I had been sick for over 3 years, I was in pain and exhausted every day. The doctors sent me to more doctors, who sent me to more specialists. They played with diagnosing me with Tendinitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, MS...but not one of them said Lyme. I wasn’t able to work because of the pain, holding a pen would put me in tears.
After months and months of doctors visits, negative test results, and doctors who seemed unconcerned and unsympathetic, my doctor wanted to send me back to work. I broke down in tears and told him that I wasn’t able to perform my job as a dental receptionist. He flatly looked at me and told me to get a new job! Well, I went back to work and a week later I lost my job, because I wasn’t able to perform my duties! Imagine that!!
I felt like banging my head against the wall. None of the doctors I had gone to cared, I was a number to them…a number with negative test results. Was I supposed to just live like this? I was mentally and physically exhausted, depressed, and in excruciating pain. Was it all in my head?? I started to doubt myself..
Over the summer of 2010, I met someone who had gone through something very similar. We compared notes, as it turns out, the nurse practitioner who she sees now, had gone through it too. I figured it couldn’t hurt, this woman has been through it, she must get it!!! So I made an appointment and off I went. The nurse practitioner was compassionate, sympathetic, and very thorough. She told me her own story and said that we would figure this out together. She sent me to the lab to get my blood drawn, so much blood, I wondered how much I had left. She tested me for everything under the sun. I was hopeful once again!
I went to my follow-up visit and she has an answer….LYME DISEASE!! It was exactly what she had thought. She put me on several different medications and supplements. I had to schedule my life around these pills, they had to be so many hours apart and so many hours apart from each other. I started feeling better within a few weeks. I wasn’t tired like I used to be. The pain was slowly going away.... and then it came back! Chronic Lyme! It doesn't go away. Medication makes you feel better, but only for so long.
When I'm good, I feel really good and when I have a flare up I am in constant pain. It seems to affect my shoulders, arms, and hands the most. My muscles burn and feel heavy. I get physically exhausted very easily, and there are days I want to spend the day in bed. My immune system is low, so the average cold makes my symptoms come back. It's a vicious circle. I think the hardest thing to deal with is the pain, because you can't get away from it. Right now, I am feeling like crap again and need to make an appointment with the nurse practitioner for...more meds...
When I finally knew what was wrong with me, I wanted a bracelet to wear. I thought that somehow it would make me feel better, like look at me, I know what's wrong with me...FINALLY! When I didn't find any that I really liked, I figured I would make myself one. Something small, something pretty…not a sticker on your forehead that says, “I have Lyme Disease!”. That's when 'Shades of Awareness' was born. Throughout my journey I have met so many nice and supportive people, who were sick for a number of reasons. I have realized that you need to embrace your illness/syndrome, become proud of it. You need to make others aware, no matter how big or small your illness/syndrome is. There are others out there who need your support. My goal is to let people know that they are not alone! :)
We are so proud to be part of this fundraiser!! Recently, Angie contacted me and asked if I would be willing to donate a bracelet to a fundraiser she is having. She and her husband are in the process of adopting a baby boy with Down Syndrome who will born in May! She has an array prizes you can win!! All she asks for is a simple $5 donation toward the adoption fees!
Our Swarovski Awareness earrings have all been marked down! They feature a 6mm orange fiber optic cat's eye bead, which dangles below two 4mm Swarovski bicone crystals. Approx 1 1/2" from the base of the sterling silver ear-wires. We have them in EVERY awareness color!