Commentary: The undead: they’re out there

Depending on where you reside in the U.S., you’ve probably seen them.  Fumbling with their change on the grocery line; drifting into your lane on the highway; stumbling on the sidewalk for no apparent reason.  Sometimes old, sometimes young, students, teachers, colleagues, employers, white collar, blue collar, no collar, they’re there.  Fatigued, frustrated, twitching, pained, scrambling for words that don’t come, but, generally always hiding their brain fog behind an apologetic smile.  A smile  much like you see when a person tries to communicate in a non-native language.  These are the walking dead, the Lymees.

Photography by J. Driscoll, UK

Once productive members of society, these Lymees now cling to any semblance of what life once was.  Knowing full well that they are stigmatized by the youthful, beautiful, gung ho, can-do work ethic of American capitalism; desperately trying to masquerade their frailties and blend in with society.  They try to keep a sense of normality with their families; try to become adept at a disease the IDSA dismisses; try to keep their finances and medical costs above water; try to remember how to get home from the doctor’s office; try to sleep; and try to keep a positive attitude that things will get better.


Who are these people and why do they mope and whine so much?  Could it be that their symptoms are often similar to arthritis; or MS; or Alzheimer’s; or Parkinson’s; or ALS; or FM; or CFS; or POTS; or any combination of the aforementioned.  Or is it because the countless antibiotics and other medication they generally take is more than AIDS patients take and feels as bad as chemotherapy.  Or that the depression and anxiety accompanying the disease is intolerable.  Nah, they’re just whiners.

If you see any of these Lymee Losers, you best stay clear of them; they just might knock some coffee on you or lecture you on the dangers of contracting Lyme.  For the more courageous, approach them with caution.  And for the extreme thrill seeker, give them a hug.  They could use the encouragement.

Have you hugged a Lymee today?


~ by Rob on April 9, 2010.

4 Responses to “Commentary: The undead: they’re out there”

  1. rob, it really hit home today. I’ve been in a bad way. Hope you’re on the upswing. Take it easy, Cathi

    • Cathi,

      Hang in there. We’ll all persevere. I would have thought that cooler weather might have helped some, but, maybe the excessive heat this week upset the apple cart and brought all the spirochetes out of hiding. Much like a hot tub or sauna might.

      I am having good progress, thanks. Though, every moment brings a new experience. The therapy is absolutely working, but not fast enough.

      My legs are stronger and my coordination is coming back slowly. I’ve even been able to take a few steps. I look like a baby trying to take its first steps. And yes, the diaper does help break the fall.

      Keep smiling,

  2. Rob – keep strong and your wits about you. Am thinking of you.

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