Monday I had my first appointment with the Lyme specialist. In a strange way, it reminded me of running the Broad Street Run. I was over flowing with excitement before the race started and when they fired the gun all I wanted to do was sprint full speed ahead! But I was smart enough to know that I had to keep my calm and pace myself or I would never make it to the finish line.
The first thing that I noticed was the LYME branding all over the place. Maybe it’s because I’m in the marketing field, or maybe it’s because I’m sensitive to Lyme now – but I couldn’t help but notice that they had green decorations, green office chairs, and of course the big bold words: LYME SPECIALIST on the door. I found that very interesting, because if you were to look in any health insurance directory, you would find Haverford Wellness Center under the heading GENERAL PRACTITIONER, not Lyme Specialist. Oh – that’s because technically there’s no such thing as Chronic Lyme Disease, therefore no such thing as a Lyme Specialist. Interesting, right?!
Every online review that I read mentioned how caring and compassionate the staff at Haverford Wellness Center was – and they definitely lived up to my expectations. Everyone from the front desk, to the nurse that drew my blood and even the patients in the treatment center made us feel very comfortable, like we had been patients of theirs for years. The physician assistant spent over two hours with us. He answered all of our questions and was beyond thorough when it came to getting my background. He never once made me feel uncomfortable, as I explained my laundry list of random symptoms. I even shared more about my personal battle with depression than I ever intended. We talked about the tests that I’ve already had done, how the Thyroid levels affect my energy level, as well as what tests still needed to be done.
After the consultation, I was sent to the treatment area. There were five or six patients hooked up to IVs receiving antibiotic treatments. It looked like (from what I’ve seen on TV) a hospital chemo treatment room. It was very erie at first. But then one of the patients actually told us to grab a seat and make ourselves comfortable! Then the nurse came over, and after tying that giant rubber band thing around my arm, she warmed up a bean bag and gently placed it on my arm. Then I remembered one of the reviews that I read. “Only a Lyme Specialist would be thoughtful enough to have heated bean bags!” I didn’t understand it when I first read that review…. actually I was imagining a giant bean bag chair that had a heat/massage feature on it! Guess that’s my creative imagination gone wild. Anyway, I guess warming the veins makes it easier to draw blood. Because when the nurse came back, she got my vein right away – which in itself is a miracle! And there was no pain… it was a beautiful thing.
Like the Broad Street Run, I wanted to run and get to that finish line – diagnosis and treatment. But unfortunately, this is only the first mile. During the next few miles, I have to (unfortunately) look for another doctor. Like most Lyme Specialists, Haverford Wellness Center does not accept insurance. Despite the fact that my husband and I both have health insurance, we paid over $500 for that first visit. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, we are already in debt way over our head. If there are doctors out there, that treat chronic lyme disease, and are in my network, I have to consider switching . . . even if they don’t have heated bean bags.
But with or without the heated bean bags, and the really, REALLY nice staff, I know that I will end up with the care that God has planned for me. I may not like it, I may not understand it, but I am thankful for it – because I’m just a lost sheep. HE is my shepherd and I just want him to bring me home.
1-Peter 2:25 “Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.”