Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lyme, National Suicide Week, and Books!

Sometime in the last week or two it was National Suicide Day and Week. I reposted some stuff on FB that caught my eye. This is a link to (another) blog about "Lyme Disease and Suicide, An Ignored Problem":, I posted it on FB the other day; my psychologist, Dr. Richard Bransfield of Red Bank, NJ, is quoted in the article. I always love it when my doctors are quoted. I don't remember if I've mentioned, my LLMD, Dr. Richard Horowitz, has a book coming out any minute: Why Can't I Get Better?: Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease .   

I follow many Lyme forums now, and have a few particular favorites. This keeps me away from reading as much as I'd like, or blogging about books... however, I do write quite a bit on the forums, when I can. One forum that I've been going to more and more is geared towards those who are suicidal. Though I can't remember why I originally joined, (probably to support a friend) I know that it's helpful to me to reach out to people who are in my position or worse, and try to give them emotional support and practical suggestions from my own life.

A few years back I made a FB friend in Colorado. He was suicidal from the Fibromyalgia pain (I can relate). I diagnosed him with Lyme almost immediately, and told him to see a specialist asap. Jump forward more than a year, he is finally diagnosed with Lyme, and finally starts treatment. His Lyme rage becomes a problem on some of the forums, he moves to the mid-west, Chicago maybe, to see a certain LLMD, I'm vague on all the details. A year or two later, he eventually gives in and takes his life. I miss him all the time. When he was coherent, we would have lovely talks. When he'd close his FB account, I'd email him or call him on the phone. He was passionate about his big bird, a macaw, perhaps? Because my memory is so poor, I can't even remember how I found out about his death-that also makes me sad. I wish I had known about this forum when he was still alive, maybe it could have helped him.

I was suicidal in college: just once because of an obsessive, emotionally abusive boyfriend; I took an overdose of aspirin. Ironically, I'm now sensitive (not allergic, but sensitive) to all aspirin products, can't take any of them, Advil, alieve, motrin, etc., can't take them, I get welts all over my body... and, amazingly, he and I are friends now on FB, he's married with a couple of kids. Strange what time and forgiveness (of both oneself and others) can do.

Although I am not suicidal any longer, I am hyper-aware of the feelings that Lyme and it's family of co-infections and concurrent illnesses can generate. The closest experience I've had was an extremely vivid dream in the 2nd year of being sick, I woke knowing exactly how I could kill myself should I want to, it was probably October or November of 2010. The pain at that time was indescribable, I was on Percocet/Hydrocodone several times a day -as needed- or Dilaudid/Hydromorphone when I just couldn't stand it and the Percs weren't doing anything. Three surgeries later, in March of 2011, we would learn that I had had endometriosis and other unpleasantness, but to top it off the third surgery was an emergency appendectomy -- my appendix was half eaten by the endometriosis. I still get mystery abdominal pain, but nothing compared to that winter. So, living with this pain that was *literally* eating me up inside, I dreamt the perfect suicide scenario (for me). I wish I had had the energy to write it down at the time, it was so completely formed down to every last detail. It would have made a wonderful story -- a la, Kate Chopin's, The Awakening. And probably good therapy.

From a FB post by a stranger to a young FB friend who is on the edge:
"I saw a meme last week that I liked: "Even the longest day of your life, is only 24 hours." Keep breathing. ♥♥♥"

When I have "good" days, I can sit up, shower, go downstairs, even drive to the store or a doctor's appointment. And then there are varying degrees of bad days. Recently, I've been having pretty bad days. I have this chest cold that started back over 2 months ago as a sinus infection. The sinus infection rages on and the bad head cold has moved into my chest. I'm waiting for the paper pushers to call me to set up a time for my sinus CT scan and a chest x-ray. When I went to bed for a "nap", I felt like I was sinking into the bed, and wondered, not for the first time, if it wouldn't just be easier to just not wake up. However, when a medication (like Cymbalta, thank you very much) gave me the side effect of suicidal thoughts, I knew what they were, packed them away and waited it out. I wouldn't act on these thoughts, but I do have the feelings. There are times when I'm starting a new drug or supplement and I go through an adjustment period that puts me flat out for a few days (or longer), when I'll wonder if I'm going to die. It's natural, and not permanent.

So, what does all this have to do with books? It has to do with my spending so much time on FB (and occasionally email) with my other Lymie or sick friends, and not reading quite as much as I was. I'm writing a lot, but it's been targeted in supporting other people. I will continue to do my best to keep this blog up, I'm enjoying it for what it is (whatever it is), and I hope you are as well, dear reader.

Recently completed...


's GoodReads review
bookshelves: from-mom, own, fiction
Read from September 15 to 19, 2013

I don't usually like starting a series by an author when I'm still working on another; in this case, I love the Cold Stone series but have not completed it. Mom gave me this book, it happened to be the first in this series and exactly the kind of book I needed in the moment. So, why not. I was not disappointed. Mr. Baldacci is one of those writer's -- like a modern day Agatha Christie -- where if someone put his books down in front of me in stacks in the correct reading order, I would just read them one after another. Like eating grapes, or Cape Cod potato chips (40% reduced fat)... (yum, cape cod potato chips...)

This conspiracy theory book is completely believable. And thus, fairly terrifying. The main characters are all strongly written, fleshed out, and have strong motivations. Even the secondary characters start to feel like someone I'd recognize on a train or subway. It is almost unbearably sad in places and fairly graphic, at least it felt that way to me. There is some discussion about the deep places some people end up going because of their suffering, this is explored in several ways, however also left open ended, a "to be continued" into the next book.

In the first few chapters, I wondered if there were too many characters being introduced, and worried it might get too complicated. However, having read Mr. B. before, I chose to trust him and go with it. He earned the trust by wrapping everything up very neatly, and made me longing for the next installment in the se

Apparently this is Mr. Baldacci's first *international* thriller. He seems to have had fun spreading his wings. Looking forward to more, and more, and more...

I have several more books completed or near completion, I'll get to them once my brain stops hurting, my eyes see more clearly, and the mucus in my chest stops drowning me..

To your good heath!

Thank you for reading!

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