So I was doing my IV antibiotic treatments, taking every supplement anyone that sounded like they knew what they were talking about told me to, taking a steady stream of pain medication and heart medication, seeing an acupuncturist as often as I could afford, and after 6 months, things did seem to be slowly getting better. The bad days were fewer and farther apart. I could do a little more. I was hopeful that maybe all this was working and this disease of mine was actually going away!
And then in stopped going away.
I hit a very definite plateau. All the hope I had that things were actually going to be ok, that I would actually feel good again someday faded. Don’t get me wrong, I felt better. Not great, but better. I didn’t need the acupuncture any more. If I missed a Tramadol dose, it was actually ok. I could read a book and remember it more often than not. I was going to work most days and making it through the day. And I was planning a wedding. But I had lost hope.
Hope. It’s such a small word. One syllable. Four letters. Easy to spell and pronounce. But it is such a huge and complex word in meaning.
The Oxford Dictionary defines hope as:
- A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen
1.1. A person or thing that may help or save someone
1.2. Grounds for believing that something good may happen
- A feeling of trust
- Want something to happen or be the case
1.1 Intend if possible to do something
Even the definitions seem lacking in the actual weight of hope. Hope is what makes us human and keeps the world going around. Hope is the reason to try again. Hope is what brings us back from the brink of destruction. Hope holds all the dreams and wishes that might one day come true.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
– Desmond Tutu
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
– Romans 12:12
I truly believe once all hope is gone, the will to go on isn’t far behind. Without hope for something, what reason is there? So I had to make decisions within myself. I lost hope that I would feel good again, but could I live with feeling ok? I lost hope that this Lyme disease thing could actually be eradicated from my body, but could I live with having this dormant thing inside me forever? Could I live with the possibility that I could relapse and this disease could come back? And that’s when I realized all hope was not gone. Maybe I would never feel great. Maybe the Lyme would rear its ugly head again someday, but right then, I felt ok. And I did have hope that I could at least maintain ok and that maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t relapse. Even just the smallest amount of hope gives us a reason to go on.