By Clara Jekel
I’m 15 years old. My mother has Chronic Lyme Disease.
To be able to understand what I am, you must first understand what I was. Before my mom was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, I was very dependent on her. She ran her own daycare to help finance my needs and wants, cleaned up after me, and offered me endless emotional support, which I completely took for granted. When I asked for her help, she dropped whatever she was doing in that moment to assist me. I’m not saying she was absent of flaws because no person is, but she’s definitely one of the most inspiring people I have ever met, and to this day she remains the only person I believe truly understands me.
My mom has always had medical issues. She’s an insomniac (which, as you can imagine, made her exceptionally patient in the morning) and she always seemed to be going to the hospital for one thing or another. I remember sitting with her in church, knowing something was terribly wrong. I asked her if she was okay and she replied she was having trouble regulating her body temperature. This is just one of many Lyme Disease symptoms. The most obvious symptom of her disease happened before I was born, when she gave birth to my older sister Hannah. The stress of the labor on her already taxed immune system caused her to develop Bell’s Palsy, or partial facial paralysis. We know now that like us, her doctors were unaware of the link between Bell’s Palsy and Chronic Lyme Disease. Insomnia is also a symptom of this detestable disease.