“THE LOSSES OF LYME”first entry, symptom category:
LOSS OF CONCENTRATION
When I was 13 years old, I got sick.
Within three years, the severity of all the symptoms I was experiencing left me bedridden.
No Doctor could explain it. Many told me it was all in my head. My sickness was a mystery and no one could tell me what was going on in my life…no one could truly understand.
Symptoms from my sickness changed every aspect of my life. Now, I want to share those changes…those LOSSES…that these symptoms caused.
The first symptom from Lyme disease and other chronic illness (as well as the symptoms that fall into the same category) in my new series,
THE LOSSES OF LYME:
LOSS OF CONCENTRATION
LOSS OF ABILITY TO RETAIN INFORMATION
SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM MEMORY LOSS
At age sixteen, three years after a mysterious illness descended on me, I was forced to drop out of school.
Sometimes, I would sit at my desk and stare at my homework…and just stare. Trying with all the concentration I could muster, I struggled to understand what I was studying.
Sentences and paragraphs would be read over and over and over; when trying to remember that same information later however, my mind was a total blank!
Trying and trying to keep up with reading assignments, written assignments, homework and tests I was left with feelings of intense frustration as I wondered
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?
WHY IS IT THAT THE HARDER I TRY IN SCHOOL, THE MORE I FAIL?
Playing piano was my love, and my dream was to become a Classical Pianist and study Music in college.
Since beginning piano lessons as a child I could always play by ear and have a classical piece memorized after playing it once.
By age 16 I was spending six hours a day practicing,
knowing my hard work was required in order to be accepted into a school with an excellent Music Program; as I passed through my early teen years I worked harder, searching for the best Classical pianists in the state who would take me on as a student while completing pre-college courses to prove to schools that I was dedicated and serious.
By age 16 however, I discovered that my mind would go blank in the middle of a piece of music.
Brain fog surrounded me as I sat in front of my piano, staring at classical pieces 20 pages or longer as energy literally drained from my body as I struggled to remember the notes that previously, I knew like the back of my hand.
Inability to concentrate became obvious the harder I pushed myself; an hour or two of playing caused my body to feel heavy and limp as the severe physical pain in my hands and head, along with the emotional anxiety of attempting again and again to restore the ability to simply KEEP PLAYING, left me in tears.These symptoms: my inability to retain what I had poured my soul into the day before, the loss of concentration along with the fog that surrounded my brain, and the physical pain that gradually made it nearly impossible to push down on the piano keys, meant one thing:
the loss of a dream.
At age sixteen, I could not explain what was going on, and I couldn’t stand up for myself when asked why I spent the entire day in bed because I had neither the energy to explain, nor the capacity to put into words the incredible physical, emotional and psychological pain I endured daily!Bedridden, these symptoms increased and I often was only able watch TV during the day; this mode of entertainment required no concentration on my part and therefore, became my only option on a regular basis.
BRAIN FOG…it filled my bedridden days, although I had no clue how to name it. Later, my rough attempts to explain went something like this:
I was in a bubble,
a bubble that enveloped me with a thick layer of gray
and made me feel as though I was drifting farther and farther from life…like I was experiencing an out-of-body experience.
The bubble was not there to protect me; rather it rapidly turned from gray to black and surrounded me with darkness so intense, it sucked up my soul, my dreams, my personality, and even any interest in the life outside my world.
There are so very, very many other moments that I could share.
But I’ve written enough, don’t yuou think?
THE END of first submission to the series, “THE LOSSES OF LYME”Symptom category #1: Loss of Concentration