Bullseye.

May 23rd… I was out with my new camera in a “field” on a farm 20 yards off the road taking pictures of farm equipment. HAHA, brilliant in retrospect… Driving down the road like 10 minutes later in Jarrettsville I feel something crawling on my leg.. I look down, and can tell it’s a tick. You can imagine my unwillingness to allow said tick to traverse further up my leg. No, that wasn’t going to happen. I gently slammed on the brakes and pulled over and grabbed a paper towel and got the thing off me. There weren’t any marks where the little bugger was so I assumed all was well…

For a couple weeks I had this bug bite thinger on my stomach that would itch occasionally.. It didn’t hurt and it didn’t burn… but it never went away… I thought it was kind of weird for a bug bite to last that long. But I just let it go for the time being. (I probaly would have eventually made it a point to ask a nurse or doctor.. since it was kind of strange.) I can only assume that what was to come was a result of this incident…

So on the morning of my birthday, June 20th.. I was getting ready to get in the shower before leaving to go down to MIR in Southern MD for the filming of an episode of Pinks All Out.. I noticed a hand-sized blotch of red on my stomach around my rib cage… w/ a little dot in the center and 2 huge rings around it. Classic sign of lyme diease! holllaaaaa. It’s apparently normal for the bulls eye to appear as much as a month after being bit. I couldn’t tell you if this mark appeared and was smaller the night/day before.. because I couldn’t move my neck very much after two days of riding in an 18-wheeler truck (more on that awesome adventure at some other point). Anyway, I went to my doctors office within the hour and saw the doctor on call. She basically diagnosed me w/ the lyme disease on the spot — haha, punny… She prescribed some antibiodics and sent me for some blood work on Monday.

I went home and took the first pill and headed down to MIR for the show. About two hours later I had a pretty epic reaction to either the medicine or the medicine combined w/ food. TMI if I go any further.. But after that, I was good… Although, 1/2 way through the day I couldn’t stand up for more than 5 minutes before my back started to hurt an insane amount.. I attribute that again to the truck ride the 2 days before..

So on Monday, I got the blood work done.. which sucked. I hate having my blood drawn. I’m okay with a little blood. But I can’t stand veins and the feeling of pumping blood — and absolutely not seeing my blood after that. I don’t even like getting my blood pressure checked. Weird, maybe. Plus, I always feel like I’m going to pass out when I get blood drawn. Again, this time was no exception. Which would have been fine… except I went and drove by myself. I was feeling great coming out of the lab.. pumped that I managed to do it w/out flipping out. Hopped in the car and headed home.. So driving down Joppa Rd. I start sweating, my eyes glaze over, and my whole body feels clammy. It was bad… Not a fun experience. Apparently the suggestion is to sit down for awhile afterwards. Helpful.. after the fact.

So the few days prior to this lovely situation I was super stressed and felt generally like crap – just tired, couldn’t eat… I would eat half a meal. I was just so out of it. I actually lost like 5 pounds… I assumed it was from stress of various things.. and I think that probably had a lot to do with it… But, seeing what the symptoms of “lyme disease” are.. (flu like symptoms and feeling crappy) I kinda think that played a part too — although I don’t know to what degree. It’d be weird to just have the silly bulls eye and no other physical signs. But who knows… This whole week and a half time period made me look at things differently. It got my mind right — focused on God, reliant on Him.. Trusting Him. A bunch of little things changed — to mention them would seem insignificant, but they were just the pieces I needed at just the right time.

By the end of that week I was feeling much brighter… if it did have to do w/ the junks going on in my body because of the “disease”, it seemed like the antibiodics had really helped. I say it was a God thing.

The only other time I felt bad since then was on the way to work one morning.. I was heading to Panera to pick up some bagels… and out of nowhere this crazy nausea came on… I was sweating bullets. I pulled into Panera and had to just sit there… praying hard… cause it wasn’t pleasant. After a little bit, it subsided enough to move on.. I couldn’t tell you what caused it… other than maybe I needed some food in my stomach before taking the medicine.. Since then I’ve done just that and I’ve been fine.

As far as physical stuff… I couldn’t even really tell I had lyme disease. Which sort of scared me inside.. because I had to just pray that the antibiotics were working….. Some of the physical symptoms of lyme disease can be really bad headaches, bad joint pain, and just general flu like symptoms. Those can all lead to arthritis and palsy… NOT good things..

Today, I went to the doctor for a follow up visit.. I saw my actual doctor this time. He showed me the blood test results.. which did say I had lyme disease… He basically said that the medicine should have gotten rid of it.. Again, because it was caught in time and I started the treatment. So I guess I just trust that it’s true..

I am extremely thankful to have caught it in it’s first stage where antibiotics can “cure” it… Lyme disease is no joke. It will seriously mess you up if you aren’t diagnosed early enough — and a lot of people aren’t. I’ve talked to a couple people in the past few weeks who knew people that were still dealing with it… It really was God working there… In the midst of a stressful little time period, he still had my back (in a bigger way ) and I didn’t even know it.

Looking back, it wasn’t that bad.. and I pray to God it’s actually done with and nothing ever ever comes of this later down the road. And I’m thankful to have actually used this as a little wake-up call and “re-alignment”.

And that’s my story.