This summer, I’ve been pretending I’m not naked in public. In fact, I’ve been pretending really hard. But at some point, the gig is up.
Yes, I’ve been faking it.
There have been clues here in the blog, but not loud ones. The truth is, after 25 years of disabling more-or-less mystery illness, late this spring I was diagnosed with long-term Lyme disease. I don’t have a habit of talking about this aspect of my life, because after 25 years I’m used to it and I don’t figure there’s a lot to talk about. I talk around it a lot, but it’s not much evident from the outside looking in–only if you already know.
The other reason is that when you open a dialogue about a disease as controversial as Lyme, you need to be prepared to follow up on it, and I haven’t had the energy to do that.
The thing about treating Lyme at this chronic stage is that the little spirochete bastards are buried deeply in your whole body–muscles, organs…nervous system. Symptoms wax and wane–and in my case, frankly, had reached a point of steadily increasing affect–but none of it is truly acutely active.
Until you start to treat it. Treatment dredges things up. If you’re me, you also react to the treatment protocol itself.
So although I had all those years of coping behind me, suddenly I was in over my head. I started committing Big Stupids.
The deadlines have been barely met; the dogs have been lightly trained; the horse has been barely ridden. I’ve been skating through on very thin ice. But sadly, I’ve reached that moment where I can’t fake it any longer, so here we are.
The crux moment happened last Thursday evening as I was preparing for the weekend’s agility trial. (For some reason, our Q rate has plummeted. I just can’t imagine why. But the dogs are a big part of what keep me going, so we still go out to play.) I had to check something on the AKC site and while I was there, I poked my nose into the dogs’ records–where I discovered that contrary to my belief, Dart had NOT earned his Excellent Standard title in August.
Therefore, I had entered him in the wrong class at the early September trial (Excellent B, for dogs with the title; he should have been in Excellent A, for dogs without that title). And he was entered in the wrong class for this past weekend. And there was nothing to be done to fix it, and yeah, there it was…
The really public Big Stupid.
So even though Dart qualified a couple of times these past weekends, and even though those courses were exactly the same as the Excellent A courses, and even though those qualifications would in fact have finished out his title…well, they don’t count for a thing. In a few weeks I’ll get a letter from AKC scolding me for being in the wrong class and making sure I know that the qualifying courses don’t count and thanks for the entry fee donations and what was I even thinking?!
So there you are. And it was embarrassing, and upsetting, and really, really frustrating–since had I not messed up, Dart would have the title in question as of today.
Well. Really, I have a system for keeping track of this stuff. And really, I’m not just randomly dropping out, messing up, or just plain forgetting. (In fact, it’s kind of scary to be me right now, knowing that in spite of my best efforts, the next Big Stupid is waiting right around the corner.) But meanwhile, we took the dogs out for a weekend of agility fun, and they had fun, and on Sunday I even felt a little hint of acuity and Connery ran with resounding cheer and Dart had his best standard run ever, that silly little boy.
And now that I’m publicly naked…I hope you’ll pardon the Big Stupids as they come along!
As someone who regularly commits stupids I would like to point out that you at least have a reason. Dealing with a long term disease is the opposite of fun obviously and I hope you’ll give yourself a break because its the opposite of easy too.
I myself am a regular old klutz, have a lousy short term memory and tend to make bizarre references in normal conversations. I get a lot of strange looks.
Glad you’ve finally been diagnosed and you’re getting treatment. May the stupids leave you healthier than you’ve been. And in the immortal words of Sydney Freedman ‘Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice.’
Good thoughts from all of us crazies in Texas,
The Woman With Three Cat Children
Woman with Three Cat Children– I suppose it’s a matter of being one person who is trying to function as a different self. Or something like that.
Also, I’m sorry to see the number three. 🙁
At least you didn’t make the coffee with putting in the coffee, I did.
I mean withOUT the coffee
Peggy, there’s something ironic going on there, but it’s too early in my day after a trial weekend to quite pin it down… ;>
As others have said–you have a reason for your brain to be blanking now and then. And no requirement to be perfect at anything but being who you are. You do so much it would make many of us fall over flat by midday, so I can’t think of you as Big Stoopids-Doranna, but only as “Amazing Doranna, the one-woman multi-genius-talented, incredibly accomplishing Doranna.”
In the past few years, without any excuse at all, I’ve had the klutzes, the stupids, the forgetteries, all whirling around…well, OK, some excuses as increasing age and worries about family member’s serious illnesses…but still. I mean…I sortakinda know what it feels like to be not-the-person-you-were. You–you still impress the H-e-double-hockey sticks out of me.
So try not to beat yourself up, because (you know this, I’m just reminding you) it does not help. Be as kind and understanding of Doranna as you are of the others in your family. (And wow–that Connery, and that Dart, and that Doranna in those agility runs!)
Love watching those little hounds race around for you. HUGE kudos on getting so much cooperation out of what can be a stubborn breed. Conn’s baying is music to my ears whatever the judges might think.
As far as the Lym, and Elizabeth’s klutzes…we’ve all heard growing old isnt’ for sissies. What we used to accomplish in half an hour while carrying on a long distance phone conversation now takes a day of intense concentration. Let that slip for just an instant, and you forget to check hoses when you pull the garage door down, and the cast iron water pump lands upside down on your toes. Ouch.
Doranna, you know how much I admire you. Keep on trucking lady
obviously my caffeine level is dangerously low! Please ignore the typos!
I love the three of you in agility videos. How they concentrate with all those noisy dogs about!
Best wishes on coping with Lyme’s, and hoping for a recovery with treatment. Don’t beat yourself up on the memory lapses; at some point all of us start thinking about the here after – as in: “Walk into a room and wonder what did I come in here after?”
I know people who have taken forever to get a diagnosis, any diagnosis, and then it turns out to be long-term Lyme, which is the very dickens to treat.
One of the issues is, to quote classic Trek, “Brain, brain, WHAT is BRAIN?!”
And of course, you’ve heard the joke about the young guy and the old guy talking, and the young guy asks if the older guy’s view of things has changed with age. And the older guy says, “Well, I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the here after.” To which the young guy enthuses, “Do you mean you’ve gotten more spiritual as you’ve gotten older? That’s WONDERFUL!” “No,” replies the older guy. “I walk into a room and I spend a bunch of time wondering what I’m here after.”
Here’s hoping the treatment goes well, if not as fast as you might like, and everything gets back to as normal as possible. Then again, it all depends on what your definition of “normal” is!
Yay for a diagnosis. Here are best wishes for a sucessful treatment. And if the current course doesn’t work you can go to Mexico and get purposely infected with malaria, which will induce a high fever which is detrimental to spirochetes in general. This was an old time treatment for syphilis (also a spirochete).
Of course then you have to be treated for malaria, but hey, there are always trade-offs (snort).
And thank-goodness you can still pull blankets off of baking horses, as if that was not a BIG stoopid on my part.
You do pretty darn well, lady, for all you must deal with. I am sorry it has been difficult, and I hope it’s all jsut bumps on the road to recovery. And yay Dart!
As for myself, I have been telling people all year that I’m two years older than I am. Apparently not only does my memory suck, but so does my math. It took my mom doing the math to make me realize I had aged myself. Now I feel like I missed a year or two!
Elizabeth, you always make me feel…I dunno…valued! Like it matters. Thank you!
Marilyn, I’ve been muttering the brain phrase a lot lately. You and Phil obviously did a bit of crossposting there with the here after! I’ve gotten good at turning right back around to wherever I was when I came up with my “here after” chore…sometimes I can reconstruct whatever it was I came after that way.
Patty, that’s a hoot. I knew that syphilis was a spirochete disease (one of the huge ironies of what the health insurance people did when they rigged the system is they set up treatment guidelines that allow insurance to pay only for a few weeks of treatment of Lyme–whereas other spirochete diseases are readily understood to need long-term efforts.) I think I’ll avoid the malaria, though. And I’m glad I can still pull blankets from baking horses! I tell you what, though, I studied those gates before I opened them and triple-checked to be sure I had closed them the same way. I couldn’t risk a Brain Moment! (And frankly, I’ve learned that even with the simplest of horse gates, people do amazingly clueless things. That’s worth a blog in of itself sometime).
Kristen–no, no–now you have *extra* years! 8)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nauLgZISozs this could be my theme song these days.
If all you are going through is character building I say, enough already, you are enough of a character.
One of the big things I am still learning with a chronic debilitating disease is “be kind to yourself.” Another is to pack lightly, we all carry around a lot of baggage, and we really don’t need it.
As Elizabeth said, you are valued and you do matter. From here I can only give virtual hugs, but they are almost as good as the in person ones, consider yourself hugged.
Lyme is one nasty illness—the county I live in here in Minnesota has one of the highest lyme disease rates in the country so it seems like just about everyone has had it at one time or another. The long term version is pretty scary to me so take care of yourself—you are just lucky it has been diagnosed so often the long term form is not and it only gets worse and worse. Best of luck with your treatments and don’t worry about having those “brain farts”–just think of it as practice for getting old—you’ll be able to age “gracefully” when the time comes.
Robert–I think many would agree. I’m enough of a character! ;> And hugs are much appreciated.
Sue, I was 27 when I stopped being young… I’d like to be able to say I’ve had enough practice at aging gracefully, but I’m not sure how graceful it’s all been. ;> Long term Lyme is pretty scary…I try not to think about it too much in those terms. But then, 25 years has given me practice with acceptance, too. What I feel when I think about the long-term implications and what it feels like to someone who’s been decently healthy most of their lives are probably two different things. If that makes sense…
Lyme is nasty. The ‘cure ‘ experience is unpleasant, and I my case I kept chanting that no cure would be worse, and that the discomfort meant that the pills were working.
I’m contemplating making wax figures of deer ticks and spirochetes to pound 3 penny nails into and ceremonially melt.
I like that idea!
I know that brain fog well. The most insidious and (in retrospect) terrifying thing is that I never notice that it is there when I am deep in its clutches. It is only after that I realise that I have been zombified.
I can be grateful for that much–I generally know exactly when I’m fogged up. I just don’t generally have the option of Not Doing what needs to be done just then, and so make the Stupids no matter how careful I think I’m being. I have a lot of routines meant to minimize the effects, but…but…