Looking toward the future: An update from Mandy Hughes

mandy1.jpg Happy New Year to my wonderful Lyme family! I’ve heard that my friends would like an update. Well, here goes: Sean and I are doing well and still living in sunny Orlando, Florida. After filming for UNDER OUR SKIN, Sean was tested for Lyme disease and his test came back as "equivocal." Basically, this means that he may or may not be infected. Luckily, he is no longer showing any signs or symptoms. Since the movie left off, Sean's energy level has returned to normal; and he is extremely active with an extensive list of sports/hobbies. As for myself, since the documentary I’ve maintained my oral antibiotic regiment, however; I am currently on a mini-break from oral medications (my break will be about 4 months in duration from January until May). I will resume all my medications again in May to complete my treatment. Dr. Jemsek is still my incredible, life-saving physician who is extremely understanding of my much needed antibiotic sabbatical. But now, because of the fallout from his legal case, instead of traveling to North Carolina, I now see him in South Carolina, where he has reestablished his practice. The reason for my lapse is because I am in school and working 30 hours per week. Can you believe it?!? I am wrapping up the prerequisites necessary for nursing school, and I am so excited. Fall of 2008 was my first time back to school in 9 years; I was so nervous. The semester ended up going really well and I am extremely encouraged to pursue my new career. I feel pretty drawn to the profession (go figure), and I am hopeful about my future. It is tough to work and go to school; I won’t deny that! I am stubborn (as if you couldn’t already tell that from the documentary), so I’m up for the challenge. My family is wonderful and they are behind me 110%. My mom is actually the one who first encouraged me to become a nurse. Now, with May fast-approaching, I am excited to begin my application process for nursing programs. Looking toward the future, I honestly would like to attain a master’s in nursing; however I am also content with taking it one day at a time. I need to see exactly what my brain/body can handle once the nursing program begins. Slow and steady wins the race, or at least that’s what I have to keep telling myself. Most of the symptoms that were seen in the documentary are gone, however; I do still experience pain, brain fog, and fatigue. I know that I’m not through with fighting the disease, but now I feel that I have an opportunity to regain the life that I had before Lyme. xoxo Mandy