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Looking Back: Lyme Disease Awareness

It’s been seven years this month since my youngest son and I were infected with Lyme disease from a tick bite. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ll be seeing previous blog posts on the topic throughout the years. (Not friends? Let’s become friends —>) I’m not sure what I’m going to do on the blog about this yet… if I’ll link to posts or re-publish them. I just know I need to use my voice, and our story, to help bring awareness to an under-diagnosed disease.

As I was looking back through pictures, I stumbled upon this one. Beautiful, right? I was several months pregnant with my youngest son in this photo. Already having been infected by Lyme disease for a few months. I looked so vibrant and pretty and pregnant and happy. Funny how you can look so normal on the outside and be so sick on the inside.

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What you don’t see in that picture is what I vividly remember from that period of time in my life. I was so weak I couldn’t sit up for long periods of time. And what I mean by long periods of time is driving from my home, to Nick’s preschool, and sitting in the car line for 20 minutes, would wipe me out so much I would have to lay down on the seat of my car.

Standing to make food at the oven would wipe me out. Sitting up outside watching my kids play was exhausting, so much so that I would often bring a blanket out with me and lay down to watch them. What no one knew then was how wiped my adrenal glands were from the Lyme disease. My body was literally running on empty while sustaining the life growing inside of me, along with my own… somehow. By the grace of God, really.

Many times, during that period in my life, I felt like my life and the life of my unborn baby, were at risk. I literally felt like my life was slipping away from me. There was one week there where I thought I was going to die. I had been in the ER, they found nothing wrong but potassium and B12 were off a bit. I was given a supplement and home I went. I followed up with a doctor, again nothing was discovered. Meanwhile, I couldn’t sit, stand, or walk for long. I had about two good hours a day and the rest I felt like death. Showering and drying my hair were next to impossible. I had an OBGYN appointment one day during that week. I’ve never come so close to passing out before. Everything began turning black around me, I got super light headed, and nearly fainted in the elevator. My blood pressure was low. Again, no one could figure it out.

I credit God and God alone for saving my baby and my life during that pregnancy. Many women miscarry their babies when sick with Lyme disease. Although I had many serious symptoms, was infected with a potentially deadly disease and didn’t know it, and my son ended up being infected with the same disease, somehow we both survived that very dangerous time in our lives.

I had so many people tell me I felt bad because I was pregnant. I felt bad because this was my third pregnancy. I felt bad because I had two boys that were running me crazy. But I knew in my gut there was something really really wrong. If you are ever in that position where you’re sick, and people around you, even medical professionals, are telling you it’s because you’re a tired mom, but you know it’s more than that, I tell you from experience, please never stop believing your gut instinct because that is God speaking to you. Don’t take no for an answer. Keep trying to figure it out. Keep pushing your doctors.

I honestly believe the only reason why my son and I aren’t sicker than we are is due to the fact that I kept pushing. I kept listening to that still small voice inside. I kept trying to get someone to somehow figure the mystery out. It took two years but it finally happened.

Lyme disease is real, it’s dangerous, it’s life threatening, it’s life altering, it’s a horrible disease, and it comes from the bite of a tiny tiny tick that you may have not even noticed on your body. Please become educated on Lyme. I never thought about ticks – never even crossed my mind that I could get sick from one – please learn from my mistake. Get informed on the dangers of ticks, how to prevent a bite, what to look for if you’re bitten, and the proper treatment to receive if you are infected. Tick “season” is upon us and Lyme disease is every where, not just New York or other eastern states.

If you ever have any questions about Lyme disease, please always feel free to contact me directly. You can find all my contact information on the side bar. I pray my story helps prevent you and your loved ones from ever suffering through Lyme disease – or it helps point you to the proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

#lymewarriors

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