On Thursday, after years of illness, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Previous diagnoses included Lupus, mixed connective tissue disease, Sjogren's syndrome, Scleroderma, Raynaud's syndrome, posterior orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, migraines, neuropathy, hypermobility syndrome, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve compression, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, antiphospholipid syndrome, intermittent hearing loss, arthritis, Candidiasis, hypoglycemia, degenerative disk disease, Epstein Barr and human parvo viruses, median arcuate ligament compression syndrome, eschemia, Bell's palsy, chronic sinus, ear and urinary tract infections, trigeminal nerve involvement, joint pain, costalchondritis, mild foot drop and possible vasculitis of the small blood vessels. M.S. was on the horizon. At the time of my diagnosis, I had experienced all but four of the nearly 75 symptoms listed on the CanLyme web site, a Canadian source.
There is an excellent essay on Lyme disease written by John D. Bleiweiss, M.D. in April, 1994 I came across a few days ago and found interesting. I was surprised to read "a sudden acceleration of encephalopathy, headache and dizziness, thought of as putative post-concussion syndrome, can be evoked by head trauma." I experienced a very similar situation in 1991.
I was once told by a physician, "We're like the bunch of blind men in a room with an elephant." My internist was turning to philosophy because he is a compassionate person and it was the best he could offer. I am so grateful for my training as a biologist and scientist and for my friends and family who have helped with me throughout this. I am thankful for the compassionate doctors who tried to make a difference. I am grateful to my neighbor, who, a year and half ago said, "Kim, the only time I had a headache like that was when I had manifestations of Lyme disease."
I am grateful to my hairstylist, diagnosed with Lyme, who would know my symptoms before I would walk through the door. We joked that either she had Lupus or I had Lyme because we certainly had the same thing.
I am grateful to my friends at physical therapy. Thank you for making a difference!
I am grateful to my naturopath who saved my life twice. I am also grateful that I finally met a doctor who's experience allowed him to make a diagnosis where so many have failed. He is finding things others have missed because he knows what to look for.
I will be receiving intensive therapy during the next six weeks and am so grateful to those who have done so much to help us through this. I take comfort knowing that we are finally treating the underlying problem. It will make being away from my daughters a bit easier.