And that’s why the Lyme disease diagnosis wasn’t much better than no diagnosis at all. Because my dad got Lyme disease at a time when it was still seen as a metaphor. As a sign of some inner flaw. A rare personality quirk. A fatal uniqueness.
The first inkling we got of Lyme’s place in the established disease canon was at church, when we overheard one man say to another: “Russell doesn’t have Lyme disease. That’s a fad diagnosis.”
And I saw my dad’s hand involuntarily touch his breast pocket, where he kept the crumpled, crumbling gold leaf test results like some sort of amulet. Close to his heart.And then I slowly began to see it everywhere — like a nightmare where the lights come creeping up and you see that you’re surrounded.