Everybody is pretty familiar with basic Lyme disease. Acute Lyme disease. The kind that you get when you either find a tick on you, when you get a bulls-eye rash, when you go to the doctor and he or she gives you 28 days of antibiotics and you are fine. We all know that it isn't always that simple. I have Late Stage Lyme Disease, also called Chronic Lyme disease, or Stage III Lyme disease, or persistent Lyme disease. Sometimes this means that despite antibiotic treatment, you've had it for many years. Sometimes this means that the disease has persisted despite treatment. Sometimes this means that the disease existed for many years prior to treatment. In my case, it means all of the above. In any case, you don't always see a tick on you. You don't always see a bulls-eye rash (less than 40% do). And you don't always know that you have Lyme disease. Once it becomes a case of Late Stage, or Stage III, or Chronic, you are in for a tough, life-long, physical, medical, emotional and financially expensive battle.
By trade, I am a school principal. As a young administrator, I joined every association I could. Became secretary and president of a local association, bringing administrators together to network and meet other administrators each month. I enjoyed meeting people, learning, being involved. I had boundless energy. I volunteered for committees, spoke at workshops, mentored new interns.
I earned my doctoral degree in 2003. “You are doing this so young,” all my colleagues celebrated, “before you have family, what a great time to do it!” But I didn't plan it that way. I just loved to learn! I had energy, enthusiasm, ambition. I wanted to be Oprah, I wanted to meet everyone, touch every life, save the world. I was always over scheduled, each foot in a different activity. I walked across the podium at age 35, with a feeling of accomplishment and pride.