When Life Gives You Lyme...

I've always heard the saying 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade'. What happens when life gives you Lyme? Well, we still don't know what to make of it.
One thing I do know is that it is hard for us to ask for help when we need it. This is a very difficult time in our life and we won't make it without the help from others.

 So this is us, sharing our story and asking you to partner with us as we journey through life with Lyme Disease.
A year ago, my husband Lonnie herniated a disc in his back and went for a  simple procedure to correct it. Six weeks later, he reherniated his disc by simply sitting down on the couch one night. The doctor decided to proceed with a second surgery. We were tired and exhausted from the stress of the prior surgery, but knew it needed to be done. When this surgery as well did nothing to relieve Lonnie's pain and lack of mobility, we began to feel hopeless that Lonnie would ever feel like himself again.  The doctor was puzzled by Lonnie's lack of improvement and referred him to UCSF for further treatment. 
All this time, there was minimal income due to Lonnie's inability to work. The kids were missing playing with dad and being able to jump in his arms like they had done before. Lonnie began to feel worse and worse. We struggled as a couple. I saw Lonnie slowly change before my eyes. Chronic pain, migraines, severe fatigue, memory loss, depression and inability to eat, along with many other symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and burning in his hands and feet. This was not the once lively man that I knew. I also struggled with feelings of hopelessness and depression. This was not the life we imagined we'd live together.
  We knew there had to be something more going on with Lonnie's body. After months of wondering, we finally got an answer in the form of Lyme Disease. This disease impeded Lonnie's body from healing from his surgeries and was causing him to get worse. We were excited to finally have an answer, but it was bittersweet. Lyme disease is a much disputed diagnosis in the medical field and some doctors do not believe it even exists. This meant that insurance would not cover treatment for him to get better. To see a Lyme doctor, the initial visit was $700. The lab work cost $1500. To have the labs read and to begin treatment was $400. We feel like there is a financial mountain ahead of us. We need your help to climb this mountain, as many more treatments lie ahead and are very expensive. 
  There are some days that we feel very positive about the future and what lies ahead. There are also days where we feel like we can't move forward even one more step without falling apart. This is made even more difficult by the very nature of Lyme Disease. Lyme attacks the brain and emotions as well as the body and puts Lonnie, and subsequently, our entire family, on a constant emotional roller coaster. Life changes for us constantly. Days, and even hours, are drastically different than the previous moment, and planning life has become almost impossible. We never know what to expect. 

We need your help. Not just financially, but in prayers and words of encouragement. Thank you for caring and helping. Our gratitude is deeper than we could ever express!


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Celesta Graves 
Brentwood, CA
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