The Lyme Spot is about having Lyme: living with it, putting up with it, embracing it, damning it, figuring it out, not figuring it out, but most of's about community. I will be sharing my experience, my feelings, and all the things I know that help me get through my days and keep me feeling positive, or at the very least keep me alive! But please, also come here to share your experiences, feelings and all the things you know. Together, we can get through anything...

Wait, Who Speed-Walked 4 Blocks? Yeah That's Right....I Did.

So, it is finally truly cold out. Winter arrived this night with the nip in his fingers and he turned my dear little toes pink.

I'm in a little bit of a situation here. I have only one outfit I can wear. Due to severe MCS, I have an amazing amount of trouble finding clothing I can wear. What does that mean? That means, most clothing makes me feel as if I'm about to pass out. I won't go into the slew of reactions my body goes through that causes me to feel that way, just imagine that you have a headache that borders on a migraine and you constantly feel as if you're going to pass out. If I don't buy the right clothing, this is how I feel when I get dressed. Then, when I remove the clothing, I no longer feel this way. I have a chronic illness, so of course, I can't say that I feel fine when I'm naked, I don't, but I certainly don't feel this way. Now, when I find the right clothing, it usually bothers me some at first because all clothing gets doused in some chemicals, but that wears off and then I feel as well with that outfit on as I do naked. Problem solved, yes? No.

I am not only reactive to chemicals. As a matter of fact, I'm even more reactive to mold spores. They can be any kind of mold spore, they can be alive or dead, they'll make my body practically go into shock. I'm also quite reactive to pollen and smoke and dust mites. As you know, the world is filled with these things. As you probably also know, carpet and curtains catch these things and rarely get cleaned. So, all it takes for me to ruin my perfect outfit that I painstakingly sought out is to go into a building with too much of any or all of these allergens. Since I'm reactive to chemicals I can't wash them off my clothing once they get on. If it's winter, there goes $150 bucks because I'll be wearing jeans, a couple shirts, a warm coat, a scarf, a know, the works.

So, this winter has hit and I'm still wearing the outfit I got during the summer. Khaki shorts, flip flops, a t-shirt, and a hoodie. I have one word for you. Brrrrrrr.

I walked out the door of Barnes and Noble at 9pm and soon realized I wasn't going to make it far, because, again, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. My toes were pink and stinging only half a block away. I stepped inside a restaurant to warm up. I prepared a bit better this time by grabbing the strings of my hood and pulling. I couldn't really see, but at least the cold would not get to my neck.

I opened the door to the restaurant and ran. Ok, I didn't run. I hobble/shuffled, and only for a minute, and then I settled into a speed-walk. I speed-walked 4 blocks. I did have to stop in at Subway half way through to catch my breath as I haven't moved that fast for that far in two years. By the time I made it to the warm breezeway in my apartment building my toes were numb, my legs felt like jelly, my left hip had a burning pain, my lungs were stinging from the cold and I was bent over huffing to catch my breath...AND I had a giant smile on my face. When I recovered my breath, I started laughing. It came out of nowhere. Well, I guess that's not true. It came out of the joy of movement, the joy of life, the joy of doing something I thought I could no longer do.

The common person probably would not even think to notice the inherent preciosity of what it is to be able to speed-walk 4 blocks. But I am not the common person. I am a person with chronic illness, who spends many of my days in bed, some of my days in too much pain to move or speak much. What does this allow me? This allows me to know, deeply and automatically, the inherent preciosity of what it is to be able to speed-walk 4 blocks.

It's true. I probably will be too stiff to move faster than an 80 year old lady tomorrow. I probably will be too exhausted to leave my apartment. I probably will feel quite a bit of pain, but that will be OK because tonight I speed-walked 4 damn blocks, and I am triumphant. Take that Lyme disease.

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