The Great Imitator


There are so many things in life that aren’t what they seem. Things, people, experiences, the works. I love the scene from The Vicar of Dibley where Dawn French sees a puddle and jumps in it… with surprising results:

How much time do we spend, mourning the sameness of life and calling it boring and empty and non-motivational? Way too much. But life is just full of surprises, and those are the moments when things are not as they seem.

There’s the realisation that people wear wigs and dentures and fake limbs. There’s the time you discover that driving is actually more about skill and less about sitting on your bottom. There’s the first time you bullied by people who you thought were friends.

Even illnesses can be imitators.

Anxiety imitates heart attack; cold imitates flu, and there’s one disease that imitates a heap of others, such as MS, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue. It looks like those things, and imitates them well, but it’s Lyme Disease.

Now, Lyme Disease isn’t something I’ve ever given a huge amount of thought to. Because we tend to think about the things that we see in life – and in Australia, Lyme Disease isn’t even recognised as a condition.

Things are not always what they seem.

But every now and then, if you are extremely fortunate, you find something consistent. Something, or someone, who is exactly what they seem.

I went to school with this girl who was consistent. She was fair, she was kind, she stood by her mates and at the same time, remained true to her self, her family, her values. Her name was Dee, and it still is, and her friendship helped me navigate through some particularly difficult times when I was at school.

We’re Facebook friends, but I haven’t seen her in years and years. She’s now a mum to five, she runs a gym, she’s married – and from everything I can see, has maintained that consistency and attitude that separated her from the crowd at school. She’s not an imitator.

But Lyme Disease is, and I recently found out that Dee has Lyme Disease.

Life for her is different now. The disease has been in her body for some time, and as a result she has arm and hand tremors, seizures, slurred and slow speech and needs a lot of care. I don’t know how you’d cope with that, but I’ve just done time where I’ve needed help with my ankle recovery and I was the worst patient ever. But Dee’s managing it. She’s doing it.

There’s a treatment centre in Germany that has a really high success rate, and that’s what Dee and her family have identified as the best possible chance for them to get her back. They’re running a fund raiser in January (check out the details below) and there’s a link where you can chip in to help get her there. She was recently offered a place, where they will use intense hypothermia to kill the bacteria.

I’m going to throw some money in on pay day. Because at the end of the day, two things are true:

1. Not many things in life are consistent

2. If you get a chance to thank someone, you always should.

A bit of sameness might sound over-rated and boring, but I would venture that Dee and her people would love things to be the same. And sameness is the kind of thing that you don’t miss until it’s gone.

So, if you want to donate a buck or two to help Dee get her sameness back, the link to do that is here. If you want to get something for your donation, there’s some awesome auction items being collected, too. Check out the Facebook page for Dee’s Dash for more details there.

And if you are in the area and want to attend the fundraiser, here are the details:


So Dee? Thanks for your consistency. Your friendship helped me out in some rotten times, and finally, finally I can do something to return the favour.


3 responses »

  1. I too have an old school friend, Nat who battles this wretched disease every day. She passed Lyme into her daughter in utero.
    It sounds and looks horrific.
    I was very ill for about eight years. Spent many of those years vomiting violently, shaking, stomach pains, cramps, chronic, crippling joint pain, exhaustion and so much more. But I’m doing so much better now. I’m not healed, I’m not cured bit I’m functioning. I’m living, I’m breathing, I’m moving, I’m participating and I’m enjoying life.
    All of these things are not something my friend Nat can do, nor her daughter and I imagine your friend Dee can either.
    I’m sorry your friend is suffering with this wretched disease, I’m sorry also that Lyme isn’t recognised in our country and our friends, or relatives, or fellow countrymen cannot access the urgent medical treatment they so need.
    Here’s to sameness.


    • Hey Lucy, thanks for your message. I’ll pass it on to Dee. It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it – and I cannot get my head around the fact that it isn’t a recognised disease in Australia. I just find that mind boggling. Sameness, yes. It’s overrated, but I reckon it’s rapidly becoming the very thing we’ve been missing. x


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