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Heard of this thing called “Lyme Disease?”
Well, now you are about to hear more. May is National Lyme Awareness Month and I totally wish I would have taken the time to post more on this subject.
So instead, I’ll do you one better. I’ll let you hear firsthand from someone struggling with, and living with Lyme. You may know Kristen Allord’s name as being one of the co-creators of Lakes Area Mom Squad. These days, Kristen is wearing a new hat. The hat of Lyme Disease Advocate. Here’s her Guest Post feature. ENJOY.
We’ve all heard of Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick, and the disease is prevalent across the United States and throughout the world. Ticks know no borders and respect no boundaries. People travel, pets travel and ticks travel.
What people maybe don’t know about Lyme Disease is there is a little scarier side of Lyme Disease. That scarier side comes from not being diagnosed in a timely matter.
I am one of them.
I have been “Living with Lyme” for approximately eight to nine years. My symptoms started back as far as 2002. When I became pregnant I noticed many more weird symptoms pop up. I associated everything with something going on in my life, being pregnant, working, the list goes on. It wasn’t until 2005-2006 things became progressively worse. I had headaches that never went away, body pain that was never ending, vision problems, stiff neck and unbearable neck pain. Waking up in the morning I would lie in bed and just muster every bit of energy I had to make that first step out of bed. The moment I would step out of bed the pain I had in the soles of my feet was horrible, every step hurt so bad. I was glad the walk to my bathroom was less than ten feet. By time I made it there I was glad to be sitting even if it was only on the toilet.
The fatigue was relentless, my breathing was so out of control, not able to catch my breath after a short walk, and I wonder to myself what is wrong with me? I had to find the energy to get ready, yet I had none. Everyday I battled a headache, making it impossible to work at times. I don’t think there was a day that went by that I didn’t cry. I was so sick of being “sick.”
My doctor visits were frequent. I would discuss whatever symptoms were plaguing me at that time and beg for help. I would plea with my doctor to please figure out what is wrong with me because this was not me. She would run test after test never finding anything. When she started running out of options she started referring me to an allergist and an asthma specialist. I can’t say they were a waste of time or money because I did learn something from them, but unfortunately it didn’t help my main issues.
After seeing the specialists I went back to her and started going over things again when I heard those words that I will never forget. Maybe it’s psychosomatic. I looked at her with such bewilderment and disbelief. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Really? You are telling me I am doing this to myself? I was angry, very, very angry. I told her obviously she was not listening to me, and told her it’s not like me to be at the doctor on a weekly basis begging for help, look at my medical records, I rarely went to the doctor. She then proceeded to tell me how the medical tests don’t lie. There was nothing wrong with me, I was a healthy woman and I should be thankful for that. I told her I couldn’t explain it, but that something was wrong. She said you’re a mom, and a business owner. You’re clearly just stressed out. I left that office in tears, driving back to work trying to figure out what to do, how I could get the help that I needed. Not for one split second did I doubt what I had was real. The memory issues, the cognitive issues, panic and anxiety attacks, dizziness, vision problems, heart palpitations, sleep issues, asthma are just some of the things I battled on a daily basis were not my imagination, they were all too real. Long story short, I found a doctor who listened and eventually found out what the issue was.
November 2008 I got my diagnosis. It was Lyme. I felt like I won the lottery! What I didn’t know at that time was what I was up against. Within a month of my diagnosis I had a picc line put in me to intravenously put antibiotics into me. Within a couple months my headaches were gone, and slowly month by month every symptom slowly went away, it was like turning a clock back and slowly I was getting better. Thirty one months later I am better than I was then I still fight some ongoing symptoms but you know what? I am grateful. I am grateful I found a wonderful, caring doctor that has got me through every step of the way. My days now are filled with less pain, less fatigue and no more headaches. I have good days, I have bad days and I have some days that are just “Lyme” days. I accept them for what they are, and am thankful I am still alive.
Now I need YOUR help. June 2nd, 2011 at 7:30pm a documentary on Lyme Disease will be aired on Lakeland Public Television called “Under Our Skin.” This is truly a must see movie! We live in an endemic area and this documentary does a great job explaining what is Lyme Disease and what it’s like to live with it. I encourage you to watch it. I promise you won’t regret it.Thanks-Kristen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
June 2nd, 2011 at 7:30pm, Lakeland Public Television: “Under Our Skin.”
Find Kristen on Facebook under Kristen Sjolund Allord
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