TOUCHED BY LYME: Son mourns parents lost to murder-suicide and chronic Lyme
On July 8th, police in Ocala, Florida, made a shocking discovery in a travel trailer at the side of a highway–the bodies of 48-year-old George Strobos and his 49-year-old wife Jonalyn. It turns out the couple, both suffering from advanced Lyme disease, had taken their own lives. Last night, their son, Michael Strobo, of Austin, Texas, made a series of heartfelt postings about his parents on the CALDA Facebook page. Michael subsequently gave me permission to re-post his writings here.
Michael originally wrote in eight different segments on Facebook, which I have compiled into one column here.
showing signs [of Lyme]-everything snowballed so fast I couldn’t keep up. She was hospitalized on two different occasions nearly a year apart for similar episodes of delirium, psychosis, repetitious ranting, organ systems shutting down…The second ER visit the sharp doc diagnosed her with advanced LD. I thought she was partly a hypochondriac when she began reading and searching and reading and reading and talking about all this information which was all alien to me…then she got to taking some antibiotics regimen set forth by someone who wasn’t even an MD.
d unemployment kicked in. Some time in there was really when The Unknown set in… Who’s gonna treat it? Who’s gonna say for sure what it is? How long will it take? How much will it cost? How soon can she go back to work? Is it all in her (their) head??? I’m sure everyone can relate. I feel guilty now, but back then I just didn’t know what to do or think. And I’m sorry for everyone out there who has to experience it. Often times no matter how difficult something is to deal with, it’s a whole lot easier to deal with it if YOU KNOW YOUR ENEMY!! Well as I stated there were a lot of Unknowns.
… I couldn’t keep up with what city they were in or the doctors’ names… My mom’s unemployment got extended a couple of times, which helped a little, but then one day it ran out-soon after her insurance ran out as well. Well this certainly came at a bad time. For months they had slowly been selling off possessions and draining their savings accounts. For almost two months, they lived in a cargo trailer. 5′ x 10′. I’m not kidding. My dad had installed a “kitchen” sink in the front of it, built bunk beds out of 2″ x 2″s and they used pool floaties as cushions to sleep on.
om a guy at a gas station somewhere. Well that pretty much killed their funds. They did return once for one week in April, I was working as a full-time firefighter and attending a full time paramedic program so my time was limited. They looked bad. They both had lost a lot of weight and looked as if they had aged ten years in ten months. We had dinner together one night–I brought pizza. And in the same old nature of my parents, they demanded they pay for their share. I didn’t let them though, and I’ll never forget how they always tried to pay for things like that 🙂 One day we took a several hour drive to pick up a piece of material I had bought for my property.
a few phone calls, emails or texts out of despair. That was not uncommon. I am the only remaining child–my brother died ten years ago from cancer. I helped out a little financially. Mostly I tried to give them hope, give them something to look forward to. Back in December I had purchased 20 acres. The deciding factor for me to buy it was that I was allowed per covenant restrictions to build a main residence and a smaller, second residence on the property. That was going to be where my parents were going to live when they got through this blasted disease.
very windmill they passed growing up as a kid in TX, AZ, and LA. I also promised to give them my .243 caliber hunting rifle as a gift when they got better and could move back home. The .243 is a great caliber for TX Hill Country whitetail deer, and small enough my mom would be able to shoot it with ease. Everytime I talked with them I tried to drive them into The Word. Studying the Word of God. I know from tough times in life, albeit on a much smaller scale, that the best source of peace and hope in this life comes only from God. We have a Creator. A faithful, loving, compassionate Father. I reminded them constantly of this.
to him before bed. This is something I encourage everybody to do. They were in so much pain. Constantly. Emotionally, physically. They had lost everything, including their health. They were living completely on the road. Two trucks and two trailers, one to live in and one to store their last possessions. With no money and no answers. No plan, no outlook. Nothing but grey areas, stress, loss of mental function, constant nausea and analgesic patches……..Well I did get a phone call the day they died. Those details are mine. I don’t know what to say now. I’m sorry there are so many people affected by such a terrible, stealthy enemy.
d prayers. My parents were special people. I spread most of their ashes near where we had spread my brother’s ashes 10 years ago. I kept a little of all 3 of them though. I’m going to spread the rest of it out at my property under that windmill where their ashes can turn back to dust together. I know their souls have already gone back to be with God who gave them. I know I’ll rejoin them one day. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. God bless you, and again, if you need anything, don’t be a stranger!
Contact blogger Dorothy Kupcha Leland at firstname.lastname@example.org.