L is for Lyme Disease

{My A to Z Challenge for 2013 has the cool theme of being chronically ill. It’s going to be fun, so stick around!} 

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L is for Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease. It was a long, long road to discovery. Five years in fact, and that’s just how long it took us to figure out what was going on, not to cure it. You may wonder how it can be that I was sick for five years without us knowing what was going on. The answer’s simple: Lyme disease hides and disguises itself as other problems.

Thyroid problems were the first thing we found. I went to the doctor for a normal check up when I was 14, and she felt my neck and said my thyroid was larger than normal, I should get it checked out. So we did. I’m not sure what the certain test was, but I remember that the particular ‘number’ for the test was supposed to come back as a 3 or below, mine at the time was over 1,000. So no wonder I’d been so tired. 

For a couple of years that’s what we focused on, yet it didn’t get better like it was supposed to. (Which now we know it’s because it was a side effect from the Lyme disease, and since we weren’t attacking the main problem, we couldn’t fix the symptoms.)

We found it quite strange though, at times I would feel pretty good or rather bad, and yet my thyroid tests came back at varying degrees, not always agreeing with how I felt.

Then we did tests and found out that I had heavy metals (I don’t know if that had anything to do with the Lyme disease or not… As I’ve said before, I’m very un-medical). Cleansing myself of the heavy metals actually helped quite a bit.

At last we got to the point (after four and a half years) where my thyroid was “under control”. When my doctor told me, she was so excited. That was a hard day for me, because I had been feeling really bad during the past few months, and I just kept thinking My thyroid says I should be feeling well, but I’m not! Looking back now, I realize of course I wasn’t feeling better, because that was just one of the side problems. My mom and the doctor both told me not to worry and we would continue working on helping me feel better. At that time we actually tested for Lyme disease, but those tests can come back negative. (Even when someone has it, Lyme disease knows how to ‘hide’ and therefore Lyme disease tests are sometimes not reliable.)

And so the months continued. Diets, shots, medicines, vitamins, achy-ness and endless naps seemed to make up much of the kaleidoscope called life. 

During this time, numerous people who had previously had Lyme disease or else had family members with it told us over and over again that they thought that’s what it was. Since we’d tested for it though, we thought it was ruled out. Then, after doing a lot of research and praying, my mom decided to take me out of state to a Lyme disease specialist.

Ten vials of blood for testing and a month of waiting later, we drove back out of state to have a meeting with the doctor and find out what was going on. Only, when we got there, it turns out she had emergency surgery, so she wasn’t able to see us. While we were sitting in our hotel room, Mom talked to her on the phone and we got the results… They were positive. I had Lyme disease.

I was ecstatic. Truly, I was. I felt as if I had been wandering around in the middle of a desert, having no clue where I was. Now at last I had been handed a map with my location clearly marked and a road leading out of the wasteland for me to follow. Yes, it would be difficult, I had no doubt of that. Yet I could do it. I could, because now at last, I knew the name of the giant I was fighting.

3 thoughts on “L is for Lyme Disease

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