The physical effects of Lyme disease vary for each person and largely depends on co-infections in the body, previous weaknesses or other health issues.

Fatigue was the first of many symptoms. It controlled my life. Such extreme weariness I’d never known, not even when I became dehydrated on a hunting hike in Southeast Oregon and ‘lost my supper’ over and over until we were out of the canyon.

My mood swings were incredible. I had always been the contented type of person, easy-going and simple. Suddenly, I was irritable, reactive and grumpy. Social life began falling by the wayside, partly because of my inability to get out, to focus and engage in conversation.

I quickly learned that a social activity meant I’d be in bed for the next 2-3 days. And I learned the art of ‘pushing through,’ of reserving my energies for particular days or activities. Sometimes I couldn’t do as I’d planned.

I’d been largely refreshed by the strenuous activities I could do: basketball, soccer, horseback riding, hiking, fishing and wildlife photography…? What can I do now? I needed something to refresh myself!

Fortunately I enjoyed reading, sorting and editing wildlife photos from the past and in younger days did pencil sketching. So I took up painting. And watched my favorite old TV shows, such as “Andy Griffith,” “Dick Van Dyke” and occasionally a few others.

Refreshing myself was  challenge!