–BREAKING NEWS–December 23rd, 2003
The Gift No One Wants
So last month I went to my doctor for a physical. I was feeling OK.
Well, I actually felt kind of blah–like I've been sleeping really late
and I haven't felt much like answering my email (you might have
noticed) or working on any of the books I have due and I've been trying
to avoid having to walk anywhere or do any sort of exercise.
But that's normal for winter, right? I mean, bears feel the same way.
Wrong. My doctor called after she got the results from my routine
blood test and was like, “You have lyme disease.”
EEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS???
Because lyme disease comes from ticks, specifically deer ticks. It
means a tick got on me, without my knowing about it, sucked my blood
and spat some bacteria into me, which weeks to months later
could have caused severe neurological damage, like arthritis and memory
lapses and stuff, if my doctor hadn't caught it early enough.
Because the truth is that if you are writer, you could have lyme
disease and never even know it, because the main symptoms are
—fatigue (all writers are very tired)
—sore joints (our wrists all hurt from typing)
—forgetfulness (I can't remember what color Michael's eyes are or how
many brothers and sister Tina Hakim Bana has. Please help if you know
and email me because I am totally at a loss, plus I'm sick and everyone should be nice to sick people)
—irritability (as you will note from my list of things I hate in a
previous blog, I am very irritable)
The most unfair part about having lyme is that I NEVER go outside. I
mean, I respect nature, and appreciate the environment and stuff, but I
live in New York City, where there IS no nature, really. Except the
park. And I never go there because (see above) it's kind of a long
walk from my apartment.
But then I remembered that we spent a month in Connecticut last summer,
where I saw some deer. So it had to have been there that some gross
tick apparently got ON me and I didn't know it. Even though I wore DEET
every single day AND tucked my pants into my socks whenever I went
anywhere near long grass AND checked myself for ticks CONSTANTLY.
But it didn't do any good.
So then my doctor called and was like, “A second blood test confirmed you
DO have lyme disease, now you have to take these huge pills every day
for a month and don't go out in the sun or you will
have a bad reaction. Then you'll get better.”
So now I have to take giant pills that people have bad reactions to. WHILE I'M ON
MY JANUARY BOOK TOUR.
So, in closing, I would just like to say that to those of you who are
still waiting for a reply from me to your emails, it may be a while longer,
because I have lyme disease, and my arms hurt and I can't remember anything.
On the bright side, I guess the Christmukkah miracle of
it all is that my doctor found out I had it before it did any lasting damage.
This is just more proof of how very very important doctors are, and how
more of you should go to medical school. Remember that.