I finally got the opportunity to ride my bicycle. It was a hot and humid morning and I had that crazy determination that comes with feeling caged in and helpless. The exhaustion that you experience with Lyme Disease is crippling.
I got on my bike and rode about a half mile before I stopped and started the Map My Run app on my cell phone. I enjoy making maps using the GPS feature and I wanted to see how far I could go.
There is a river-walk near my home with sidewalks that are wide enough to accommodate people who are walking, jogging and biking. There are not bike paths and the road is fairly curvy and busy in that area. The path stays fairly flat for the most part so it didn’t challenge me all that much.
Until I decided to wander further.
By the time I started to question whether or not it was a good idea to take off on my bike, I was starting to feel exhausted and sick. This is the time of day where I chuckle and say “Well, the Lyme is up, party’s over. Time to lay down.”
I was drenched in sweat. I didn’t bring any water. I was starting to get angry at myself for being so stupid knowing that I was pushing myself and shouldn’t have. I looked at the app on my phone and saw that I had gone six miles.
I texted my friend Diana, and told her that I thought I may have overestimated my abilities. She offers to come and get me. I tell her no, I think I can make it. I at least hoped I could make it.
I was surprised when I figured out exactly where I was and hadn’t realized the route I took was that far out. In addition to being angry at myself, I was angry at the situation of not being able to do something that used to come to easy.
Then I heard the voice inside me reminding me that I have hiked 11 miles up the side of a mountain. My boyfriend, Mike, was texting me. He didn’t know I was in trouble. I thought to myself, I hiked long distances with Mike on several occasions. He was with you then and he’s with you now. You are going to get home just fine. You can do this.
I started the route back to my house. I reminded myself over and over that I have pushed myself past what I believed were my limits in the past. I can do this again. I am not going to faint or be sick. I am going to make it.
I took my time pedaling and thankfully, the first part of the ride back was down hill. That helped me out tremendously and gave me a break while still covering some ground.
I made it home. When it was all said and done, I biked ten miles.
I was drenched in sweat and exhausted. I made it back in time to at least lay down for about an hour before I had to get ready for work. I pretty much collapsed on the couch and fell asleep.
This may not seem like some huge accomplishment to other people, but considering that a week ago I wouldn’t have made it down the block, it was huge. I bragged about it.
It was at that time, when I felt like sharing my triumphant experience on Facebook, that the majority of my friends found out about my diagnoses. I had chosen to just keep it to myself.