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Running a Business with Lyme Disease
I’m finally home on the farm.
I spent nearly two weeks in Colorado working and catching up with loved ones. I was dreading the trip because I’d just had a Lyme relapse and knew I was pushing my body. But I haven’t gotten the business set up here in North Carolina. I needed the income and needed to be with my friends.
The trip over was fine I suppose. I should have snagged the emergency row so I could move my legs more. Lyme is notorious for nerve and joint pain. By the end of the trip it was difficult to walk. My big problems started after I got my luggage. My instructions were to go to the kiosk in the airport to get my rental car info. They were empty. I called and was told to go the waiting area outside and wait for my rental company’s shuttle.
I feel it’s important to clarify something here. I don’t LOOK sick.
Many people say I’m glowing or I look pretty. Because I don’t look sick, when I ask for help lifting suitcases or opening doors, people treat me funny. Sometimes I wish I had a sticker on my forehead that says, “I’m not lazy – I have an immune disorder! Please help me!”
Every single thing I lift or carry will take a toll on me.
I may not see the implications of it right away but it WILL happen. My friends and family are in the practice of NOT letting me lift things. And even my pride doesn’t stop me from being relieved because I’m truly that exhausted all the time.
The shuttle driver got my suitcases loaded. He unloaded. But then at the rental car place not a soul would help. Two women even stood in front of the door gabbing. When I said excuse me they complimented my skirt but did not offer to open the door. So I trucked the suitcases in, one at a time, signed my paperwork and got them in the trunk of the not-so-sexy Dodge Caravan myself.
I don’t know if you realize how much pain and fatigue I fight daily. I feel weak because of it. When I finally got in the driver’s seat I was so worn out and in pain I cried for a few minutes.
Then, because I’m running a business with Lyme Disease, I did what I always do: I pushed myself. And got myself home to my BFF Jenna’s house.
Working that much while traveling was harder than I thought it would be.
I had a migraine every single night. I woke up in pain every morning. I was nauseous and I struggled to drive. After one shoot I had tremors in my hands and sat in Chik Fil A looking like a freak who couldn’t feed herself. My trembling hand couldn’t quite reach my mouth.
While I am proud I made it through and produced good work, I’ve had to take an honest look at my body and put some very exciting dreams on hold. I was going to travel to Florida and Singapore in the next few months. I am forced to face the fact that those trips can’t possibly happen unless I hire an assistant to fly with me and help with every aspect of travel and work. I have one person who is perfect, but she runs two businesses and I can’t ask her to leave them alone so long.
So with a broken heart, I’m telling myself that when the time is right I’ll be able to grow my business the way I dream.
I’m so tired of sitting at home and watching other photographers travel and grow. But it’s not my time. There must be a reason. My dream is on hold because of Lyme Disease. Taking care of myself is the only part I have control over.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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