Don't think your symptoms could be LYME Disease?
No bulls-eye rash? Think Again and Learn!There is a reason why you have not seen an update on this blog since March. I went through the worst health crisis in 30 years and it is a disease that is ruining people's lives. It is a health crisis that knocks you out and to the floor. It is like not seeing the bus that hits you but you are lying on the road with broken bones, and saying what happened and why am I broken?
Lyme Disease is becoming an epidemic in certain states and Tennessee is one of them. We have lived here since 2015 and in the first two years scraped ticks off every time we went into our yard. The second year we got chickens and ducks and within a year, the tick population on our usable property was reduced by 70 percent. Those first two years, we both had some nasty welts from ticks. In fact, I went into the doctor to get tested but the test came out negative. I then read how often the disease is not diagnosed in the early stages and the tests are often a false negative. Many people go through scores of lab tests and a number of doctors who give them incorrect diagnoses. If you are paying co-pays each time on both the doctors visits and the tests, it becomes a situation where you stop going.
In 2018, after my father-in-law died I was done in mentally and physically. This year 2019 was a new start after recovering physically from taking care of his dad 7 days a week for months. I started out the year with beginning some new classes to get my health coaching certificates renewed and up to date. All was going well and I was moving along with enthusiasm and energy. In May fatigue begin to set in and mentally I was not feeling up to it. I was feeling off...very off.
In June I began to have symptoms such as balance problems and mental fog. My balance problem became evident to our best friends. Then the headaches began, eye pain, horrible joint pain, problems concentrating, fevers and chills, loss of appetite, stomach distress, couldn't eat and it got worse and worse. I could not write...my mind did not want to work. I thought I had overdone the online classes and seminars and needed to take a break. Why didn't I get it? Why didn't I go to the doctor first off?
In that same time period, the beginning of June, I also had a serious, nasty fall walking the dogs and my whole left side from my wrist to my neck was painful. I could hardly use my wrists and could not lift my arm up as well. I had pain in my neck. I put off going to the chiropractor because I was so sore. That was not a good move on my part. I associated the headaches and joint pain to the fall and the damage it did. Since I had whip lash to my neck, I thought the headaches and problems with my thinking were due to the fall. Even the chills and fever, I thought were associated with the severe inflammation from the fall. Looking back, my mind was not working well to say the least.
After the chiropractor began working on me, many of the severe symptoms persisted. He felt since I had waited to see him, my lack of progress was just going to take more time. My gut told me that it was more than that so I then made an appointment with a doctor, which I usually don't do, to find out why I was almost dysfunctional. He listened to me and ordered tick tests. He did not think I had Lyme because I could not remember a recent bad tick bite with the bulls-eye classic mark. He thought I had one of the other tick diseases. I had not even considered that. He put me on antibiotics which I rarely will take. I had gotten so bad, I could not tolerate much in my stomach period. I was living on yogurt. One of the interesting symptoms was a complete aversion to eating and especially any kind of meat. I couldn't stomach looking at food period.
I took the antibiotics for 6 days of the 14 day regimen. My symptoms began to improve until the 7th day when I had a violent reaction to the antibiotic and lost 8 pounds over a day. Doctors begin your antibiotics before the lab tests come back. It was then the labs came back and it was positive for Lyme disease with high markers. Lyme disease bacteria does not show up in the lab tests for a few weeks. So If you go in with some of these symptoms, you will be diagnosed with the flu or a viral infection. It is only after you are sick for about a month, do they look to other causes. This is without the classic tick bullseye rash or rash in general. You will get the question about the rash and if you say no, it must be the flu. The lab tests are nasty. The lab billed our insurance over $600 for one of the tick tests, which was not allowed by Blue Cross. If you don't have insurance, this cost could really set you back financially. We have good insurance thank God.
After looking at the research, I realized I am in the chronic stage of Lyme Disease which consists of symptoms that affect the neurological system such as balance. You will not find some of this information through the general articles. You have to research it in depth to find some of this. I will give you links below to this information to help you get to the real research articles. https://www.lymedisease.org.au/about-lyme-disease-2/
I was shocked and completely blindsided by my symptoms....very odd ones such as balance issues, sensitivity to sounds where normal sounds and people talking bothers you, breathing issues, high pulse and the mental fog symptoms. I had really begun to get worried that I had something life threatening. I had been under so much stress the past three years with his father and then his death, I knew my immune system was impacted.
Lyme Disease can and often does affect many systems of the body. No two people are affected in the same way, nor do they have the exact same symptoms. Lyme is the great imitator confusing patients and doctors alike.
Most people don't know that some 30 percent of patients don't have the classic bulls-eye tick bite rash or rashes at all to go with it. The doctor will ask you that question and if you say no, they rule out Lyme Disease. He did think I had one of the tick diseases because of the 4 weeks of fever and chills which rules out flu. I had to really push him to run the test for Lyme. In fact their office staff failed to run the blood test the first visit and I had to become unpleasant a week later to get the blood drawn.
When we came back to go over the lab tests, it was obvious I could not take the antibiotic for the full time period of 14 to 21 days. . He pretty much said, you on on your own if you can't take the antibiotic. So for the hundred dollars of co-pays I did learn WHY I was so horribly sick. The 6 days of the prescription did restore my balance issues and the joint pain pretty much went away. I was left with fatigue, some mental issues, and severe eye pain. I was having breathing problems for which he did not have a clue. After ordering an x-ray of my lungs, he ruled out pneumonia and lung caner. I still could hardly breathe and had no answers. When I went to him, the breathing issue has become quite severe and he could hear the problem in the lungs. The eye pain goes away eventually he states but he had no clue on that either. He said all of his patients complained of that but it was not on the official list of symptoms. He was wrong and he was not up on Lyme research. Most doctors are NOT up on Lyme research and it is up to you to educate yourself. They are familiar with only the most known symptoms such as the rash.
After going to the Lyme disease website for Canada, I found a comprehensive symptom list for each system of the body and how Lyme can affect it. There I found all the symptoms such as breathing problems, eye pain, and sound sensitivity were all part of chronic Lyme disease...every weird symptom I had was there. Eye pain is one of the more known symptoms in the chronic stage. https://www.lymedisease.org.au/about-lyme-disease-2/
In our community which is very small, every neighbor we have, even the ones who have lived here all their lives, have either gotten Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme this year. I have been shocked talking to people and almost everyone has fallen to one of the tick diseases. Until I got sick, I didn't know most of my neighbors other than waving at them. It was our friends, Netta and Tom who saw me getting more ill and told me to get myself down to the doctor and get tested. He had just gotten over Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever after being ill for two months.
So the next blogs I will take you through my journey with Lyme Disease, the problems with diagnosis, the problems with the standard therapy, and what I am doing to move back into wellness again after being taken down by Lyme. There is a natural protocol for treating Lyme diseases.Writing this blog today is evidence that I am moving to a full recovery from three months of severe illness.
Blessings to you all.
Kate Freer, the herbladyisin