Tuesday, September 28, 2010

23 Doctors & 23 Opinions--Lisa Buffaloe

My journey into the Lyme wars started in the summer of 1999. After a hike through the woods I found a tiny tick. Without any thought, the little nuisance was removed and life went forward. Soon a horrible itching rash developed on my back. Thinking it was only a bad heat rash, we ignored the problem.

My health began to decline, and in October of 2000 I found myself in the emergency room with vertigo. During the dizzy spells, my eyes literally moved up and down at a rapid speed much like a television horizontal control gone haywire. For a year and a half the spells came and went leaving me unable to do anything other than sit or crawl. Doctors pronounced my illness first as Labyrinthitis, then autoimmune inner ear disease. Steroids and medications helped get me back on my feet until the next round of problems began.

Over the next few years, my body went in self-destruct mode. I had kidney infections, kidney stones, hearing loss, tumors, cysts on kidneys and liver, uterine tumors, numbness, migraines, bleeding problems, eye problems, Charlie-horse cramps that lasted for hours, arthritis type pains in joints, dizzy problems came and went, nerve damage, horrible fatigue, and the list goes on and on.

Twenty-three doctors searched for reasons, and every one had a different opinion. Tests showed markers with the early stages of MS or Lupus. Six surgeries repaired areas where my body had attacked itself. Hospitalizations, numerous procedures, scans, x-rays, blood tests, and nerve tests finally led to an official diagnosis of Lyme disease in January 2006.

Once diagnosed, treatment began with IV antibiotics for thirty days. After that point, I assumed I would be well and ignored ongoing symptoms.

Fortunately, I met Natalie Nichols, who referred me to a Lyme disease specialist. For the next year, continuous antibiotics and supplements were used—switching from drug to drug to combat the ongoing symptoms. My white count plummeted and my blood thickened, which necessitated the use of Heparin blood-thinner shots to my regime. When health didn't improve, IV antibiotics were resumed in April, 2007 using a picc line. 137 days later, a blood infection forced the removal of the line. A temporary IV line was used to fight the infection for the next month. Oral antibiotics and an anti-malaria drug were used until January 2008.

A brief respite from medications caused a downturn in health, and antibiotics were resumed mid-March of 2008. Other than fatigue and deteriorating discs in my neck, 2009 was relatively quiet health-wise. Another bleeding problem surfaced in March 2010, and an ultrasound and mammogram warranted the need for my seventh surgery.

A month after surgery, my symptoms were reasonably quiet. I continued to use supplements, monitor my health, and continue to pray for healing. Then my health started to steadily decline once again. Fatigue was building and every joint and bone hurt. Finally I had to go back on antibiotics. I'm so disappointed my health has gone back down again, but very grateful I had such a long, good season.

I give God the credit for keeping me going all these years. He is the only reason I have done so well. My strength and hope is only in Him. He walks me through the fires, cleans off the soot, and sets me back on my feet.

-- Lisa Buffaloe, Idaho


  1. Dear Lisa
    I have not heard your Lyme journey story before. It is quite powerful..I read it to Joel too as we both at times wonder why we are not getting better quicker, or why other things keep happening. Reading the stories here has given me more insights into this Lyme war as you so aptly called it.
    Bless you Lisa as you go through abx treatment again, and please know you continue on in my prayers. Your deep faith and courage inspires us all!

  2. Lisa, I wish I'd known you had Lyme when we were in Denver. We could have commiserated together.

    I think you hit on two key points: One, you never know when Lyme is going to come back or what will trigger it. That is just so discouraging.

    And two, reliance on God as the way to get through this. I don't know how to do it any other way.

    Praying for you!

  3. Thank you, Renee. Praying for you too, sweet lady!


    Jennifer, I wish we could have had time to talk. Maybe next time. Praying for you too!

  4. My heart goes out to you and I am praying for you daily. I am thankful you are relying on Him as your source. Hugs, Rita

  5. Thank you, Rita. Hugs back to you!

  6. I knew about your Lyme Disease because we'd talked, but I had no idea how heavily it impacts you still. And Jennifer! I'm hoping God grants you both long reprieves. My friend's daughter has struggled with it for so long as well. Thank you, ladies, for being so faithful in your writing in the midst of this horrible challenge. You are inspiring!
    Angie Breidenbach

  7. Lisa, and Jennifer, I knew we were sisters on one level, but join you in the Lyme camp, too, waving the flag that says, "Lyme Disease isn't for sissies!" It takes so much courage to endure and journey on. Thanks, Brandilyn, for offering a forum for these stories and these brave storytellers.

  8. Lisa,

    I guess with my concentration on school I was not aware that you've had recent health problems due to the Lyme disease. You are in my prayers.

    Mary Williams

  9. I knew about our Lisa, but not Jennifer an Cynthia. I hate that you all are going through this. But make that *through*! In the name of Jesus!

  10. Lisa, thanks so much for sharing your journey! Your testimony sheds light on this ailment - and on God's faithfulness!

  11. Thank you, Angie. I'm so sorry one of your friend's daughters is struggling. I'm praying for her.

    Cynthia, drop me a note when you can. I'd love to catch up. Praying for you too!


    Thank you, Mary!


    Amen, Margo!


    Michelle, God IS always faithful and I am sooo grateful.


    Praying for all those affected by Lyme Disease. Thank you, Brandilyn for giving us a place to share our stories.

  12. Well, Lisa, I am humbled by your story. You never let on that there is any problem. Your face always shines with joy and blessing and your speech is always seasoned with kind thoughtful words. I love getting to know you more and will be praying for God to heal you up, but in the meantime, He will defitnely keep using you. You are a sweet vessel of God's grace. Your sis in Christ, Val Gray

  13. Thank you, Val. My blessings far outweigh any difficulties. :)

  14. Lisa I am praying for you. Your kindness and joyful attitude are a testimony to the grace and mercy of God and defeat of the enemy. You are a cherished vessel of honor to the Lord, encouraging many as you continue on your journey. love you and praying for your complete healing.

  15. Awww thank you so much, Patty. Love you too and can't wait to see you at the ACFW conference!

  16. Lisa,
    I had no idea the effects of Lyme Disease were so far-reaching. I only knew that you kept smiling, kept praying and asking for prayer. Your radiance through this ordeal are a testimony to faith in our loving, almighty God. We ask Him for complete, permanent cure. We pray also for research that will combat this disease for all people in the future.


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