5/30/11: Tick Bite in Hardy, Arkansas
6/2/11: Positive Western Blot Lyme Test taken from Primary Care Physician. Having a positive test (which tests for the antibodies) come back only 3 days after infection shows proof that I had Lyme prior to this bite. It’s possible that my immune system was strong enough keep it at bay until now. Prescribed two weeks of Doxycycline. **During and after these 2 weeks of antibiotics I started having symptoms: extreme headaches everyday, joint pain, leg aches and pain, weakness in knees and ankles, lower back pain, elbow and wrist pain, etc.
7/11/11: Follow up appointment with PCP because my symptoms were persistent. She suggested that I either see a neurologist for my headaches or go to an Infectious Disease Specialist to check on the LD.
7/18/11: Infectious Disease Specialist appointment at Threlkeld, Threlkeld, & Omer, PLLC. I saw Dr. William J. Mason. They drew blood and tested again fro Lyme. This test that came back negative and he told me that my first Lyme test by my PCP in June was a false positive. He did nothing for my current symptoms, and sent me on my way telling me there was nothing wrong with me. I was highly uneducated so I believed him. Silly me.
As time went on, I continued having a multitude of symptoms: fatigue, irritability, moodiness, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, eye pain, finger and toe numbness, skin sensitivity with a burning sensation, weakness, increased hangover, abdominal pain, jaw pain, ear pain, teeth/jaw pain, shooting pains in arms, legs and back, neck stiffness … I could keep going, but these were the main symptoms.
At this point, I found out about the documentary “Under Our Skin”. A friend of mine let me borrow her copy and as soon as it started watching it I knew I had Chronic Lyme Disease. I became angry. I cried. I was at a loss for words. So many people are out there suffering, not getting the treatment they need and all because of some people’s egos!? This same heaven-sent friend also knew about a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD) in Columbia, MO which was about a 6 hours drive, so I immediately called and made an appointment. I was able to get in to see him in August 2011.
8/29/11: After a 2-hour appointment with my LLMD, I left with tons of mixed emotions. Happy, sad, scared, mad, but mostly confused. How could a disease this serious be taken so lightly by the PCP and Infectious Disease Specialist?! And I don’t want to forget the CDC (Centers for Disease Control Prevention) and IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America)??? This began my journey of taking long-term antibiotics. My LLMD thought I would not have to be on them for long and he estimated by the time I returned in January, that I would be good to go! He prescribed 1 month of Ceftin (to hopefully help with headaches) and 3 months of the Clindamycin/Quinine Protocol.
12/30/11: I had my first ever “Herx Reaction”. I had heart palpitations and increased heart rate. At the time, I did not know what was happening, so I left work and drove to the minor med. The nurse thought I was having a panic attack because my blood pressure was high, so they did an EKG just in case, but it came back normal. They prescribed anxiety medicine and sent me on my way. (This is becoming a pattern…) I called my LLMD the next day and was informed that what I was feeling was a Herx reaction which occurs when a large amount of endotoxins are released. I was told to stop all antibiotics until I felt better and then start them again.
1-23-12: I had my follow-up LLMD appointment and since I had little improvement, he estimated that I might need another 6 months of treatment. He increased my meds and in March I started up again and was now on Flagyl. **The reason for the month and a half lapse in treatment was because I decided I needed a small break off the meds. I was completely overwhelmed, and still extremely confused.
4-23-12: My second Herx reaction occurred and this time I woke up in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder. I had the most excruciating knee pain that I could ever imagine. I thought having a calf muscle cramp was bad, but this took the cake. It literally felt like I had a huge knife jabbed into my kneecap and was being twisted around. Once the sharp pain subsided, I could breathe again. I was still unsure of what this was from, so I called my LLMD and was told this was another Herx reaction and to pause my treatment again until I felt better. My knee was sore for 2 weeks. After this break I started my treatment again and continually switched antibiotics. Since Lyme borreliosis can mutate into cyst form and create a biofilm around them, it is extremely tough to kill and is why it is good to switch up and use different kinds of antibiotics.
9-5-12: I found another LLMD that was closer to home. My first doctor was six hours away and the new LLMD is only 1 hour away! Woohoo! My new doc treats with antibiotics, as well as holistically which greatly appeals to me. As good as long-term antibiotics are for Lyme patients, they can still do damage.
5-10-2012: I found out about a clinic in Reno, NV that treats LD (among other things) and have heard great success stories. I spoke with two different lymies that have gone through treatment there and are now in remission! They say you go through hell and back for a few months, but if that means I get my life back I’m willing to sacrifice that!!
8/5/13 – 8/9/13: My first week at the new clinic! Sierra Integrative Medical (SIMC). It was such a great experience! I met so many people that are currently going through treatment and everyone is so hopeful. During my week there, I had what they call a dark field live blood analysis, met with my new doctor, and they tested all of my current medications for sensitivities, and it turns out that I am very sensitive to two of my current meds. I did a lot of detoxing with IV’s and shots and it sure wore me out, but I am so excited to go back for my full time treatment. I am now waiting to get all of my lab work back and then I will have a phone call with my new doc to go over my treatment plan. Until I return to SIMC, I will continue taking my current round of antibiotics (minus the two I am sensitive to, of course) and continue killing as many spirochetes as possible! My journey to healing is now in overdrive, I am now gluten-free, and will soon be on an organic, low sugar diet!