Patient Personal Stories
An avid outdoorsman all my life, being a male and always pushing through, I truly thought my issues were age-related. But 50?! That was "supposed" to be the new 40! Not so much!
Many years of hiking and camping, being a Scoutmaster, loving the woods .... raising two active children .... my life was relatively easy! I retired from a company I had worked for almost 25 years and was looking for involvement in a way to give back to the community, a passion I had always had all my life. After reconnecting with a high school friend in the Fall of 2013, I decided I wanted to delve into non profits. Little did I know how my life would be changed!
After seeing the many faces of Lyme Disease, I became passionate in helping OTHERS with such a debilitating chronic disease. Within the first few months, the Founder looked at me and asked, "Have YOU ever thought about being tested for Lyme?" What?! Noooooooo! She then began a very serious, compassionate, and life altering conversation that brought me to my knees. She explained that having been around me, I seemed to have many cognitive and physical issues that patients often do not relate to disease. The more she talked, the harder it became to listen, yet deep down I knew she was onto something.
Neurological issues, vision, instantaneously breaking into a sweat, headaches, gaited walk, OCD, rashes that would come and go for no reason, hearing loss, etc that I equated to "getting older". To make a long story shorter, she accompanied me on a visit to a lyme literate doctor who ran what seemed like 40 vials of blood and asked many more questions to which I answered, "Check!" Indeed I was now one of the hundreds of lyme patients that I was assisting in THEIR journey to wellness. Patients have a saying .... "You don't GET it until YOU GET it!" There is much truth in those simple words.
I have now been on antibiotic treatment and supplementation for a year, I have learned the importance of healthy eating, the art of detoxing, the mind-body connection and a host of other life altering things ... all to my benefit! And I am able to share MY personal story to patients who need encouragement, families that need to better understand the healing process, and to organize conferences, seminars and retreats that better serve the lyme community! There truly IS a reason for everything!!!
Although my journey continues .... I have made lifestyle changes and learned an incredible amount about myself, others, and what is important in this ever changing world!
In July of 2011 I found a tick in my hair, but didn’t think much of it. About two weeks later, I suddenly became very sick with fever, exhaustion, and extreme pain in my head, neck, and back. Additionally, a strange rash appeared all over my body. I saw my GP, who prescribed an antibiotic and sent me home. That same afternoon I had a bad reaction to the antibiotics, so my parents took me to the ER where my test results came back normal, with the exception of a high SED rate. None of the doctors knew what kind of rash I had. If I scratched on and around it, the rash itself would actually move to wherever my fingernails went. I would learn much later that this was a very rare rash that is a part of Lyme Disease. On that day, the doctors changed my antibiotic, prescribed prednisone and diagnosed me with a bacterial infection and bedbugs! Within the next couple of weeks, and was glad that whatever I had seemed to be going away. Life seemed to return to normal and, other than feeling a little more tired than usual, nothing outstanding happened until the beginning of the next year.
In January 2012 I began my Freshman year of college, but in the middle of my first week of classes, sickness returned with a vengeance. I ran a high fever, my head pounded with a pain that could not be controlled, and my neck and back hurt so bad I could not stand up and walk. My parents drove me to my gp’s office, where I required a wheelchair. My doctor sent me straight to the ER, suspecting meningitis. I was hospitalized, had tests run, MRI and spinal tap. Same … all normal, except for the high SED rate. Once again, the doctors could not pinpoint the problem and concluded that I had “an unknown strain of mono”. I had missed three full weeks of school, and had no choice but to withdraw for the semester. From that point on, I struggled with joint and muscular pain that would come and go in intensity. t they do not have to go through what I did.
Karen Kelley Sherrill
My story: I was always outdoors - golf, tennis, camping, hiking, canoeing! I was diagnosed in late 2007 with adrenal fatigue. In Jan 2008, I had a stroke. I had to learn to walk and talk again. Late 2008, I was playing in a golf tournament in the Dominican Republic and had a grand mal seizure. Upon returning home, my journey with doctors began! I simply wanted two to make the same diagnosis. Fortunately, I stayed on antibiotics during this time, just not aggressively enough.
I continued to have seizures although 6 neurologists agreed there was nothing wrong with me!! Frustrated with my health and the medical community, I swore off doctors of all kinds. I had three grown children and a husband that worked internationally. We lived in a three story home on acreage with a pool. I lived alone and was afraid to leave the main floor, I was afraid to get in the pool, I was afraid to walk in the yard alone. I could no longer drive and had to rely on friends and neighbors for everything! Late 2009, a friend pleaded with me to see her doctor and I finally gave in - this doctor would change my life - she immediately diagnosed me with lyme disease! My first reaction was, "My Father died at the age of 54 (1978) with complications from lyme disease!" Sheer panic, with a side of relief, finally getting a diagnosis. .
Painting compliments of a dear friend ... my Mother, Barbara Turner, who encourages me daily on this road called life.
Small bug .... BIG problem! But NOTHING is stopping me from healing my body!!! Just taking a walk down a new road ... considering it a healthy journey!!! Hang in ... Hang on!
In Aug 2010, Lauren, 12 yrs old, was hit on the head by a wake board at camp. It required 9 staples to her head. She also had a strange rash on her side. It was diagnosed as a staph infection and was given Doxycycline. She started to develop chronic headaches and was referred to a neurologist who then diagnosed her with migraines and post concussion syndrome. We tried acupuncture, neuro chiropractic and cranial sacral massage. Depression started to set in as well as a host of cognitive, neuro, and fatigue problems.
I started Googling. Lyme kept coming up as a cause. Sure enough in April of 2013 the Igenex test was positive for Lyme. We started treatment soon after and are currently treating. She never remembered a tick bite and we never saw a bullseye rash. We don’t know when, how or where she contracted the lyme bacteria.