From The Author’s Desk:
It’s been a little over two years since I got sick with infections that changed almost every aspect of my life. It’s still a daily battle, as I’m trying to beat the 3 remaining ones, but I am thankful to be where I am today.
Here’s my best advice: Check yourself for ticks. Hate ticks. They are the devil in insect form.
I contracted Lyme and 6 other infectious diseases, but I never got a bullseye rash or a fever. What I got was what felt like the worst sinus infection of my life (enter my beloved infection Bartonella) that lasted 3 weeks. A week later, my right nostril began to twitch and the right side of my face felt numb to touch (hello Lyme). The hospital told me I had a sinus infection and sent me home with Benadryl (thanks!). A week later, I began having burning neuropathy in my right foot. I couldn’t sleep. It burned so bad. Two weeks later, the infections attacked my bladder and cervix. (All the while, 3 tick panels had come back negative.) I was negative for a bladder infection, but diagnosed with cervicitis and cystitis. I was also being checked for an array autoimmune diseases. I knew the symptoms were related, and I thought they seemed tick-borne, but the 7 different doctors I saw in 6 weeks didn’t believe that. One doctor even accused me of trying to get pain meds (so I made him google me to see what kind of books I write).
As I waited to see a specialist, I began having migraines and short-term memory issues. The brain fog made it difficult for me to tutor my students, but I had recently started my own company, and I needed to keep it going. The Babesia symptoms kicked in shortly after that, which were drenching sweats, chills, and bottoming out from low blood pressure. (Babesia is like malaria, but you get it from a tick. It’s a thrill.)
When I met with Dr. Lantsman in Boston, she knew exactly what to test for based on my symptoms, as well as the best labs to send my blood to (the ones with the most advanced testing). She also started me on a rotation of antibiotics.
When my results came back, I found out I had 3 bands of Lyme, plus bartonella, babesia, pneumoniae, mycoplasma, erlichia, and anaplasma. Three of those infections are deadly. If I did not see a top-rated specialist, I really don’t know if I’d be alive today.
It took 22 months of antibiotics (8 months with a PICC line), and a lot of natural supplements to get me to where I am today, free of 4 infections, still working on the others, but in much less pain (just really tired and as a result a bit antisocial – but getting so much writing done!).
Tick-borne illnesses do not present in the same way from person to person: I didn’t have much joint pain, a rash, or a fever; instead it felt like I had a bladder infection for 20 straight months. These illnesses can settle anywhere, and the symptoms are diverse. So, if you get a negative Lyme test but have tick-borne symptoms, see a specialist and have your blood tested by LabCorp, Galaxy Lab, and Igenex. (Not just one – all 3!)
It’s worth every cent to be thorough. I promise!
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