Now let me tell you another side of this story. When I was a little girl there was one thing I dreamed about; becoming a doctor. While other girls thought about boys, I thought about healing others. When they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was just a child I would say to work with UNICEF or Doctors Without Borders In Africa as a Doctor. I was never shy of talking about my dream. I bought anatomy textbooks at thrift stores, was given a stethoscope, or even a pair of gloves just like the real professionals and became overwhelmingly joyed. By the age of 12 I had decided not only would I go into medicine but I would go into surgery, more specifically cardio thoracic surgery. I transitioned to dreaming about repairing a human heart, Healing the sick, and giving hope to those who were in need of love, guidance and medical care. Not only did I believe in the medical community I gladly let it invade my life through my spare time reading, or discussing surgeries with my friends or parents or mostly anyone that would listen, and the one foolproof way to get me to relax was watching a surgery on youtube. I felt the most peace when thinking about being in the OR. Now at the age of 18 I still dream about becoming a doctor, but I can’t hold anything without having tremors, I could never operate. I still dream about becoming a doctor, but I cant stand for an extended period of time without feeling like I ran a marathon. I still dream about becoming a doctor, but more than that I dream about the way it would feel to be healthy. You see I didn’t come from a point of ignorance, I didn’t force anyone to listen to my ailments, I tried my best to live life to the fullest. But the older I get, the more my suffering worsens.
Finally let me tell you how you are letting my down in the present. While laying in bed one day feeling exhausted from going to class, now being in college. I came across a video of Yolanda Hadid. She was speaking about her struggle to finding answers to hers, her daughter Bella Hadid and her son Anwar Hadids’ sickness. She spoke one sentence “the doctors would tell me I was crazy, that it was all in my head” and I knew I already felt a connection to her. Her symptoms and explanation of her ailment fit almost all of my symptoms and I began texting my mom, asking her if she had ever heard of Lyme Disease.
This is where my story concludes, the AMA,CDC, and all my doctors have failed me. I have Lyme Disease. For 16 years I was told I had no merit to my pain, and no explanation to why I felt ill. I found my diagnosis. I figured out why I was in pain. I was left to be the doctor no one else would be for me. In many states, Lyme Disease is thought to not be real, insurance companies won’t pay for treatments, and death is the outcome if not treated.
I know the hypocratic oath by heart; I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
(Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University)
I can’t wait for the day I recite this oath. I will not take it lightly as my physicians have. I will help and heal to the best of my ability and when I come across a patient who is in pain or has a problem I cannot figure out, I will work tirelessly to provide help, to find a person who knows more, to provide care and love. Just because a doctor does not know does not mean the pain is not real, it only means that you must work harder to find answers to the unknown, for your patients, for the plaque that sits on your wall addressing you as Dr., and for the human being who sits in front of you looking to you for help, scared, hurt, worried, and in desperate need.
Sincerely, A Girl with Lyme Disease