5 Reactions When I Tell Friends I Have Lyme

Over the last eight months, I’ve been in post-treatment Lyme life, allowing me to be more social. With that comes the dreaded social interactions where I have to explain why I’m tired, am not drinking, or need to go home early.

To my peer group’s defense, we are twenty-somethings. Most of us, it seems, are pretty healthy and don’t have many cares in the world… Except maybe getting too drunk last Saturday and feeling it Monday, so the upcoming happy hour networking event will be a little more painful than usual.

Typical. (Source: giphy)

So when confronted with chronic illness, I have seen a lot of different reactions from my fellow yuppies. While some are expected, others are actually kind of shocking.

“Oh that should be pretty easy to treat, right?”

Nah sister. Not always. (Source: giphy)

“So… your joints must hurt really bad then, huh?”

Yeah, that’s part of it for some of us. (Source: giphy)

“From a TICK?”

Uh, yeah. Those little jerks carry Lyme in over 50% of the United State’s counties. (Source: giphy)

“Can I catch it from you?”

…ehmmm, what? (Source: giphy)

“Oh wow… My cousin/sister/best friend/mom/acquaintance has it. They aren’t doing very well.”

Let me know if they need someone to talk to. (Source: giphy)

Jessica Gladwell

Jessica Gladwell

Jessica Gladwell is one of PW's consultants and patient editors. She has lived with late-stage, chronic Lyme and POTS since circa 2002. She has also served as a caregiver to close family members with late-stage, chronic Lyme. Before diagnosis, she served as a business consultant for a large corporation and PM for a small digital branding agency. Now, she is proactive in the rare and neurological disease community, spreading awareness and advising on matters of health and lifestyle when living with a chronic illness.

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