18 May 2016

Wordful Wednesday//Not a Happy Camper

Camping. Hiking. Nature.
Being outdoors. 

It's frustrating knowing what all I have taken for granted. It's frustrating knowing now the slim chances I have of me enjoying those activities again. 

I took a big leap of faith this past weekend and went camping with my family. 
Yes, on Friday the 13th. Yes, in the mountains--and near a lake. No, it thankfully wasn't named “Camp Crystal Lake.” 
But it was frightening all the same. It was my first real camping trip in...well...years! Of course, I stay in the RV with my family every year when we visit the beach but it's not the same. There's never really anything to be scared of at the beach in my mind. It's just a mixture of having sand stuck in your flip-flops and everyone drinking margaritas and loud country music playing on the only radio station that works. And that's fine by me. I don't care because I still feel safe. 

The same can't be said for our stay at the mountains. 
After the diesel engine of the truck died down and Dad said, “You can get out now,” I could feel my stress already begin to take over. I wanted this to be a mini-vacation for me. Something to ease these daily migraines. But it was there in the back of my mind—okay it was screaming at me—TICKS TICKS TICKS. 

I stepped out on a patch of grass, just one tree shading our campsite. It looked slightly cleaner and clearer than what I remembered as a child and young teenager, but it was still familiar and...sickening. I could feel things on me that were not really there. TICKS TICKS TICKS. I started crying immediately. This is where I camped with my family for over 10 years. Possibly where I was bitten, even. Possibly where I developed the disease that would change my life forever.
I did not feel safe at all.

The rest of the weekend was spent with me in the camper—upset on my stomach, sick to death with a migraine, or just plain crummy sick. I used to hike or bike these trails. I used to skateboard and play basketball here. I met amazing friends and random people that I will never forget at this place. 

Yet it seems that this weekend I could barely even step out on a patch of grass.

*May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
Check out prevention tips here as well as basic info about Lyme from ILADS here