Do I Have Lyme Disease?

Back in high school (2002 graduate) I'd caught mono drinking after someone and became seriously ill. Dehydrated to the point where the Urgent Care doctor placed me on an IV for fluids and said I was too dehydrated to rush to the ER. Yikes. I have my then fiancee to thank for forcing me to go to the doctor by telling the principal how sick I was. Had I went on to class, I might've been hospitalized or worse. I recovered, but was forever weaker. Later, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder after enduring many panic attacks.

Over the last few years, especially 2014, my anxiety returned with a vengeance. Full panic attacks etc. Depression too. Fatigue. Often if my husband pokes me somewhere, it feels as if I'm bruised, especially on my upper arms. A couple years ago, I had issues with unknown allergies closing my throat and swelling my tongue during the spring. My short term memory has failed and I now rely on my iPhone. I often forget to use my app in the first place, so have notes to remind me. It's embarrassing when talking to people, I can barely process what they are saying, yet I can recall past memories, even years ago with clarity as if I am there. I am sick more often than healthy. Every time I try to lose weight via exercise to get energy back, I'm ill. The only peace I've had has been with eating 'green' organic and natural (avoiding chemicals). I'd always thought it was just from the Mono, but lately I've been wondering.

Then I remembered that in 2010, I'd had a red rash appear on my leg. I monitored it with photos and it did have a bulls-eye. I assumed then that it was just a spider and watched for signs of necrosis. Photos are 6-25-2010 to 6-27-2010.

Taken 6-25-2010

Taken 6-26-2010

Taken 6-26-2010

Taken 6-26-2010

Taken 6-27-2010

I posted about my concern via a Lyme Disease Group on Facebook. Nearly every comment told me Lyme and to get tested. I'm still working to save up funds, but just haven't had the time to actively pursue a diagnosis. Cleaning has became a painful and difficult chore. I've been piling up everything I can into one room planning to have a very large yard-sale this spring. I want everything gone and simplified. I am that tired. Plus with my business and the kids, issues with my son and his school and my husband working 7 day weeks, being on my own and enduring stress is a bit depressing which definitely doesn't help me feel better. I am just so tired of being tired. I want my happiness back. I want my fire and desire for fun. Thankfully, I still enjoy my hiking adventures provided I go slowly, but I tend to be 'punished' and linger in bed for days afterwards. I've lost weight though, 189 down to 164, so continue to hike. I am determined that if this is Lyme, I will not let it take my hiking adventures from me. I will die exploring, camera in hand instead of staying in bed.

Please comment below

If you have had a confirmed diagnosis, do you think this was or wasn't a Lyme bulls-eye? I'm currently undiagnosed, seeking knowledge before I waste thousands on docs as I've read online about how difficult it is to find a Lyme literate doctor. I also would prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals as I prefer natural remedies. Thank you!

July 2015 Update

I've found a few things to help me manage symptoms, but I am not better. I now have to follow strict wake and sleep guidelines. Lack of sleep results in major symptom increase. I also found that eating strict vegan for 30 days made a major difference in how I felt. I went back off vegan for almost a month now and I'm in pain all over my body. Primarily my neck and shoulders this week, but everything hurts. It feels like I went to the gym. I'm exhausted. Mentally and physically drained. Holding back emotions, trying to keep from crying or just going crazy. Basically, an overpowering sense of being overwhelmed. My memory is worse. I can't recall simple things I need to such as client details and often forget why I am doing something. I'm quite skilled regarding computers, but some days I just stare at the screen for hours with no idea what to do. I just don't have that drive to provide me the clarity. Editing photos now takes me months instead of weeks because I forget how to do it. Thankfully, these symptoms are only on my 'bad days'. Days where I've not had enough sleep or have eaten meat or something unhealthy. It's not yet affected my abilities as a wife and mother, but it's becoming much harder on me to physically clean and do these tasks and is affecting my business regarding editing times and website updates. I just can't seem to process sometimes. Oddly, I can still type fine and recall large words for eloquent posts, but this strange wall in my mind is frustrating and worries me. I want to get tested. I want this to go away. From what I've read and emails from diagnosed lyme sufferers, I'm 90% sure this is lyme, but our budget just isn't where we can test just yet. I worry I'm running out of time before permanent damage is done.

 

JournalAmber Flowers