Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Short Version

This post was shared on DIY Design Fanatic

I've been hiding something and have been wanting to share something with y'all.
It's pretty personal and not related to DIY or our house, or the mountain cottage, but I hope you'll read this post all the way to the end anyway.
I feel compelled to share this with you in hopes that it could save you or a loved one tremendous pain and suffering. 

Don't worry about Mr. DIY and I, our marriage is still going strong (it will be 29 years in May). Our girls are doing great, as well.

I know it's something I have to share because it could save lives. I'm not being dramatic here and no, I don't have cancer.

I promise, I will try to give you the short version!

Ok, here goes.

I am being treated for chronic Lyme disease and have been pretty sick.

Like me a couple of months ago, you might think it's not a big deal and that Lyme can be cured by a couple of weeks of antibiotics. That's not necessarily true.
It might not be a big deal if you know you've been bitten and you have a doctor that understands that you need antibiotics, kind of like if you cut your foot outside on a rusty nail and needed a tetanus shot because you haven't had one in awhile. I'll save the politics of lyme disease for another time, but suffice it to say, the CDC guidelines, which most doctors follow, are wrong and a lot of what you think you know about Lyme disease is probably wrong.
If you have just been bitten, email me directly immediately.

Spring is coming up pretty quick and although you can get Lyme any time of year, it's prime season for Lyme disease because ticks are emerging. 

You know what they say about an ounce of prevention....

First off, Lyme disease is spread mostly by ticks, but can be spread by mosquitoes, spiders and biting flies. In the Spring, ticks emerge as nymphs that carry the bacteria borrelia bergdorferi (borrelia is Lyme disease -ticks carry other co-infections- bartonella, babesia, mycoplasma, rocky mountain spotted fever, and more). Tick nymphs are only the size of a poppy seed and the bites are painless, so you might not know you've been bitten. Check your kids and pets thoroughly when they come in from being outside!
Ticks love to hang out on long grass or vegetation in or on the edge of woods or under leaf litter or in wood piles, just waiting to hitch a ride on a new host.

One thing I will be doing soon is treating my clothing (ahead of time) with permethrin.  This is a treatment and clothing needs to dry thoroughly before treated clothes can be put on. 
Do not spray permethrin directly on yourself or you clothing while you have it on. I have been one who avoids dangerous chemicals for several years, but this is one area that I make an exception due to the severity of the alternative You can see more about treating your clothing HERE.

But Lyme  disease isn't in my area
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Lyme is in every state in the US, is in Canada and has been found in every continent, except Antarctica.

You only get Lyme if you develop a bulls eye rash.
Wrong again!
I was bitten by a tick and didn't get the bulls eye rash.
Less than half of those who develop Lyme disease develop the bullseye rash. You can develop an ordinary red area around the bite, which is what always happens to me any time something bites me.

So, what are the symptoms?
Early Lyme - early on you can develop flu-like symptoms and you might get the bulls eye rash. Bell's Palsy is also an early Lyme symptom. If you know you've been bitten and have the rash, demand that you get antibiotics from your doctor and don't wait for the test to come back before you start taking them. CDC says doxycycline for 21 days, but I would personally ask for more like 6 or 8 weeks. (Just my opinion as I am not a doctor and can't recommend you do the same)
(Children under a certain age can't have doxycycline, but amoxicillin can be given to them.) 

 I personally take probiotics WHENEVER I take antibiotics, in order to keep yeast from overgrowing in my body. 

If you find an attached tick, remove it carefully (go HERE for instructions) and save the tick to be tested!

Later Lyme-
Symptoms can include: headache, stiff neck, light or sound sensitivity, vision problems, cognitive impairment, exercise intolerance, muscle pain, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety or mood swings, arthritis, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, tingling, numbness, burning or shooting pains and debilitating fatigue. 
You can go HERE to see more info on Lyme

Some of these symptoms many times are explained away by you or your doctor as getting older, which is what I did. I only remember being bitten by a tick 15 years ago (thought nothing of it because I didn't get the bulls eye rash) and had many of these symptoms develop over the decade after being bitten. 

The symptoms that got my attention were tingling and numbness in my feet, feeling off balance, having reactive hypoglycemia and my fatigue was getting worse, so I brought it up with my doctor. After reading a lot on the internet on reputable websites, I told him it was either Multiple Sclerosis or I had Lyme (many who have been diagnosed with MS, ALS or Lupus have found out they actually have Lyme and got better after being treated for Lyme).  My doctor didn't think I had MS, but tested me for Lyme and it came back positive. The test also showed it was a recent infection, so I'm guessing I had been reinfected since I had many of these symptoms before the Fall. 

How bad did I get? 
I couldn't think, do simple math,  had difficulty formulating sentences, I couldn't drive. I had problems with my vision, with balance, my short term memory was affected and I was so tired, I didn't have enough energy to get out of bed. December was bad.

Did it get better on it's own?
Am I back to feeling great?
Not yet
Am I out of bed?
More each day

I have good days and bad days; but I'm getting better.
I've made good progress in the past few months and had more energy in the past few weeks. It hasn't been easy, but I can drive and do an errand on a good day.

I've given you but a smackerel of information on Lyme disease. 
Please protect yourself, your kids and your grand kids. 
You can learn more about Lyme disease HERE or follow along on my new blog when I start posting.

Please feel free to email me if you or a loved one has been bitten recently with a tick.

I've never asked this before, but would you PLEASE share this post on your Facebook page, on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest page? Also, ask your friends, family and followers to do the same. I feel so strongly to get the word out!


You can read Part 2: More Details (The Longer Version)
by clicking HERE

ps. if you see any typos, please leave me a (nice) comment pointing them out- it's just another symptom that I hope will be resolved when I get better.  Thanks! 


  1. Please continue your posts because their are people out there that may see your journey and finally get a diagnosis. Although I don't have Lyme Disease, I have a similar story of suffering for over a decade with symptoms that became debilitating. I was being treated by the medical community as though I was an anorexic hypochondriac even though it was me that was alarmed at my weight loss. (One doctor told me his wife would kill for that problem.) Before being diagnosed I had lost down to 83 lbs even though I was consuming a massive amount of calories and drinking Ensure. At one point Xanax was prescribed because it was determined all my health issues were "due to stress-related IBS" since Lupus, arthritis, cancer, parasites, and thyroid issues had returned negative results. After suffering over 10 years with joint swelling, diarrhea, hives, brain fog, osteoporosis (at age 40), abdominal pain, and panic attacks I finally found out that I had Celiac disease. It took two years of being gluten-free to feel "normal" again. Some of the damage is permanent due to a decade of malnutrition. It is blogs such as this one that can help many know to aggressively pursue a diagnosis/treatment when the medical community turns their backs. If it hadn't been for reading others stories I would never have known to demand a Celiac screening. (This was before anyone even knew what gluten was...including me...and doctor's weren't trained to look for it.) My husband always talks about how close to dying I was and no one would help me. You may be saving someone's life.

    1. Dee, I'm so glad you found the answer as to what your medical problem was. You've been through a lot! I know how difficult it is to find an md who cares enough to spend time asking questions and to respond with more than "I don't know". So glad you found my blog and took the time to comment. I will be talking about in a future blog post, but have you hear about low dose natrexone. Many who have autoimmune disease (and lyme) get relief from their symptoms because it stops your body's autoimmune response.

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