My physicians didn’t know about those two viruses in 1981. I struggled with depression throughout college and numerous viruses that couldn’t be clearly diagnosed or cured. In 1985, I went to a doctor complaining of diarrhea, upset stomach. I thought I had another ulcer. A few days later, I received...

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