Friday, October 4, 2013

Blessed with Support: An Open Letter of Gratitude

An open letter of thanks to the hundreds who have supported me recently, during a very dark time. Thank you for reminding me to stay on this path of positivity and not let forces outside of my control take away my inner-light, bestowed upon me by God. 

I would like to take an few minutes and let you all know how great an impact your love, kindness and support has been over the last week.

The Bible verses, words of encouragement, love and overall support has kept me afloat this past week. As you know, I had to move back in with my parents because I can no longer take care of myself. My MS/Parkinson's symptoms have flared up and at times I cannot walk or speak.

This wave of goodwill, compassion and prayers has completely overwhemled me with Joy. Thank you to all who contacted me in one way or another--I will never be able to adequately explain how much of an impact you all have had. You provided light during my darkest of days.

Chronic Lyme Disease is a terribly isolating condition. You lose tough with friends, you are too sick to have company, and some people simply do not want to deal with a Lymie, so they walk away out of your life. The isolation can be so severely devastating that you are so alone you feel numb and heartbroken at the same time. 

One's outlook has a lot to do with how fast they heal. I had prided myself in staying positive for almost an entire year of treatment. But the past month or so I wrestled daily with trying to stay positive. My thoughts were turning negative as my body continued to shut down. 

These past few days I have felt lighter and happier than I have since the negativity took over. And it is thanks to all of you who reached out and supported me. Knowing that many prayers and well-wishes were being said on my behalf gave me an overall feeling of peace and balance. And I felt loved...not isolated or left behind, but loved by so many.

Since my brain is a bit foggy I will share with you some of the words of encouragement I received: 

"My darling friend, Sarah, is in a daily fight for her life against Chronic Lymes Disease. I wasn't aware until Sarah opened up to me about her struggle, how widely unrecognized Chronic Lyme is in the medical community, and because of it, how hard it is to be properly diagnosed and further, receive appropriate treatment. Not to mention, all the jerks who've insinuated she's faking the pain she's in because they don't believe in Chronic Lyme.

If you have a moment and a couple words either for or against the existence of Chronic Lyme, please follow the link and help begin the dialogue on this debilitating disease. I appreciate your time and candor in advance.

Shine on, soldiers!" -S.H

"I love your unbreakable spirit and feel so honored to be on this journey with you. Another day closer to restored health! I'm so thankful to have such an amazing, loyal, and caring friend..I'm glad I can reciprocate how great you are to me every now and again! I love you!!" -S.K

 Sarah you are so strong. When most would give up you look to fight your battle head on! You will concur this. Thank you for being so positive. You are the light at the end of the tunnel to me. My struggle is nothing compared to yours and you remain positive. Stay as you are, beautiful, happy, fill of life and inspirational!!! -D.T

You are loved, Sarah Israel -- both by God and man. Look upward from whence comes our help! Much love and hang in there. -M.M

Sarah you are truly an example of strength and courage! Praying for you! -W.J

Saw this and thought about you! "Hearing this,Jesus said to Jairus," Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed. " Luke 8:50 once again love you and stay strong! -L.D

 Haven't seen you in years, but I still think about you when I think about friendship. You pretty much defined what friendship is to me. You are a kind, supportive, and strong person, and always have been. I miss you, and I want you to get well; everyone and anyone who's had the joy of being your friend is thinking and praying for you. -A.M

Sarah you continue to inspire us. We love you and will always be here for you! Let us know if you need anything. -W.M

Sarah- I have been following your story and I am so sorry to hear about all that you are dealing with. Your response is definitely inspiring. You're the same fighter you were in 7th grade volleyball -N.W

Every now and then I look back to college and relive the glory days. Whenever I close my eyes and think back to the people who made those "the best years of my life" I can see a petite, beautiful blonde. She was an older sister in my sorority, and by far my favorite. It wasn't just her unreal beauty that made her wonderful, it was her kindness, graciousness, and sincerity. Since college I followed her struggle with chronic lyme disease and have been devastated for her and her family. If there has ever been anyone that would fight through any challenge it would be Sarah Israel. To see her struggle and persevere, even through the challenges with the insurance industry, has been a humbling experience. Chronic Lyme Disease does exist. -BP

I will add more to this when my brain is a bit less foggy. I just really wanted to share my gratitude to all of you who have helped me. Your words have been so healing!


My sister Julia Israel is struggling, too. Her lyme treatment has caused her to have symptoms that almost mirror mine. She is a very private person, is good at hiding her pain, and is tough as nails. I hope that you will include her in your prayers. Many people do not know how terribly she is suffering because she does not shout it out from the rooftops (ok, Facebook..same thing) as I do. I decided to be open and honest about my journey so that I can speak for those who do not have a voice and hopefully spread as much awareness about this disease as I can. Julia hates people feeling sorry for her, so many of her friends are unaware of just how bad it is for her--she is so private about these things. 

Julia, I hope I don't offend you or invade your privacy by posting this. I want you to feel the same amount of love and support as I do, if not more. You are most deserving and should have "the bleachers" (a great symbol my friend came up with for those who support you, cheering you on from the bleachers.) 

Click here to learn about Lyme and Isolation

Click here to learn about How to Help a Lymie Out