As was so succintly pointed out by one of our upper management folks recently, the dialysis industry is pretty insulated from the greater economy. Although large financial institutions are going under, health insurance companies are staying afloat. And there is no end to kidney disease in America. Phew! (please read with heavy sarcasm)
But I see the effects of the economy daily in my patients. One is about to be homeless due to foreclosure. Another has narrowly missed having her house taken. Food and gas prices, more and more, are shifting priorities away from medications to the more basic needs. It's pretty horrifying.
Then it occurred to me, listening to NPR report on the hearings with the car executives yesterday, that my sister's job is on the line. She started working in car dealerships back in her 20s. She's never done any other work since she became an adult. She is now looking at the possibility that one or more of the manufacturers that she could work with may be out of business. Holy crap!
On top of that, I'm feeling discouraged today. The book I'm reading (Cure Unknown...listed in the sidebar), is about the Lyme epidemic and all controversy. It also has a ton of stories of people's experience with the disease.
I was diagnosed with the early stage infection in August 2007. Since then I've experienced ongoing symptoms of one type or another. Looking at my medical record recently, I realized that when I first recovered my energy and strength last year is when I first started feeling nauseous on a somewhat regular basis.
In my research about Celiac and related wheat sensitivity, I've learned that body trauma can trigger this disease. Lyme was certainly a body trauma. But even more disturbing is the fact that since I've been experiencing the stomach stuff full-bore in May, I have not felt well on most days.
The biggest symptom is fatigue. I feel like this has completely torn away the life that I had been living. I still do stuff. Probably more than I once did. But now, to prepare for an evening out, I have to take a nap during the day. And I ache. And my knee has started giving me problems (which may be my weight, but could also be a symptom). And the low-grade fevers. And the fog.
I'm working with a great naturopath, but I think I need to go to see one of those Lyme Literate Doctors that's out there. It feels like a failure...my therapist would agree that part of me does feel like I've failed to take care of myself without outside intervention. He's right. But it's a scary thing this Lyme disease, and if this really is what I'm fighting still, then I'm scared.
Let me introduce you to Borrelia burgdorferi...
Such a tiny little thing that has become such a huge problem.