After months of being severely limited by lyme – worn out by an hour or two of daily activities and resigned to holding court on my red sofa for most of my waking hours – I am enjoying a period of respite from herxing between treatments as I build up my immune system for the next big round of IV antibiotics.
Mind you, at the moment I still only have maybe a quarter of a tank of gas per day to run on, but that’s enough to get me a fraction beyond just the basics. It’s enough to allow me to drive myself about an hour to the weekend house all by myself, which means an incredible sense of freedom.
The first day, I settled in to read a stack of library books and a bagful of New Yorkers and simply…rest. But yesterday I was seized by the exuberance of the season and went to the hardware store to pick up a small shovel and hot pink petunias.
Photo by LifeLoveLyme
I’m pretty sure most people around the world who aren’t living with lyme think the symptom list is this simple and straightforward:
- bull’s eye rash
- flu-like symptoms
And I reckon that this false belief is a major reason persistent lyme disease continues to be missed in people with a wide range of complaints physical, cognitive, and emotional.
Can you eat all this lush veggie wonderfulness in one sitting?
Photo by LifeLoveLyme
Carrots, celery, brocoli, a hearty portion of kale, parsley, an apple and a big red beet: so much nutrition! A couple of day’s worth of vibrant vitamins, right?
Well, I started this post in January and have been too sick to finish it—but with what sounds like the biggest snowstorm of the season hitting tonight, maybe it is okay that I am posting this in March.
It used to be that there were few things more satisfying to me than wading into an overgrown flower bed to pull weeds, tame overgrown shrubs, and make space for my plants to thrive.
The photo above shows the flowerbed where I got a tick embedded in my hip one summer. And a bull’s eye rash. With lyme and co-infections.
As you can see, my garden is in a sad state these days.
That’s because last summer and fall I did not have the energy to clean it up—and, quite frankly, I was afraid of ticks. I said to myself, I will feel better in the winter. I’ll clean it up then, when the ticks are gone.
Flash forward to the middle of winter, when I still hadn’t gotten the job done. Then someone in my support group reported that she’d come inside her house and done a complete tick check—in January. In Virginia.
And found a live tick.
I’d assumed that once temperatures dipped below freezing, ticks were done for ‘til spring. Now I know otherwise.
When I finally arrived at the door of a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD), I was surprised to learn that in addition to lyme, I have an infection of the red blood cells called Babesiosis, caused by a tiny parasite.
Symptoms can include fatigue, drenching sweats, muscle aches, and nausea; the infection often begins with a high fever. I got mine from a tick bite. People also become infected through blood transfusions.
The thing is, if you are treated for lyme but you also have this co-infection going undetected and untreated, your health won’t improve, as seen in a recent television program about a young girl in Maryland who wasn’t improving when treated for lyme alone.
This video on YouTube gets up close and personal, a fascinating view of how ticks transmit the coinfection Babesiosis.
Check out the tiny size of young ticks, or nymphs. Wow. No wonder infected people often never see them.
Then learn what happens once the parasite gets inside the human body.
Noted on YouTube:
Special thanks to Rick Smith at The University of Rhode Island for narration; Rick’s brother was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. To learn more about Tick Bite prevention, please visit http://www.TickEncounter.org
Major news day for lyme disease!
As many of us know, lyme disease identified and treated early means a quick road to health.
Left to invade the body deeply over time, lyme and other tick-borne infections can be disabling—and even fatal. Treatment in those cases means a long, expensive, and rocky road.
I should have been on the shortest path. I was treated based on a tick embedded in my hip, a rash, flu-like symptoms, and severe pain all over my body.
But when my test came back negative, my practitioner stopped the month of antibiotics that would have saved me from a nightmare that has been going on for three years now.
On Tuesday, members on the House side of Virginia’s General Assembly voted on a bill requiring doctors to tell patients that lyme testing is inaccurate. So when I had the chance to join lyme advocates in Richmond the day before and help inform delegates, I grabbed my cane and pain medication and climbed into a friend’s van.
I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.