It was mid October 2015 and I remember watching my mom working outside in the yard all day long. She hadn’t taken a break for lunch the whole day. The temperature was well above 90 degrees. I ran outside at four in the afternoon, and shouted, “Mom! Aren’t you going to take a break and eat lunch?” Mom smiled, and asked “What time is it!?” I replied, “It’s four o'clock mom!” She smirked at me again, brushing her hair back with her dirty garden gloves and proceeded to come into the house.
Mom came inside, took off her garden gloves, muddy boots , and marched into the living room, and plopped down her favorite leather chair. She told me she didn’t feel good, and thought maybe it was just from being out in the heat and not eating lunch. As the evening went on, I remember mom going to bed early and waking up to hearing her crying in pain. She had said that her head hurt, and the left side of her chin was numb.
I started to feel sick to stomach with worry. I wondered, “What is going on?” and “Is mom going to be okay?” I fell asleep and the next morning mom seemed to still be in pain, and I’m certain she spent that whole day crying. I felt helpless, there was nothing I could do, but continually give mom hugs and rub her back, reminding her that I loved her.
A few days passed and moms pain had moved from her head down into her neck. At this point, she couldn’t turn her head left or right. I was so confused, I didn’t understand what was happening. The next thing I knew, mom came running out of the bathroom, and told me that her legs were full of red rashes. I had never seen anything like it before. It was like some sort of alien was taking over my mom's body.
She called the hospital finally. My mom always tries to tough everything out. She got an appointment made the next day. My sister and I had to go to school that day, and I remember as I was getting on the bus, wishing that I could go with my mom. The bus came, and our house faded behind me. The school day flew by and I arrived back home, after 4 on Wednesday. I knew as I was running down the driveway back home, that as soon as I got inside I would have some answers about what was going on with mom.
I flung the old white screen door open, threw my school bag onto the floor, and went into where mom was sitting, again in her favorite leather chair, to find out what the doctors said. “Well, Rayce, I got in with a doctor who had a cancellation, and he thinks that I have Lyme Disease.”Mom said, looking at me with tears in her eyes. I didn’t even really know what Lyme Disease was, but I could tell by the look on mom's face that she was afraid.
Mom said the doctor took blood tests to verify his guess about her illness, and the next day, she got a phone call with the verification that it was definitely Lyme Disease. They were going to put her on a pill which was supposed to help. Mom got on the pills immediately and then her head pain got worse.
It was now Saturday, one week exactly after her original head pain had started. It had been one very long week, with Lyme.
My Aunt Ana decided to come down that day, to support my mom. When she arrived she gave me a big hug and said “Hey buddy! I missed you” I always miss her and wish Duluth wasn’t so far away. As Saturday went, and Sunday came mom's pain was now almost unbearable, it was mid afternoon, and she was laying on the living room floor with her head and upper body rested against our couch. She was crying a painful cry and holding her head
Ana was rubbing moms back, and suggesting now that she drove my mom into the Emergency Room. Ana quickly gathered an extra set of clothes for my sister, Camryn, and I, and helped my mom walk into the car. At this time, my dad was out of town, in Minnesota, and I was wishing that he was with us.
On the drive into the Emergency Room, my mom was in tears the whole way and had her hand stretched back behind her, holding my little sister Camryn's hand. She kept saying things like, “I love you both, don’t ever forget that.” I was quiet the whole 20 minute ride into town. What could I possibly say at a time like this? I was speechless.
As we arrived at the Emergency Room, my Grandma Shelley met us in the parking lot, and took Camryn and I to her house just down the road. I hugged my mom, and a part of me really didn’t want to leave her.
After a few hours, we got a phone call, that mom was hooked up to some iv’s and they were giving her pain medicine. They eventually found out that she had some swelling in her brain, and it was most likely caused from the prescription drug medicine that she was given for Lyme Disease.
Aunt Ana and mom pulled into Grandma Shelly's driveway and picked Camryn and I back up late that night, shortly before midnight. We made our way safely back home. I was so relieved that my mom was in the car with us.
The whole next week, mom was still doing pretty rough and my other Grandma, came down to help with chores, making meals and helping with things around the house that my mom wasn’t able to do. Grandma Beth was always good at making sure Camryn and I were fed well, she made us lots of snacks and good treats too! It was a big help having her come to our house.
Grandma Beth looked at me mid week and said “I sure am happy to be here with you all.” I smiled and gave her a big hug, and said “Me too Grandma.”
That week when Lyme Disease hit my mom was one of the longest weeks I have ever experienced, but it showed me how lucky I am to have a family that can come together in the middle of a crisis.