A Sublyme Group of Irreplaceable Friends
I have Lyme disease. I know that now, but for 16 years I couldn’t figure out why I was so sick. I experienced more than 60 different symptoms that on some days caused nothing more than a slight headache, while other days, they caused so much physical pain I couldn’t get out of bed. During 2010, I was bedridden for several weeks.
It wasn’t until we moved to Minnesota that I was definitively diagnosed by a Lyme-literate doctor who knew what to look for. Despite my previous negative Lyme tests, this time it was positive. The doctor thought I probably got bit by the infamous black-legged deer while caring for my beloved sunflowers in my suburban Chicago garden. Makes sense. If you know anything about the midwest in the summer months, you know there are BUGS! I always had some sort of bite and was never quite sure which bug gave it to me. Still, I don’t remember having the tell-tale target rash that often accompanies a tick bite.
Over those 16 years I built and lost friendships. Some were genuinely concerned about my health and supported me during those tough days. The others...not so much. Doesn’t it seem like illness defines character? You find out who your real friends are when you are not perfect, and let me tell all of you, I was not perfect.
So what does my Lyme have to do with girlfrienships? Two reasons. Three years ago, I started the Twin Cities Lyme Foundation to help those who think they may have Lyme to get properly diagnosed, and to create awareness for those who don’t know what it is. The awareness part is significant because I think that could’ve saved some of the friendships I lost over those 16 years. Maybe if they better understood what the disease was taking from me, they could’ve been more understanding and compassionate.
The other reason, though it happened organically, is because of our annual fundraising gala. The success of the gala relies on a team of repeat volunteers who’ve built their own version of girlfriendships. Everyone is working together for a great cause and their hearts are filled with love. You can see it on their faces. It’s a special time that I am proud to have created for them to enjoy with one another. It gives me great pleasure to create an atmosphere where women can engage, connect with, and love one another.
Lyme or no Lyme, my sublyme group of friends is irreplaceable!
I love that you were with me today. Hope you come back soon!
Lisa A.K.A. Loopie