See that girl up there? She’s done some pretty cool things. She graduated Law School youngest in her class, she’s completed a few triathlons and a half marathon, and she was at one point even training for the Disney Marathon.. until one day she stopped.
It was August 2015 when I first got sick. I remember it so well. I woke up with some chest pain, but assumed my cat (who admittedly eats too many treats) had slept on my chest (ha!). I thought absolutely nothing of it, but the pain kept getting worse. Finally I decided I needed to lie down. Easy right? That’s what you do when you’re sick. But nope. I couldn’t lie down without losing my breath. That might be a problem, I thought…
8 hours in the ER later and I was diagnosed with acute pericarditis that would go away within 1-2 weeks; except it never did. In fact it kept getting worse.
Then I started to develop new symptoms, that were seemingly unrelated. Vasculitis in my legs, tremors in my arms, memory lapses, and extreme weakness. I saw so many specialists but none did anything to help, instead I kept hearing over and over that this had to be viral and that I would magically get better soon.
Then things started to get a bit scarier. My heart rate started resting at 150 bpm and would max out with any movement. I was put on a beta blocker but had to restrict my activity to essentially sleeping, which was fine because I had become great at it. All of a sudden I was sleeping in 15 hour increments.
Then I developed burns. Now if you spend too much time in the sun or if you hit yourself with your curling wand
while pretending to be Britney Spears in the morning (just me?) then a burn shouldn’t be a big deal. But when you start getting them while lying in bed; its apparently an issue. To everyone except my dermatologist that is; whose receptionist so eloquently called me healthy as a horse.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I was desperate so I posted photos of the burns on instagram, and so many wonderful chronic illness warriors reached out and told me to get myself to a Lyme literate doctor ASAP. At this point I knew nothing about Lyme disease other than we don’t have the right ticks in Canada (ha!), and I had already been tested for it. That being said I was desperate, so despite our Lyme immune ticks and that wonderful fence that keeps the American dear on their own side, I contacted our Nova Scotia CanLyme rep. who then saved my life.
She mentioned a conference they were having the next week that she thought would be beneficial for me to attend. It was there that I met my doctor who has been successfully (touches all the wood) treating my Lyme, Babesiosis and Bartonella infections and resulting endocarditis, arthritis, and extreme neuropathy for the past 6 months.
My quality of life has improved dramatically. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running marathons, but I am getting there, and for the first time in a long time there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s where this blog comes in. I want to document my recovery, partially for me to see how far I can come, but also as a way of giving back to the Spoonie community that helped me so much.
I hope you enjoy my small corner of the internet!