It was April 2008 when I allowed my sweet dog to sleep with me and my husband. I woke up the next morning with a tick attached to my inner left ankle. From that day forward I’d be the host to some pretty nasty bacteria. It wasn’t until the summer of 2010 that I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I’d gone to every specialist my doctor could think of, had an MRI, CT-scan, loads of tests and blood draws, with the final plan to send me to the mayo clinic. I asked her nicely to please give me the test for Lyme, she did – I had my diagnosis.
The following are many of the symptoms I’ve experienced over the four years I’ve had the disease.
- Rash at site of bite
- Unexplained hair loss
- Headache, mild or severe,
- Pressure in head
- Twitching of facial or other muscles
- Facial paralysis
- Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
- Stiff or painful neck
- Jaw pain or stiffness
- Dental problems (unexplained)
- Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm ( flem ), hoarseness, runny nose
- Double or blurry vision
- Increased floating spots
- Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes
- Oversensitivity to light
- Flashing lights/Peripheral waves/phantom images in corner of eyes
- Decreased hearing in one or both ears, plugged ears
- Buzzing in ears
- Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sounds
- Ringing in one or both ears
- Bone pain, joint pain or swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Stiffness of joints, back, neck, tennis elbow
- Muscle pain or cramps, (Fibromyalgia)
- Shortness of breath, can’t get full/satisfying breath, cough
- Chest pain or rib soreness
- Night sweats or unexplained chills
- Heart palpitations or extra beats
- Paranoia/feeling like I could break from reality/forget who I was/where I was
- Tremors or unexplained shaking
- Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
- Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Weaknes
- Pressure in the head
- Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
- Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
- Increased motion sickness
- Lightheadedness, wooziness
- Mood swings, irritability
- Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)
- Feeling as if you are losing your mind
- Over-emotional reactions, crying easily
- Too much sleep, or insomnia
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Panic attacks, anxiety
- Memory loss (short or long term)
- Confusion, difficulty in thinking
- Difficulty with concentration or reading
- Going to the wrong place
- Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)
- Stammering speech
- Forgetting how to perform simple tasks
- Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
- Low body temperature when no fevers
- Wide spread red coloring of skin
As you can see by this list of symptoms, it was difficult for my doctor to know which direction to go, what to look for.
Starting treatment for the disease was very difficult for me, as I was quite sick. With the disease – and the other infections that typically come along with it – you actually get worse before you get better. The bacteria release toxins when they die, causing many different symptoms in your body, making your symptoms worse. It was almost a full year of treatment before I was able to take the full dose of medication.
Because I was in the early months of my pregnancy, with Lyme disease untreated, my youngest son was born with it. However, it wasn’t until April 2011 that he was diagnosed. He’s now been in a year of medical treatment.
Lyme disease is a very dangerous disease if left untreated. It affects any part of the body and brain it wants. Most people with it have been diagnosed with other diseases, such as: lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and many more.
Many doctors miss it, or claim there’s no such thing as chronic Lyme disease – or that the disease itself is easy to cure. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you get bitten and get treated within days of the bite, it’s much easier . When it becomes chronic, meaning its been in your system for months or years, it’s difficult to cure.
Lyme disease has altered every part of my life. It’s robbed me of a lot. It’s robbed my kids, husband, family and friends. There were times when I was too weak to get up and make breakfast. I had to stop driving. I couldn’t do the grocery shopping. My husband took over almost everything that needed to be done. It robbed me of a lot but never robbed me of my relationship with God. God has taken what was meant to kill me, and has used it as a time to draw me nearer, teach me, mold me, change me, and tell me what I’ve been called to do in this life.
I’ve grown compassionate to the chronically ill, my heart beats for their healing. I love to pray with people.
I’ve had many people pray over me while sick, and have experienced healing because of their prayers. The healing power of God is alive and well today.
Ticks are tiny – and potentially dangerous. They have the possibility to change a life, even take it. If you’ve been bitten by a tick, or suspect you have, and you are now sick – I recommend finding an LLMD (lyme doctor) in your area to get tested. You can ask for a LLMD in your area by going here and posting your need and what city you live in. This is how I found my amazing LLMD.
Even on my worst days, even when my son is having a horrible day, I know that this disease will not keep us down. Even when it’s knocked us down, it can’t keep us down. We will walk free from the disease and its symptoms one day because of the Stripes of Jesus Christ.
Pictures and Videos of my Lyme disease Journey (I can’t video tape, or photograph, the worst of my symptoms… the below images are just a tiny peak into what Lyme looks like.)
morning meds (afternoon meds not pictured)
dark knuckles from adrenal problems – the picture on the right shows the knuckles after being medicated with cortisol. Still dark but no where nearly as bad as before being medicated.
red skin, discolored skin from the disease – thankfully this symptom is mostly gone as well.
unknown wide spread rash – no longer have.
after lyme – 40 pound weight gained.