In May of 2011, I was bitten by a deer tick. I found the little bugger on my left arm and my husband removed it for me. I never got the red bull’s eye rash, so I didn’t give it much thought. A month later I felt exhausted and achy, and my temperature was 101 degrees. I could hardly drag myself out of bed each day and had excruciating headaches. One day I took my three kids to the swim club and after an hour, had to come home. My oldest daughter said, “What’s wrong, mom?” and I remember telling her that I just wanted to get in my bed and cry.
I knew it was time to get some help. My primary care physician had just retired, and I was on a waiting list for a new physician, so I went to my local urgent care. I told them that I’d been bitten and that I had started feeling the symptoms of what I thought was Lyme disease. They put me on a short course of Doxycycline and told me to come back in two weeks.
Two weeks later, I was still feeling terrible, so they decided to do some blood work. The results showed no signs of Lyme disease, but that I tested slightly positive for Lupus. The doctor referred me to a rheumatologist, and I was devastated to think I had this terrible autoimmune disease. Call it women’s intuition, but in my heart, I just didn’t believe I had Lupus, so I decided to do some Googling on Lyme disease.
What I found was that Lyme disease is often called “the great imitator” because it “hides” in your body and masquerades as all kinds of other ailments, including Lupus. While doing this research, a friend referred me to a website that sold something called Lyme Aid, a homeopathic herbal product that used teasel root, a tall, flowering, spiky plant. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I purchased it and used it as directed.
Lo and behold, the Lyme Aid worked and my symptoms let up. I called urgent care to ask them to cancel the appointment with the rheumatologist. The nurse was actually angry at me, and said “I don’t know why you want me to cancel – you’re just going to end up at his office a month from now”. But she was wrong.
By the time I had my first appointment with my new doctor, my Lyme symptoms were gone. Just to be safe, she put me on another course of Doxycycline, this time the proper course and dosage for tick-borne diseases, and she was both interested in and amused by my self-advocacy. ;)
I’m thankful for my experience with Lyme disease because it taught me to be my own health advocate, trust my intuition, and try natural remedies. Since then I have become a big believer in natural solutions and have personally witnessed the power of green smoothies, good nutrition, a good laugh, probiotics, “super foods”, water, water, water, meditation + prayer, yoga, and daily exercise.
p.s. See (below)? I was right! ;)