Before I start on my journey of recording my thoughts, opinions, concerns, beliefs, etc., etc., etc. about my life with tick borne diseases, I want to give you a little idea on who I am.
I am a Mother and Wife. I have two awesome teenagers (16 & 14). I have been married for 17 1/2 years. I have a very cute Portuguese Water Dog named Cao. I have been sick for pretty much my children’s entire lives!
I don’t recall being bitten by a tick. I didn’t see one latched to me. I didn’t see a bull’s eye rash. I didn’t know anything about Lyme, ticks or the possibility of co-infections until I had my “ah ha” moment and started researching all of my symptoms in 2011.
From about 2000 to 2011 I had a steadily growing number of health issues which started with the diagnosis of hypothyroidism between the birth of my two children. Unfortunately, the prescribed medication, Synthroid, never reduced the symptoms – at all – and the dosage was changed, a Specialist was seen, but neither my Doctor or the Specialist waivered from the use of Synthroid. They just recommended a non-dyed pill (in case I was sensitive to the dye) and would periodically alter the dose. They could not explain why my symptoms did not go away, or at least improve.
Over the years I was checked for stomach issues (possibly Irritable Bowel Syndrome); allergies (only an allergy to dust mites was found); breathing difficulties (put on a puffer due to reduced breathing capabilities but no official diagnosis made); heart palpitations (my ECG was normal); vision problems (ended up with glasses but they didn’t help with the light sensitivity, floaters, blurriness, etc.); scent sensitivities (nothing diagnosed), and the list goes on!
It wasn’t until late 2010 when I was diagnosed with TMJ (had severe jaw/tooth/neck pain with no visible cause) and tried out an expensive bite plate at night for a few months with no resolve that I finally had my “ah ha” moment. I finally said to myself what on earth could be causing all of these seemingly unrelated symptoms that were affecting most, if not all, of my systems. It didn’t take long to find a symptom list for Lyme and tick borne diseases of which I had 48 at the time. Forty-eight! Some were fairly minor, like hair loss, severe sweats, temperature intolerance. Some were fairly concerning, like the heart palpitations, memory issues, vision issues, pressure in the head, fatigue. However, there were many, many more!
I took the list that I printed off the Canadian Lyme Disease Association (CanLyme) website, checked all that applied and went to my GP. She sent me for the blood test (ELISA) that day but said that it will probably come back negative, which it did. To this day, I have never asked what she meant by that statement. Whether she didn’t think I had Lyme or whether she didn’t think the test was a good one. Once the ELISA came back negative, my GP said there was nothing more she could do for me and that if I wanted to pursue a possible Lyme diagnosis I should go to a reputable place in the US, like the Mayo Clinic, and if they diagnosed me with Lyme, she would be able to treat me!
More research was required!