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 regimen. 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