The one who got away?

Have you ever just been randomly stalking someone on facebook who you hadn’t talked to in a long time, and then see something that makes you feel like you just got punched in the stomach? Yeah, that’s me right now.

There are many kinds of relationships. I used to have one that I thought, in some way, transcended all others. It was able to evolve over the years and adapt to ever changing circumstances. It was sometimes a romantic relationship, sometimes a platonic one, but a friendship above all else.

Something happened that hurt my feelings and instead of talking it through, I made the mistake of pulling away. I guess deep down I hoped it would right itself over time but instead the friendship faded away completely.

I never stopped the feeling however, that it was the kind of relationship that could be revived at any time. Several times over the past couple of years, events in my life have led to my thinking, “wow, I miss my best friend.” For some reason I always assumed this feeling was mutual, this knowing that we could come back to the friendship at anytime.

It turns out, “the one who got away” is a lot closer than I realized. Geographically, at least. Emotionally, he’s never been farther away. 

Friendship

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Friendships are hard. People will come and go from your life over time and it’s hard to learn how to let go and accept friendships having run their course… And the older you get, the harder it is to make new friends. So, that can leave you in kind of a tough place. Your older friends have drifted away, either due to time or circumstance…but you haven’t found new ones to fill your life.

This is so true and appropriate for me right now. I’ve really had to allow myself to accept that friendships come and go and they don’t always stand the test of time. There are certain people that I know will always be in my life, in some form or another. Time and distance may make us less “frequent” friends but they are still in my heart no matter what. It’s been hard though, to figure out who my “quarters” are. Since moving to Maryland 5 years ago, I’ve filled my life up with a lot of pennies. It took me a long time to realize that’s what I was doing.

I joined a local “mommy group” and became involved in the activities and leadership of the group. Along with that came pennies. Lots and lots of pennies. A lot of people who thought they  knew me just based on something I posted in a facebook group. A lot of women who I was “friends” with because we had kids, and lived in the same town, yet had nothing in common. These women introduced me to a phenomenon I hadn’t really experienced since middle school. Exclusive clubs. Whispering and rumors. Backstabbing. I constantly found myself thinking, “did these women ever leave high school?”

Maybe prior to the mommy group phase in my life, I was just lucky. I was lucky to find “quarters” to fill my life and feel confident in those friendships. Over time, I ended up adding a lot of pennies to my circle. I’ve spent the past year slowly removing them. Through that process, I’ve been really lucky to discover a few quarters left in the bank.

It’s really very reassuring to know that I have at least a couple true friends I can count on. I hadn’t realized how much I missed having that in my life until I found it again!

Here’s to the quarters in our lives: (dedicated to the lovely quarter/author of: OhNoIt’sPoopAgain)

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A dear friend needs help

I’m writing today to ask for your help. Even if the only help you can give is sharing this story and helping raise awareness, I will be grateful. This story is about my friend Jill and her 5 year old son, Dominic. Jill and Dominic are both suffering from chronic Lyme disease. This disease has been devastating for their family. And now, on top of all the pain and suffering they have endured, they are faced with mounting medical bills and no end in sight.

Jill and I with another good friend, Jaime

Jill and I with another good friend, Jaime

I met Jill in high school – she was one of the first friends I made after moving to a new school. Shortly after we met, I hooked up with her prom date. In my defense, she didn’t like him anymore anyway and spent the entire night ignoring him! She forgave me, and she’s been one of my best friends ever since. We were roommates in our 20’s for a while. Housekeeping wasn’t exactly our strong point, at times we joked that our apartment resembled a frat house.

We grew up. We moved in with boys. We broke up with boys. We have laughed together and cried together. When I moved to Germany when we were 26, the hardest part was leaving behind my best friends. Their support meant more to me than I ever realized. When I got the news that Jill was going to be a mom I was so happy for her. Jill always knew she wanted to have kids and I knew she was going to be an amazing mother. I hated being so far away and missing the birth of her fist child!

Jill, Jeff, Dominic amd Myles on their wedding day.

Jill, Jeff, Dominic amd Myles on their wedding day.

Jill was a single mom for the first 4 years of Dominic’s life. She dedicated her life to giving him the best life possible. She out herself through nursing school. I was so proud of her for graduating and following her dream. When I heard that she and Jeff were having a baby and getting married, it seemed like life was finally coming together for Jill. All her hard work was paying off and now it was her turn to enjoy the life she had worked so hard for. She was working as a nurse, had 2 beautiful little boys and a loving husband. She and Jeff were planning to buy a house.

And then came the pain. Jill was in pain for months. At the same time, she was struggling with hyperactivity and other difficult behavior in Dominic. Doctors told her nothing was wrong with her. They treated her like she was an addict looking for pills, rather than a woman in pain searching for answers. Dominic also started complaining of various aches and pains. Finally, Jill was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and shorty after, Dominic was diagnosed. Doctors believe the infection was passed in utero. Her younger son has not exhibited any symptoms yet, but only time will tell if he has also been effected.

Lyme disease is a debilitating infection transmitted through tick bites. Lyme is often accompanied by co-infections, caused by various bacteria the ticks carry. The symptoms vary but include pain, nausea, dizziness, and fever. In children it also causes hyperactivity and inability to focus and learning disorders. Lyme is often misdiagnosed, mimicking symptoms of many autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia and in children disorders such as ADHD.

Lyme Literate Doctors (LLD’s) are few and far between. Lyme is often misdiagnosed because it is very difficult to detect in standard blood tests. More accurate testing is extremely expensive and not covered by most insurance plans. Once a diagnosis is finally made, treatment for Lyme is also very expensive. Patients who are able to find a doctor to treat the disease find themselves faced with thousands of dollars in prescription costs and doctors visits. Most LLD’s do not accept insurance, because most insurance carriers do not cover the necessary treatments.

Treatment for Jill and Dominic total $3000/month and they are forced to visit expensive doctors out of state for treatment because there are no LLD’s in Delaware. They no longer have private health insurance – Jill lost her job as a nurse after months of being on short-term disability. They have applied for state health insurance (medicaid,) however Medicaid will not cover any of their treatment because it was received out of state.

A fundraiser has been started with the aim of raising $9000. This will cover 3 months of treatment for Jill and Dominic. They are also applying for various grants and assistance programs available. Unfortunately, the $9,000 needed to get through the next 3 months is just the beginning. This is a chronic disease that may require years of treatment.

In addition to raising money toward immediate expenses, we need to raise awareness. Lyme disease is a real and debilitating illness. Yet our government, insurance companies and the medical community continue to turn a blind eye to the devastating effects of this illness. The only way that will change is if we demand it.

To help with the immediate medical needs of Jill and Dominic, please visit the fundraising page that has been set up:

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http://www.gofundme.com/4rj9q8

Learn more about Lyme Disease and how you can help raise awareness, visit: http://lymelightfoundation.org/.

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated or shared. We’ve raised $895 already. It doesn’t seem like much, but every little but helps toward the cost of at least some medication Jill and Dominic so desperately need. Please continue to share and like the fundraising page to help spread awareness and raise funds for Jill and Dominic.