Thursday, 24 of August of 2017

Lionel’s Story

Abby and me on our wedding date, July 7, 2012.

Abby and me on our wedding date, July 7, 2012.

I was one of the fortunate ones.

After a tick bit me sometime in the early hours of August 6, 2006, it left a feverish-looking bite on my knee the size of a pencil eraser.

In the next few days, the bite spread into a red ring about three inches across. I felt a little weary, but nothing ached. Still, seeing this ring start to spread under my skin at such a rate panicked me. Google Image Search had debuted recently, and all it took was a few seconds to see: I had Lyme.

A trip to the emergency room and a bottle of amoxicillin saved me. In the last seven years, I’ve had no symptoms: no joint pain, no confusion, nothing.

But Lyme has continued to affect those I know and meet.

A landlady from 2007 lapsed into paranoia and mental incompetence, effectively keeping me locked in for two weeks while she sheltered us from perceived enemies, then sat on my possessions for three months while effectively going underground.

Lyme helped derail the biggest website network that you’ve never heard of. I was offered a million dollars to help launch 1500 websites, but after the owner’s focus was diverted by hoarding and she filled my apartment with 700 antiques, I had to move on.

My aunt and father-in-law have also dealt with the disease, and a classmate is battling it on her own.  And had Abby not been around to catch it, a deer tick might have reinfected me on our honeymoon.

And now Lyme has come as close as possible without being inside me: the love of my life, my wife Abigail, has it. I’ve seen the illness gradually take away her mobility, her memory, and her vision. Lyme is a frightening, disheartening disease.  It takes more and more in an unpredictable downward spiral.  As soon as it seems to be in retreat, it exceeds the worst it’s ever been.  Abby’s favorite activities, like karate, teaching, attending church, writing, walking, watching movies, playing video games, and reading comics have all been severely limited. Abby’s dear friend Laura Pelletier also has the disease, and this website is helping them and others in need secure funding for continued treatment.  I hope that, in conjunction with the money I earn and the care I’ll personally give these next few months, to save my wife’s life and show her the love and care she’s always deserved.

Lionel Houde

April 6, 2013.

Lionel and Abby on Halloween 2012.

Lionel and Abby after pumpkin carving, Halloween 2012.