Posted on Jul 29, 2015 in Blog |

Aunt Betty

Aunt Betty

Why do I talk about Lyme so much?
Am I obsessed with it?
Do I think everyone I meet could have it?

“What is the deal with Sharon and Lyme?”

I talk about Lyme because it took me decades to get properly diagnosed and it could have been diagnosed with one test from the right lab.
I don’t want others to go through what I went through.
I don’t think everyone has it, but I bet 30% of the people I know have at least one DNA band that would test positive for Lyme or a co-infection of Lyme.

More importantly . . .
I know how easy it is to MISS Lyme Disease.

In 2002, in the midst of my symptoms intensifying, my aunt Betty DIED of Lyme Disease. In the midst of her intensifying symptoms, in the midst of her fight to even be tested, I had no idea that my symptoms were similar to hers.
Aunt Betty died at the age of 57. Two years before, she was a completely healthy, radiant, psychology professor teaching at Auburn University.
A family member, someone I was close to, died of Lyme Disease. . . and I didn’t make the connection.
Everything I had kept being explained as something else. So, I never connected it.
If I missed Lyme Disease when a family member died of the disease, I worry about everyone else out there who has some of the same symptoms but doesn’t have someone staring them in the face saying, ‘Get Tested for Lyme Disease.’

Imagine my face in front of you.

Get tested for Lyme Disease.

And when you get tested, demand complete testing from a specialty lab (NOT LabCorp or Quest). Do not settle for just an Elisa test. Do not settle.

Sharon’s Symptom History
The simplest way to present my own history to you is to show you how many different types of physicians I saw, some of the major medical events that occurred, and of course, the various diagnoses I was assigned. I know many patients can probably relate to this snapshot.

Physicians I saw for symptoms
Often, I saw more than one each of the following: Cardiologist, Chiropractor, Dentist, Dermatologist, Endocrinologist, Gastroenterologist, Internist, Neurologist, Gynecologist, Neurosurgeon, Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, Oral Surgeon, Orthopedist, Osteopath, Otolaryngologist (ENT), Physical Therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Rheumatologist, Surgeon, Urologist

Sharon’s Symptom History
1981: viral meningitis, unexplained fatigue and exhaustion
1984: diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, mouth ulcers, grinding teeth/jaw pain
1988: elevated gastrin levels
1993: depression and anxiety
1995: migraines
1996: h.pylori infection
1999: shattered right foot
2001: recurrent sinus infections, night sweats, hot flashes, dry skin, itchy ears
2002: falling easily, pain in knees and thighs, muscle weakness, sensitivity to sunlight, memory loss
2003: clumsiness, repeated falls, muscle weakness, thigh pain, swollen joints, tooth dies
2004: gallstones, abdominal pain, fatigue, hair loss, noise sensitivity
2005: gastrin level elevated, depression, forgetfulness, trouble focusing, sticky blood
2006: diarrhea, headaches, daytime sleepiness and insomnia, elevated heart rate, word and name search, phasing out of conversations
2008: persistent, dry cough, numbness in hands and feet, chest pains, muscle twitching
2009: back pain, hip pain, occasional blurry vision, incontinence, unexplained rashes, positive Lupus test (positive ANA with speckled pattern)

Other General Symptoms
Allergies: seasonal allergies, chronic sinus infections
Cardiovascular: low blood pressure, perspire easily, dizzy upon standing
Constitutional: migraines, weight gain, fatigue, cold extremities, afternoon drowsiness, night sweats, sensitivity to chemicals
Ears, Nose, Mouth & Throat: sensitivity to sounds, ringing in the ears, sinusitis, mercury/silver fillings in teeth, mouth ulcers, jaw pain/teeth grinding, dental problems, unexplained face pain
Endocrine: heat intolerant, cold intolerant, thyroid disorder, low body temperature
Eyes & Vision: dry eyes, blurred vision, floating spots, light sensitive, peripheral waves
Digestive System: bloating, trouble digesting fats, hemorrhoids, ulcers, irritable bowel, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea/upset stomach
Genito-Urinary System: incontinences, cramps, heavy flow, PMS, menstrual irregularity, menstrual pain, pelvic pain, health fluctuates with cycles, hot flashes
Hematological: Anemia, leg pain with walking
Immunological: auto-immune disease (Lupus)
Integumentary: acne, dermatitis, yellow tone, brittle nails, dry/brittle hair, crawling sensation in skin, various rashes, on/off rashes, skin sensitivity, sensitivity to sunlight, hair loss
Muscular-Skeletal: back pain, intolerance to exercise, disc problems, joint pain and swelling, joint stiffness, bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle twitching/spasm, muscle pain/cramping, sore soles in the morning, neck stiffness/pain, tremors
Neurological: clumsy, trouble balancing, numbness/tingling, forgetting simple tasks, disorientation/getting lost, difficulty with reading and concentration, speech difficulty, word and name search, memory problems
Psychological-Behavioral: vivid dreams, fearful/worrier, depression, narcolepsy, insomnia, emotional/crying easily, season affective disorder, feeling as though you are losing your mind
Respiratory: shortness of breath, chronic cough, air hungry, snoring, sleep apnea

Other diagnoses given:
Anxiety, Bursitis, Depression, Dry Eye, Epstein-Barr, Eczema, Gallstones, H.Pylori, Hashimoto, Herpes Simplex I, Hypo-Thyroidism, Idiopathic Hypersomnia, Idiopathic Intermittent Right Temporal Waves, Incontinence, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lipoma, Migraines, Peri-menopause, Peripheral Neuropathy, Shingles, Sinusitis, Stomach Antrim Atrophy, Vitamin D Deficiency, Viral Meningitis, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome possibility

Again, imagine my face in front of you.

Get tested for Lyme Disease.

When you get tested, demand complete testing from a specialty lab (NOT LabCorp or Quest). Do not settle for just an Elisa test. Do not settle.