How it all began and my symptoms of Lyme Disease:

This is my story of resilience, persistence, and an unyielding spirit battling against the stealthy invader that is Lyme Disease. This will be one of MANY blog posts sharing how it started, what I did to heal, how I coped through the darkest of times and truly how important it is you stay positive through it all!

As we embark on this journey, my hope is that my experiences and healing journey becomes a compass for others traveling similar paths, a source of inspiration, understanding, and a reminder that, even in the darkest moments, the human spirit can emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

What Is Lyme Disease:

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by ticks.

This intruder is no stranger to disguise, concealing itself behind a myriad of symptoms that mimic the mundane. Fatigue becomes a shadowy accomplice, joint pains masquerade as echoes of daily exertion, and the mind, a battleground where cognitive fog blurs the lines between clarity and confusion.

The Timeline And Symptoms Of My Journey:

Let’s start with how and when it all began. As finding out what was causing all my symptoms was a struggle within itself.

April of 2018 was an AMAZING month! I married my best friend in Maui, we had a wonderful honeymoon, and traveled a lot that year. But as 2018 was ending, I was starting to feel very sick. It started with severe, unexplainable exhaustion. Skin rashes that were showing up out of no where. Swollen lymph nodes in my neck the size of mini golf balls. Fevers that would come and go almost daily. And if that wasn’t enough, the worst part for me was I was unable to remember much of anything. Short or long term. And word association and basic conversation became almost debilitating.

Navigating the maze of medical appointments became a ritual, a quest for answers that often led to more questions. Lyme Disease is hard to detect, and can misdiagnosed for so many other things such as Multiple Sclerosis or Lupus just to name two. Misdiagnoses and misunderstood symptoms became the norm, as the relentless pursuit of a concrete diagnosis became a journey in itself.

I immediately started going to my internal medicine doctor, an ENT, dermatologist, even a cardiologist and no one could figure out what was happening. My blood work always came back normal. By the time they went to do biopsy’s of my lymph nodes they would shrink. After 5 months of no answers and the exhaustion and memory struggles were worsening week after week, I decided to go the functional medicine route. This was February of 2019.

My first meeting with the functional medicine doctor included a slew of bloodwork (none of which was covered by insurance) and a GI Mapping test. Within less then two weeks all results were back. So I went in for my follow up appointment and heard something I was not expecting. Something that was totally off my radar when I would try to diagnose myself on Google (because come on who doesn’t do that)?! YOU TESTED POSITIVE FOR LYME DISEASE! Among several other things. I know she kept talking and talking but I was frozen. Trying to understand what this meant. And how? I never found a tick on me or saw anything resembling a tick bite on my skin.

At the first appointment I never even asked what she was testing for. I just knew they were larger panels of bloodwork to look for things most western medicine doctors don’t. My tests also came back positive for SIBO, which explained a lot as I struggled for years with digestive issues and very active EBV.

So back to the diagnosis. She immediately suggested I start working with an LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) as she did not have much experience with Lyme patients and knew this was not something recent that happened to me. After waiting a month, I got into to see an LLMD in Atlanta, Georgia.

The first appointment was 3 hours long. My husband was with me during the whole appointment. One of the many questions she asked me was ” had I been in a water damaged building or home”? My husband and I looked at each other confused. But my answer was YES! The building I was working in at the time, more specifically my office, was always leaking when it rained. The carpet behind my chair would always stay saturated after a heavy rain, So she immediately handed me a mold test and told me to go home, take it and mail it out ASAP. That test along, with an additional Lyme panel to again confirm my diagnosis was accurate, was completed and mailed the following week.

Lyme Disease Diagnosis And One More Unexpected Diagnosis:

First, the reconfirmation of my Lyme Disease was obvious. I was told to had chronic Lyme Disease, meaning I had it for years without every knowing, more specifically neurological Lyme. This is all treated very differently then someone who was more recently aware they were bit by a tick.

But the biggest shock was my body was harboring MOLD! Yes mold! That was the day I first learned mold illness was a thing, and another challenge I was being faced with. I will write a whole separate blog post on this nightmare at a later date.

I left that appointment with more prescriptions and supplements any human should have to take. Focusing on the mold detoxification first. before even working on the remission of my Lyme Disease. So I immediately started followed the protocol because I needed to start feeling better.

With all the treatment came some very hard months. New symptoms thanks to all the medication and the effects they have on your body. The first year of healing was brutal I am not going to lie. But I knew there had to be a light at the end of it all and I wanted my life back! So I stayed focused and learned I could about healing in more natural ways.

Between regular sweat sessions on my Biomat or in an infrared sauna, twice a month lymphatic drainage massage, Epson salt baths and more, I started coming off the medication on my own by the middle of 2021. I stopped seeing my LLMD and focused on all the ways I could stay healthy and manage my new unwanted friends I would be tarting around with me for the rest of my life.

Lyme Disease

The Healing Journey:

As the journey unfolded, so did the layers of healing. Treatment plans became roadmaps, and each milestone marked a step toward reclaiming a sense of normalcy. It wasn’t a linear path; setbacks were frequent, but with each setback, a lesson in resilience and patience emerged.

Embracing The New “Normal”:

Lyme Disease reshaped my reality, but it did not and does not define me. In the midst of the struggle, I found a deeper connection to my own resilience and an appreciation for the beauty of small victories. I learned how imporant a positive mindset is for any difficult time we face. It is so true what they say, the mind IS a very powerful thing.

Life after Lyme became a celebration of every step forward, a testament to the strength forged in challenges.

Conclusion:

I could write a book on the years of struggle and healing, but this is a blog. So we will keep it short for now and I will share more of my journey along the way. The reason I share all of this is I want people to never stop advocating when they know there is something wrong.

And let the little I shared about my journey serve as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, you can learn something from it, and healing is possible!

xoxo, Jennifer