Last week, I was supposed to be attending a conference in Las Vegas. Staying at the Luxor (where I hear even the soaps are shaped like pyramids!!), making time after hours to visit the Neon Boneyard at the Neon Museum, and having dinner with colleagues.
This did not happen.
Instead, I had a sinus headache that turned into something worse, found a circular rash on my elbow that, while not a bulls-eye shape, merited a blood test for Lyme disease, and ended up in the ER because of the 5-day long headache that caused tears of pain whenever I so much as turned my head.
There was a CAT scan and more blood work, Valium and some intravenous painkillers, as well as saline. The diagnosis? A really bad tension headache. Here’s a painkiller with a sedative and some caffeine in it – feel better. That’ll be $100.
No trip to Las Vegas. No traveling anywhere. It was me, the couch, the cat, and many glasses of water (remember, I was supposed to be gone for a week – the fridge had been cleared.) The sedative did what it was designed to do, and I spent the next 72 hours cycling between sleep and half-sleep, during which I’d take my pain medication and antibiotic.
A few days later, blood test results: positive for Lyme. This is glorious. I’m on another kind of antibiotic (doxycycline, this time around, as it’s better-suited for treatment of Lyme) for three weeks. I’ve done my reading on WebMD and the Mayo Clinic and CDC website, and I seem to have caught it early, so I’m hoping I don’t experience any of the scary chronic effects (neurological and cognitive issues), but you never can tell. Maybe this first round of antibiotics won’t work and I’ll have to do another – or get intravenous antibiotics. I’m experiencing major fatigue, and that is a symptom… but not much else.
Could it be a response to the hot and humid weather?
Maybe it’s a response to stress?
Perhaps I need a vacation?
All of these things may be true. I’ve been researching vacations and realizing that I can’t afford to go on any of the big trips I’ve been dreaming about (a tour of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, a trip to Spain), so I might need to scale back and think about the possibility of renting a car and roadtripping around some part of the US that I haven’t seen yet. There are many – but some of them remain unseen because I’m not interested.
But my camera is really looking forward to some activity. We’ll find it.