Green is not Only for The Irish! – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

It has been about a month now that I have been living with Lyme’s Disease. Now that the initial shock is behind me, I have found an oral antibiotic that I can tolerate and I get supplemented with IV antibiotics every few weeks to give my body an extra boost in ridding itself of the disease. I also came upon some very interesting Lyme’s Disease support groups.

I am much in favor of support groups. Many are particularly helpful when what you are faced with what can appear quite daunting (for example, joining my local Chapter of Motherhood Later Than Sooner! Now look what happened, lol!). There is so much I don’t know about this condition. It is unreasonable to have every picayune question answered by my doctor, as wonderful as she is. Through these online support groups I have seen both the worst of what this disease can do to a person along with people like myself who are in the throws of beginning and middle stages of the disease process.

What I found quite meaningful through these groups were the plethora of t-shirts, bracelets, charms, bumper stickers and such that these groups have initiated and developed. I know all of this is a money making scheme. But when you look at an item, such as the pin, above, you know you are not alone and it gives you more impetus to gulp down that Lego-size pill, or sit through another hour of IV antibiotics. You also know that others are going through the same.

The “hope” symbol for Lyme’s Disease is a lime green ribbon. The ribbon looks identical to the ribbon symbols for breast cancer, AIDS and other important conditions. I bought a couple t-shirts, a bracelet and a lime green charm. I plan to wear my “Lyme’s attire” during St. Patrick’s Day, not only because I have Irish heritage, but to show other’s that just like the pink and red ribbons, the color green and green ribbons stand for something very significant. 

May is Lyme’s Disease Awareness month. I’ll be sporting a lot of green that month too. Along with my lime green ribbon! And if ticks can see in color, maybe the lime green color will be blinding to them. If that’s the case, I’m splurging on a whole new wardrobe and possibly spurning a whole new couture fashion trend! Even though green really isn’t my “color.”

I have also discovered quite a few caring people – close friends, casual friends, acquaintances, even a few strangers, who have done so much to help me! Local Moms have bought me food, made dinner for my son and me, fixed my vacuum…one especially incredible friend had my son stay for a sleepover with her son at her house for 28 hours!! A whole day plus more! I think she knew how much pain I was in after getting my first IV antibiotic treatment that she wanted to help as much as possible. I am going to get better and return the favor, and then some!!

The most important thing I have learned is that there are an astonishing few “musts” and “have to”s in life. I will admit, I have a very calm life. There are days I can’t drive so I take taxis or ask other Moms to drop me off at various places. I found a couple small local grocery stores which provide free delivery, as does my pharmacy. When I wanted to volunteer at my son’s school and get out of the house, I arranged to have a couple extra Moms help me. I know it sounds odd, but these Moms understood and were very eager to assist. I have become more bold and ask people to hold doors open for me! And they oblige! I have also said “no” to both important and less important commitments. My health comes first. And surprise! The world hasn’t fallen over on it’s axis! What a beautiful thing to know!

What mattered and still matters the most to me is trying to behave as “usual” as possible around my son. I remind him frequently that sometimes he can’t tell, but my body hurts a lot inside. He tries to understand. I cook very simple foods or order pre-cooked foods from my grocery delivery service to feed our household. At worst, I order take-out. What I have been doing more and more with my son is sit on his bed in the evenings. He gets my laptop or my knitting (yes, I can knit. I can’t write for very long, but I can knit. I know…very odd, but I’m not complaining because it gives me something to do!), and we spend quality time together. We watch cute movies. We take turns reading his required books for school. I help him figure out more complicated directions on the computer to create something. Often, we just sit. Quietly. Together. The sound of my knitting needles clicking away. It is nice. It is lovely. It is perfect for me in my own little world of  imperfection. It almost makes me thankful. Thankful that I eventually will recover from this horrendous disease. But also allowing me beautiful moments with my son. The ever evolving Tween! Whom I pray will never be affected by this disease in his lifetime.



For those readers who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, have a happy one!

If any of our readers have or know anyone who has Lyme’s Disease, my thoughts are with you!

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  1. One Response to “Green is not Only for The Irish! – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers”

  2. Cara, I just read this. I know that even getting a diagnosis of Lyme’s Disease is a struggle because one of my sisters had symptoms after getting a strange red mark on her stomach after a spider bite, but doctors downplayed her concerns and questions. After going to several doctors, she finally gave up in finding out exactly what was wrong with her. Still doesn’t feel great.

    Yes, you need to put your health first – – absolutely. So glad you have this perspective. I will be keeping you in my prayers.


    By Sharon on Apr 8, 2013