Megan – Hope to Keep Fighting
A tick bite can drastically change your life! At the age of 24 and newly married, I discovered a tick bite. What I thought would be a relatively easy and straightforward 10-day treatment of doxycycline to prevent Lyme disease, turned out to be anything but easy and straightforward.
After an appointment with an infectious disease specialist, the diagnosis was confirmed that I had Lyme disease as well as several coinfections and suspected that I had been misdiagnosed when I encountered my first attached tick at the age of eight. Although I had the classic bullseye rash, my bloodwork came back negative and I was left untreated. By age nine, I was seeing doctors and having bone scans to figure out why my legs hurt so much. The pain would come and go and migrate to my hips and wrists. Without connecting the dots which pointed to Lyme, they had concluded that I was experiencing severe growing pains and without I went undiagnosed until three years ago after discovering another attached tick.
Between the age of nine and 24, I struggled with increased migratory joint pain and fatigue as well as eczema and acne, but my family chalked it up to being normal pain for a very active horseback rider, Taekwondo instructor, and a busy hair stylist who had a family history of “growing pains” and acne.
Unfortunately, after the positive Lyme disease diagnosis, I was prescribed 3 months of several different antibiotics, including a PICC line in an attempt to eradicate the Lyme disease. The antibiotics caused my symptoms to exacerbate and my health declined rapidly. I began to lose feeling in my hands and the ability to control manage scissors; the tools of my trade. I experienced patches of numbness throughout my legs. Joint pain and muscle aches migrated throughout my body. Waves of light sensitivity as well as chronic fatigue and short term memory were constant companions. Essentially, it felt like my body had been hijacked. I had lost control of my well-being. I also started experiencing severe pain in my right hip to the point where I was walking with a pronounced limp. I kept dismissing the numerous symptoms because I thought it was due to the busy schedule I was keeping at the salon.
For those of you who have seen “Stranger Things,” overnight it felt like my world became the upside down. My body felt like a toxic wasteland. I would lay awake all night feeling as though little ants were walking all over me, but with knives attached to their feet. Just taking a shower made me feel like I had finished a marathon. I don’t know how to truly describe how horrifying it was, but there were many nights I prayed to God begging for him to let me die. I went from 145 pounds to 120 pounds within a span of two months. About a month and a half after the initial treatment, I lost the ability to drive to work. Gradually, I had to cut my hours at work and eventually had to take an indefinite medical sabbatical.
When I finished the extensive three months of antibiotics, my doctor told me it would take 12 to 16 months until I would feel better. I knew something else was wrong and I began to search for someone new to help me figure out what was happening to me. I found a Lyme-literate doctor who said that I was still testing positive for Lyme and several co-infections and she prescribed another three months of antibiotics with a regimen of supplements to treat the chemical and mold exposures that she had discovered through additional blood tests.
During this time, I also discovered help from a Naprapath. Initially, I was going to him for what I thought would be temporary relief from the chronic pain, but he became crucial to my well-being and continues to help with managing has made my symptoms with lymphatic massages, prescribing a germicide protocol, using biomagnetic therapy, and cupping. He has improved my mobility, flexibility, and my posture. I am also breathing more freely.
Although I don’t have the stamina I want and need to be a full-time hair stylist and photographer, I am extremely grateful for being able to drive again. I remain hopeful because of the progress I continue to make and very thankful that I experience periods of time where I can push beyond the numerous symptoms that I still struggle with.
LymeLight Foundation grant has given me the ability to pursue treatments that have made such an incredible difference in my wellbeing and it has given me the hope I needed to continue fighting. I am beyond grateful for LymeLight Foundation helping lift the financial burden and I hope to be in a position someday to host a fundraiser to give back to LymeLight and help others. Thank you so much LymeLight for all you do for so many of us who are in need!