Tajah – Smiling Again
When I attended my youth church camp, as I did every year, I was not aware that this trip would change my life drastically in a short period of time. Approximately 30 days after my trip, I woke up in excruciating pain, I had a fever of 103, and a migraine that made my head feel like it was going to combust. My mother took me to the doctor that morning and they ran several tests but could not come up with a diagnosis. They gave me pain medication and an antibiotic, but the pain never subsided and the fever would not break. My mom took me back to the doctor several times because she was adamant that something was really wrong. I was finally tested for Lyme, and it came back positive. I had no rash and I can thank God that my doctor had seen similar symptoms the prior year, which caused her to check for Lyme. I was immediately placed on doxycycline and I was fine for a few days, and then all the symptoms returned.
Prior to being diagnosed with Lyme, I had just begun my freshman year in high school, I played volleyball for a recreation center, I was very involved with church activities, and I absolutely loved to cook and eat out at different restaurants. We soon discovered that what we thought would be a quick fix to treat the Lyme would become a new normal for me. We also learned that most physicians were not familiar with Lyme. I saw a neurologist, rheumatologist, cardiologist, an infectious disease doctor, and a physical therapist to try and get a better understanding of all the symptoms I was having. I spent several weeks on crutches due to the Lyme affecting my neurological system. I became homebound because of the brain fog, the joint pain, the gut issues, and the neurological issues, and was not able to return to school.
My mom was tenacious in finding the correct care for me and found an integrative practice in Winston Salem, NC. Since seeing them I have had several medications given to me orally and intravenously through a picc line. I have had a nurse that comes every week to change my dressings and to take labs as needed. I have thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, Vitamin D deficiency, low IGg numbers, terrible insomnia, and ongoing headaches and back aches, I have had several EKG’s, cat scans and numerous other tests. I am on gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free restrictive diet, which you can imagine, is hard for a teenager and one who had a dream of becoming a chef.
I am slowly seeing improvement but would like my life back as it was changed in a blink of an eye. I have not been able to enjoy a lot of the activities that kids my age enjoy. This summer I was unable to go to the beach, get into pools, or hang out with friends, and it was very depressing.
My mom advised me to start seeing a counselor to help with the depression. I made a decision that I will control Lyme and Lyme will not control me! I will be a voice for others that are suffering like me.I am still travelling to Winston-Salem regularly for care. The grant from LymeLight Foundation allows me take to advantage of the protocol my doctor has suggested.
My mom and I would like to thank the LymeLight Foundation for their contribution to the improvement of my health. Prior to this assistance, we were in a place where we were literally praying for a miracle, and we believe God answered through LymeLight. You have not only restored our faith in God, but have also given us the strength and ability to endure this season of our life.
When my mom saw the picture that is at the top of this story she said, “I have not seen a smile on you like this in a very long time. It literally brings tears to my eyes to realize something so small as a smile becomes something so great when you have experienced a disease like Lyme. This disease takes a toll on you emotionally, physically, and spiritually.”
Thank you LymeLight, and organizations like yours, who have made it your mission to restore hope, life, and families, we are forever grateful.