In fact, no one would ever expect that I was even remotely ill. It's actually become kind of an art of mine, hiding my physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms from everyone, hell - if you look at my facebook pictures you could almost call me a liar...but deep inside I'm always yearning to actually feel how I look.
It's surprising, but this wasn't always the case, I did have a period where a handful of some very unfortunate souls witnessed what Lyme ACTUALLY looks like. One of them even wrote about it in an effort to help me win a war I was entrenched in for over two years with disability.
I will forever be grateful to him for writing this. I barely remember anything that happened during that last couple of months in 2007, and without it, I would never know what a normal person must "think" when they witness something as crazy as this...Clark, I miss and love you very much, thanks for watching me go through hell and having the guts to write about it xo
Here is the letter NY Disability received:
2607 Halm Avenue
Los Angeles, California, 90024
October 13, 2009To Whom It May Concern:
I have been asked to describe my observations of the physical and mental condition of Sarah Lamando during the fall and winter of 2007.
At the time, Ms. Lamando and I both resided in apartments at 4437 Ambrose Avenue in Los Angeles. When I first met Ms. Lamando in early 2007, she was full of energy and enthusiasm, practicing yoga, horseback riding and several other sports on a daily basis. She led me on many energetic hikes through nearby Griffith Park. In conversation, her mind was sharp and witty. She was, in other words, a happy and healthy young woman with an infectious enjoyment of life.
Beginning in September 2007, I witnessed a shocking change in her physical and emotional demeanor. She lost weight rapidly and her healthy skin tone grew pale and sallow. She became inexplicably disoriented in the middle of conversations. Once, at a restaurant, she became so confused and withdrawn from her surroundings that we were forced to abandon our meals. I gently escorted her back to her apartment where she collapsed in bed and could not move for several days.
She had just been hired as a massage therapist at one of Los Angeles’ most renowned health spas, and her clientele included celebrities in the entertainment industry. This was her dream job so it was especially heartbreaking when her decline became so debilitating that she could no longer work. Her physical grace and strength vanished and she began to suffer frightening seizures. This happy and healthy young woman had, in a few short months, been reduced to a bed-ridden shadow of her former self. It was devastating to witness.
In December 2007, Ms. Lamando’s condition had become so life-threatening that she was forced to give up her dream of living in Los Angeles and return home to New York, where she immediately began intensive treatments for her condition.
I have witnessed family and friends suffer from a variety of ailments, including cancer, alcoholism and manic depression. Ms. Lamando’s physical and mental deterioration during this period was more rapid and severe than anything I have ever experienced.
I knew little about Lyme Disease before meeting Ms. Lamando. Since then, I’ve educated myself about this chronic disease. I understand that Ms. Lamando has worked hard to regain some of her health, and for that I am thankful. But it frightens me to realize that she can suffer a relapse at any time.
I hope this letter serves to illuminate particulars about Ms. Lamando’s medical condition. If I may provide any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address and phone number.
I think the saddest part about the letter is that, however horrific it may sound, it is still only a fraction of what was really happening to me. The scariest part about it is that it can happen to ANYONE...
If you are considering on contributing to our indiegogo campaign, please, don't wait till the last minute. Trust that there is a reason I picked this organization, and please realize that I did it in an effort to protect future generations....
My grandmother used say to me, "Thank God you have your health, Sarah," and I used to laugh at her not understanding what it meant to NOT have something I felt was so obviously "there". Now I know what she meant and pray that at such a young age, you never do, but if so, that there will always be a place for you to go.
All My Best,