How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?
Lyme disease and Co-infections – September 14, 2012 – January 25, 2013 (guesstimate). UPDATED 3/18/2019.
I am Kathleen and I live in Northern VA. I am a recently retired, 60+ year old Grandmother. I am widowed, and I was living alone when Lyme hit; September 2012. My Lyme symptoms happened all at once; NOT “Hard to Get”, about two – three weeks after my vacation to an area highly populated by deer, in the Pacific Northwest. I now maintain a secret FB page called “Where is Lyme Disease” where this story is located. The files on the page contain information for how I was treated and what I have done since then to heal from the hell of Lyme, as well as books and articles of interest I have read. Because Lyme affects our entire “systemic” bodies, I also include any information I find about other diseases, infections, syndromes. By the way, syndrome is a word for something a doctor has no idea about yet.
I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Mononucleosis on October 12, 2012 and out of work, on sick leave 4 weeks, between October 15-November 13, 2012. Other symptoms and diagnoses prior to this (2005-2012) were high blood pressure, cardiomegaly, chronic bronchitis, prolapsed mitral heart valve, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, large hiatal hernia. I now realize these symptoms, syndromes etc., might have been the precursor to the Lyme and Mononucleosis in 2012, but spaced so far apart, I never considered them part of something worse.
Before treatment, problems included: Short term memory issues, difficulty with my vision and reading, sensitive to bright lights and sunshine, difficulty walking, inability to fall asleep for several nights in a row, constant buzzing, tingling, and pain throughout my entire body. There was chest pain, head and neck pain, difficulty with bowels and the feeling of being blocked inside, difficulty swallowing, and anxiety from feeling so ill and not knowing why. The swallowing difficulty was taken care of during an endoscopy, and there was a mysterious growth the doctor scraped away(non-cancerous). After the endoscopy I was able to swallow correctly again.
There was NO RASH, I NEVER SAW OR CAUGHT THE TICK, AND I HAVE NO IDEA I HAD BEEN BITTEN, OR WHEN. I felt something poke me on the lower part of my back on 9/14/2012. My doctor tested me for Lyme, West Nile Virus, Mono and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The Mono, which I had at age 18, always shows up as “exposed” and Lyme was also positive. I would recommend anyone who suspects they have Lyme, to ask the doctor to test for all of the above illnesses, and Lyme might show up positive that way. Testing for Lyme by itself doesn’t seem to register, for some reason.
Doxycycline was 10, 20 and 30 days. After that I could not have Doxycycline again, or my insurance company would have refused or had my doctor investigated. I was then placed on 500 mg Cefuroxime for 30 days. For the first four days on Cefuroxime, I intentionally doubled my own dose from one twice a day to two twice a day. I always eat yogurt before or after taking any antibiotic, to keep the good bacteria from completely dying off with the bad bacteria. Doctors won’t tell us to do that, because they may not know or they may want to keep prescribing more antibiotics to kill the secondary yeast infections, caused by so many antibiotics. **Yogurt may help heal the immune system, which is mostly in the gut and should alleviate the need for additional antibiotics such as Diflucan. **For people allergic to yogurt or dairy products, check into fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut etc. to assist in healing the gut. I have been mostly symptom free since January, 2013. In September, 2013, I went through a local integrative group to learn how to heal my gut, where the immune system is primarily located. Diet changes and supplements containing Glutathione were used and there was significant improvement after two weeks of starting the program.
Tick season is all year around and cold winters don’t kill them. Anyone with flu-like symptoms, congestion, body aches, anything out of the ordinary which doesn’t go completely away or comes back too often, suspect a bad bacteria, parasites in the gut or a co-infection. Lyme always seems to have co-infection buddies with it that can be equally as dangerous, even deadly.
Migrating birds carry ticks, field mice, chipmunks, lizards, fox, raccoon, skunks carry ticks. Family dogs and cats can pick up ticks from the grass they walk through, and their owners can also pick up ticks walking with them through the grass. Ticks come after the oxygen we emit from our bodies. Ticks don’t jump like fleas, they crawl, and they are stealth and cannot be felt when crawling or biting. Note: ALL biting insects can carry diseases, including Lyme (Borrelia), parasites, babesia (malaria cousin), bartonella (cat scratch disease).
Since the end of 2013, I have been making slow, but steady improvement and fewer symptoms. My last blood work for Lyme showed negative, around early 2014. Diet changes to healthier, less processed and getting more daily exercise have helped, along with positive thinking and spiritual thoughts. This is a parasitic bacterial invader!!! This will NOT destroy me!!
Fight back, Lyme warriors. Never give up!!!