Lyme

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Most of my friends and family have heard by now that I was diagnosed with Lyme disease not too long after my car wreck in 2016. If you hadn’t yet, now you have:-).

Tick bites are one of the most common ways people get Lyme. We have no idea when I contracted it, but I can remember back to my early teenage years when I found ticks on me and even had to cut the head of one out of my arm after I pulled its body off. My doctor, Courtney Keith, MD, at the Dulcimer Medical Center, told me that it is possible to get rid of Lyme if it’s caught right away. However, that’s usually not the case when someone’s had it for a long time. It’s been a hard fact to face that I may live with Lyme for the rest of my life.

I had been told that stress can activate Lyme already in someone’s system. Looking back now I have to wonder if some of the health issues that I originally wrote off as “normal”, just part of life, or no big deal, could likely have been Lyme symptoms. The main ones had been chronic sinusitis, joint problems, muscle weakness, and mild gastritis. I’ve had sinus headaches that had me puking and sent me to the emergency room. However, none of my issues had ever been “bad” enough to really make me think twice about them. I’d never thought about them as symptoms of a deeper issue. It wasn’t until I was healing slowly from my car wreck that I began to investigate that theory. I took about eight weeks to heal from deep bone bruises and my other health issues were beginning to increase. My car crash was certainly a stressful situation.

Gastritis, a combination of stomach bloating and an increase in acid reflux, was the first most noticeable issue and I had begun to experience dizziness. Initially, I thought the dizziness was related to the car wreck since I was knocked out, but it lasted entirely too long and became increasingly problematic. I even had to quit my part-time job because of the dizziness, muscle weakness, and joint and muscle pain. Before I quit, I kept trying to keep going thinking my body just needed more time to heal and the pain was just something I could live with. After all, I had co-workers who were twice my age and dealt with aging body issues and injuries that never healed and they never complained about anything. I felt like a wus.

While auto insurance from the wreck still covered treatment I was visiting Eaton Sport and Spine regularly. Dr. Eaton was fairly sure that my issues were symptoms of something else and I was becoming more inclined to agree. Long story short, I was introduced to the Dulcimer Medical Center and the thought that Lyme could be a possibility. My regular health insurance only covered a Lyme test that is usually inaccurate at best. All the same, I took it and it came back negative. Dr. Keith, however, was not convinced and told us that I should still take the more accurate test that cost an arm and a leg. Eventually, we ponied up the bones for the expensive test and the results showed that I not only had Lyme, but it came along with co-infections as well.

Longer story short, I started out with expensive natural supplement treatments and eventually switched to antibiotics that were covered by insurance. In an attempt to balance my body and get it to healthy levels I have been on as many vitamins and supplements as we’ve been able to afford while on the three-month antibiotic regiment of three very potent antibiotics. Over that time I experienced many of the side effects of the antibiotics in addition to my Lyme symptoms: lack of energy, overtiredness, cognitive issues, word block, dizziness, nausea, muscle pain and weakness, and joint pain to name a few.

Some days were worse than others with diarrhea and throwing up and/or nausea and dizziness to the point where I couldn’t function at all. There were many days I could at least help with homeschooling and work from our couch. However, I’ve backed off a ton. Robin and I even let our main social media clients go and Robin started working as many hours as she could get at her part-time job.

It’s been a long road and technically the journey’s only beginning. Soon I’ll be on a new antibiotic regiment for another three months. Although I’ve felt so bad that I’ve been alienating myself from friends, relatives, and clients they have all been supportive on various levels and offered help and various suggestions to investigate things they know helped other people. One of those things that I reluctantly decided to investigate was introduced to me by one of our clients who had a connection. I’ll be going into as much detail as I can about that, without getting too long-winded, in my next post.

* Affiliate link disclaimer – This blog post contains affiliated links to a product that we love. This means I may receive a commission at no cost to you if you chose to click on the link and purchase the product.

mrrussell

I love nature and wildlife photography and building websites. I’ve been told I’m an artist and I tend to overthink. I dabble in abstract painting and I love camping, fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, and many other outdoor activities/sports. Yet none of that is who I am. I am what I call a “follower-of-Christ”, not a Christian (Ask me about it some time). My writing is mostly me thinking out-loud. It will be an acquired taste but I will continue to do it even if no one ever reads it.

6 Comments:

  1. Thanks for the details Mark. You have suffered a ton. Maybe your journey can help someone else, so I’m glad you are being so open. Praying for you and yours.

  2. Thanks for sharing your challenging journey openly. You just never know when it might encourage someone going through similar challenges. May God’s mercy and grace fill you and God’s presence fill you up and encourage you. ❤️

    • Thank you, Aunt Beth. I hope it will be encouraging to someone else and I love being able to keep friends and family up-to-date. I have to admit though, I do it for more selfish reasons than that…it helps me process. I’ve always been an “overthinker” and it’s really helpful to get some of it out of my head.

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