TOUCHED BY LYME: “Ya-ya” author recounts struggle with Lyme disease
Bestselling author Rebecca Wells offers a new book, a website, and a poignant account of her life with Lyme disease.
Bestselling author Rebecca Wells has a new book out called The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder. And a website that includes a poignant account of her continuing struggle with Lyme disease.
“I have advanced neurological Lyme disease,” Wells writes on the website. “It affects the way I think, move, write, read, eat—every aspect of my life.”
In the late 90s, as her novels, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere were introducing the Ya-yas to mainstream America, Wells found her health in a precipitous decline. As new strange symptoms kept developing, she says she stopped saying things couldn’t get any worse, “because they did, again and again.”
While writing Ya-yas in Bloom, she often was too tired to lift her hands. Once she realized she needed to use “small packets of energy” very wisely, she managed to finish the book.
In a situation most Lyme patients can identify with, Wells saw twelve doctors over seven years, before anyone even thought to evaluate her for Lyme disease. She was finally diagnosed with Lyme in late 2004, and continues under treatment.
The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the second book completed during her illness. Although it does not involve Lyme disease, it tells the story of a resilient young woman who overcomes serious obstacles. The healing power of love is a major theme, echoed in the Lyme article on her website:
I’m trying to take everything one day at a time. To wake up every day and play the hand I’ve been dealt as best I can. I’m discovering what we all have to learn eventually: that attitude, not external circumstances, is what determines happiness. Happiness does not depend on having a healthy body. It has to do with taming the mind, with learning to accept each moment. Prayer, meditation, healing imagery, and kindness sustain me. The ever-constant love of my husband holds me up, as well as the knowledge that there is a divine presence much larger than myself who loves me unconditionally.
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