Yolanda Lyme Disease: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
This week, Yolanda told her Lyme Disease story. I love to watch The Real Housewives BH. I watch it because it is so unreal and allows me to escape the thoughts of my real life by watching these extravagant, overdramatized women. So when I watched the Beverly Hills premiere, I was shocked at the natural emotional response I had to it. In the episode, Yolanda breaks down some walls to show the world what an invisible illness looks like. Yolanda has been battling Lyme disease for about three years. I admit that I don’t know much about it and have the impression Yolanda will be teaching a lot this season. I know a lot about having Migraine, which dictates my life. They seem similar in their stigmatized nature.
Yolanda and Lyme Disease
To begin with, she should be proud of exposing herself to the vultures who will inevitably pick her apart during the season. She could have easily quit the show and battled behind closed doors like many of us. Instead, she is making a difference in the real world by advocating and creating a support system for her inevitable following. People living with Lyme disease will be able to see all of the treatments money can buy. Like my migraine life, Yolanda seems to be a guinea pig with her treatments and searched endlessly to find help and better health. She says she looks normal yet is so sick, which is something I feel every day!
While becoming the face of her disease, she dared to show her face makeup-free in Beverly Hills and on TV (GASP!) Their snickering comments did not surprise me. Not much these women do shock me; I watch it. But let me explain the poignancy of what Yolanda did from a person with an invisible disease’s perspective.
The Real Yolanda
Lisa V. commented that if she was sick, she might have stayed home and that she could have taken 10 seconds to throw some eye makeup on. She might have stayed home if she was sick with the flu or sinus infection. But she has been struggling for years with this. I have had Migraine most of my life, so I understand this. When you are chronically sick, every move takes calculation. If I do this, how will I feel? Then how will I feel? And then how will that make me feel? I guess wrong all the time and push myself, then get sicker. I don’t push myself and continue to isolate myself.
Yolanda has moved into a condo because her palatial home was too big for her to reside in and to make her doctors closer. Her Lyme disease has taken control of her life. While throwing on makeup may seem so simple to some, I can tell you from experience that I had gotten ready for a party, and by the time I was done, I had to cancel my plans because I had used all my energy. So maybe she saved her energy to see her friends who she has been unable to see. But instead of being happy to see Yolanda’s face out of her condo, they chose to comment on how she wasn’t wearing makeup.
But you Don’t Look Sick.
Yolanda and her Lyme Disease didn’t look good to the ladies. If she chose to show up with perfect makeup and a hot dress, they would have commented on how “She doesn’t look sick!” So she showed up, “Not looking good at all.” Guess what? She’s not good at all. It’s ok to look that way. I sometimes glance at myself in a mirror and think, “Wow, I should put some makeup on.”
Then I think, why? It is a gross notion to think; maybe if I look at how I feel, people will acknowledge that I’m having a bad day. All these emotions came pouring out of me while watching Yolanda sit there watching her friends laughing about expensive sunglasses. She excused herself early, which I had to do. I could see how much effort it took her to be there and her physical response to being at lunch.
I relate so much to her. Something I haven’t had to do is watch myself sick and try to grasp for normalcy while my friends talked behind my back. Yolanda is going to see a whole lot of nastiness and, without a doubt, lose friends and hopefully discover what real friendship and love are. So let me finish by saying no matter how close or far your relationship is, people deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. You have no idea what it’s like until you’ve walked in someone else’s Louis Vuitton. Yolanda will show that no matter how much money (and she has a lot!), you can’t buy a cure, health, or friends. She’s going to be REAL!
Celebrity Migraine Patient’s Speaking out
Karamo from Netflix ‘Queer Eye’