I am on my road to recovery! Will I ever be 100% like I used to? I don’t know. However, my life has become more balanced. I take each day minute by minute.
My name is Annalisa. I am a 44 year old mother of three. I am a very, very happy person, who has always been optimistic about everything! I have walked around each and every day with a smile on my face. About 10 months ago, that smile quickly turned to the saddest frown one can imagine…
I have always been healthy. In fact, I hadn’t been to the doctor in years (other than for annual checkups). Two and ½ years ago my hair started falling out, my heart started racing, and I had insomnia. These were symptoms that were annoying, but didn’t affect my life all that much. I had a thyroid test done, but that came back normal, so I chalked it up to “getting older.”
In October, 2011 I was grocery shopping and had two electrical shocks in my eyes. These shocks felt like I was being electrocuted, and made me feel very sick. I thought it was strange, but after a few hours I felt better. Two weeks later this happened again. I went to my gp and he thought it could be abnormal migraines.
The next week I started feeling very weird pressure in my eyes, my face started to go numb, my tongue didn’t seem to form words, my right side of my face developed Bells Palsy. I was convinced I had a brain tumor. I went to an ENT – he put me on a Z-Pack and steroids for a possible sinus infection.
As we all know, steroids are horrible for someone with Lyme Disease, and the Z-Pack made me extremely ill (which we know now was herxing). I went to the hospital convinced I was about ready to die. The ER admitted me and did bloodwork, xrays, and CT scans. Everything came back negative. They released me the next day with a diagnosis of stress.
The following week I started not being able to walk by myself, I forgot my children’s names, and could barely get out of bed to go to the bathroom. I wanted to die. I went back to the hospital. They ran more tests, MRI’s, heart tests (because my heart was “freezing” – that is the best way I could describe it), and a spinal tap. They thought it could be MS. Again, everything came back negative. This time the doctors suggested I go to a counselor and “re-evaluate my life”. “And, you know, women your age sometimes have nervous breakdowns from stress.” I was sent home with a diagnosis of fatigue.
I continued to become sicker and sicker. I could no longer take care of myself. My mother-in-law moved in with us so she could take care of me, the kids, my husband, and our house. Working was out of the question – I went on a leave of absence from my job at the university.
Two weeks after being released from the hospital, and after googling my symptoms thousands of times, we were convinced that I had Lyme Disease. However, my tests in the hospital were negative! Well…thank you to a miracle, someone knew someone who knew someone who had Lyme Disease. They put me in touch with a Lyme Literate MD.
My gp and llmd had a phone conference and the LLMD thought my symptoms could be from Lyme Disease. I then got to see the LLMD about a week later. I started on a variety of medications that caused me to herx for two months straight. I wanted to die every single day. I couldn’t get out of bed. I had panic attacks that lasted 72 hours. My body was numb and in pain. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t remember my kids’ names. I seriously thought I was in hell on earth.
After two months my body slowly started coming back to life. I could walk with out help. My memory started coming back. I began to eat. I could walk about 100 feet without collapsing. My Bells Palsy cleared up. I wasn’t being electrocuted anymore. I could start driving again.
Each day since then (March, 2012) has gotten better and better. Each day I still have some type of symptom, but nothing that I can’t get through. I still get numbness on my face. I still have brainfog sometimes. I still feel weak – like my blood sugar is too low. But I went back to work in August, 2012 and I make it through each day. There are days when I would rather be resting, but I can make it. I definitely am slower than I used to be. I go to the gym again. I don’t work out like I used to, but I can walk on the treadmill at a 15% incline at 4.2 mph! I can lift weights again – just not as much.
I am still on antibiotics and I will be for a long time. I also see a naturopath who has helped heal my immune system. I take a total of 72 pills a day. This includes the antibiotics and the supplements. I take a lot of drops and make a drink with a lot of liquids too.
I am on my road to recovery! Will I ever be 100% like I used to? I don’t know. However, my life has become more balanced. I take each day minute by minute. I don’t freak out over little things anymore. I realize that life is precious and we don’t know what life holds for us. All I do is trust that I am on the journey I was meant to be on.
I have met people who have been sick their whole lives or for years. I tell them my story, and guess what? It ends up that these people find out they have Lyme Disease. It is my hope that I can help people when they feel hopeless. There is hope! Don’t give up! You can contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.