Years ago I remember hearing about someone having Lyme disease. I had no idea what it was at the time. When I heard about some of the symptoms I remember feeling bad for the person who had it and thinking, “Wow, I’m so glad I don’t have something like that.”
According to the Lymedisease.org, Lyme disease is primarily transmitted by Ixodes ticks (deer ticks). Notice the word primarily. That’s important to note because it indicates that ticks are not the only carriers of this disease. It is suspected that you can get this bacterial infection from other blood sucking pests.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease are Deceiving
According to Ilads.org, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, as little as 15% are aware they were bitten let alone infected by a tick with the Lyme disease bacteria. Less than 50 percent recall the bullseye rash.
Lyme disease is often times misdiagnosed as many other diseases or health issues such as Fibromyalgia, cardiac related health problems, rheumatoid, neurological as well as a wide variety of other symptoms making it very difficult to correctly identify and diagnose.
Serious Flue-Like Symptoms
For me, I remember in 1992 having the worst flue ever. So bad I could not lift my head up for longer than a few seconds before having to plop it back down on my pillow.
It is not surprising really. Our family spent many vacations camping out in the woods where I am sure plenty of ticks were lurking about. I don’t remember any of my siblings or myself even having a tick on us. And that is why this disease is so hard to catch early on. Most people simply are not aware they have been bitten by a tick.
Too Many Symptoms to Properly Diagnose
And the next problem has to do with the wide variety of symptoms that make it almost impossible for doctors to properly diagnose. The first issue is with doctors having little incite or motivation in testing patience for Lyme disease.
When you tell your doctor about back pain or brain fog the first thought is not that you have a disease. My doctor tested me for a thyroid problem. In fact, I have been tested 4 different times over the years for a thyroid problem due to feeling an overwhelming amount of exhaustion.
The First Symptom – Sleep Issues
If you are constantly feeling tired and fatigued it is reasonable to assume it is due to a lack of proper sleep. My sleep issue began overnight. I went from sleeping in till 8:00 to 9:00 am to waking up a 3:30 am one morning. And from that day forward, since 1998 I have been struggling to get my body to sleep past 3:30 am.
Chronic Back Pain
The second health issue started with my back. Over the years I have had a few car accidents that only made the diagnoses even more difficult. They were not serious accidents, but they were enough to make the doctor tie my pain to the accident rather than consider I may have something deeper going on inside my body.
Feeling Like Death is at My Door
The worst of my symptoms was when I felt as if my body was going through what I would imagine rigamortis would feel like. When I moved my muscles would scream with pain. They were stiff and it was very difficult to cope with.
This was when the word, Fibromyalgia began floating around. The chronic fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and sensitivity to touch all seemed to point to it. But I didn’t believe it. My pain was too intense and I just couldn’t believe that was the reason for my overall horrible pain and fatigue.
Finally Diagnosed in 2017
Beginning late in 2015 a friend of mine said she felt my symptoms were very similar to hers. She had Lyme disease and recommended I get tested by a company called, IGeneX, that does a very thoural blood test.
You see the problem with getting tested for Lyme disease is in the many false negatives. This is the problem with getting tested for this disease. Most doctors will first never think of testing you for it, and second, the typical blood test for this disease simply is not good enough.
So, the best way to get tested if you think you may have it or know someone who wants to get tested is to find a doctor that will recommend you get a blood test. And that test needs to be from IGeneX. It’s expensive, but she said it’s worth it. At the time, my mind was in a pretty thick fog so I was unwilling to take the test. I really did not believe Lyme’s disease was at the root of my pain or sleep issues.
I have been reading a book by Kenneth Singleton M.D., M.P.H. who says it takes as many as 6 weeks for the tick born disease to show up on a blood test. And in my case, like many others, the indicators such as the bullseye rash never appeared so again, I didn’t think I had it.
Sadly, once you have Lyme’s disease you have a very small window to be “cured” if there is such a thing. When this disease goes on too long without being properly diagnosed it can be a very discouraging journey trying to get a cure.
You may have heard or read about many celebrities trying to be cured of Lyme’s disease without success. And these are people with a lot of money who are suffering from it. And they have yet to find a cure. Really, it’s more along the lines of keeping the symptoms at bay or at least managing them with medications.
Why I Ignored The Possibility of Lymes Disease
OK, well, getting back to my friend who recommended I take a blood test. When she first told me to get a blood test I was really in bad shape. I was having serious anxiety every day and pretty much didn’t want to live.
In addition, I have been dealing with serious and chronic pain for so long, bad sleep, horrible fatigue and exhaustion I just didn’t think I had it. I really felt lost and confused. As the months went by and my anxiety was not getting any better I decided it was time to go to the doctor.
My doctor’s first thought about all the symptoms I had was to test for a thyroid problem. ARG! In her defence it really did make sense to test for it. My blood pressure was seriously low and I could hardly focus I was so exhausted.
But after talking to her I decided to go to a natural path doctor. He didn’t think of Lyme’s disease at first. But later, it was obvious to him I was probably suffering from this disease and in order to confirm his suspicion, I needed to have my blood tested.
Natural or Medical – What Choice Do I Have?