Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Lyme Symptoms - Stage I (July 98 – Feb 01)

On reflection, I presented with many indicators that suggested localised Borrelia spirochete infection in by body, however due to a lack of knowledge, the clues were never put together. Some things were classic diagnostic signs; other may have had other causes or simply part of my innate personality. Having been so young and still defining myself as an individual, I didn’t really have much of a baseline for myself or others to compare against. This is where my journey commenced with Lyme disease.

I was exhausted and had flu like symptoms, with high fever and swollen neck glands. It was assumed at the time I had glandular fever, as I was told it was known as the kissing disease and is common in teenagers. I got a lot of bed rest during this time I recall seeing an increase in frequency of floaters in my vision as it had intrigued me trying to keep them in my focus at the time (I didn’t have much better to do). It was the first time I believe I knew what a migraine was. I had headaches in the past but this was very different. I was sensitive to light also. Flashing lights annoyed me and glare made me sneeze.

I had been bitten by tiny black ticks while camping, and recall a vivid dream I experienced at the time. Within a week or so I developed a ring like rash comparable to this photograph near my shoulder blade, which spread outwards until after about a month it was a 25cm diameter bulls-eye rash as seen in my last post. I assumed it was a giant ring worm I had contracted as I had been cascading down Broadwater Creek in Townsville region on a li-low and had been completely saturated for most parts of 3 days in a Sub tropical rainforest environment. I used a lot of topical ring worm ointments, even tried apple-cider vinegar, before I possibly (uncertain and so far unable to get my records) saw a doctor and had a course of antibiotics. I refused to exacerbate it by rubbing the rash and it resolved.

I recall minor limb jerking at times occasionally jolting me awake. I noticed hair loss in my brush which I had not seen before. I had jaw pain I kept telling people it felt like I was getting my wisdom teeth, but it was dismissed as I was only 16. At times I had both a sore knee and a sore shoulder. I was active in volleyball and assumed it was an injury and I used supportive simple aids to help at the time. I had skin manifestations I would pick at, and also sores that took along time to heal. I remember having what could be described as a bladder infection and someone told me to eat cranberries. I also found I needed to eat during class and would sneak food especially sugary food to stay focused. I had a diabetes test on one occasion however it was fine at the time.

I had stabling heart pains and palpitations I recall lying in bed wondering if this was heart attack symptoms, but dismissed the idea as I was only 16. I had some numbness and tingling at times if I stayed in any position for too long. I recall experiencing what I had heard people describe as subtle ringing in the ears. I developed car sickness when I travelled especially in a closed air-conditioned car that smelt new. I recall controlling it using pressure point in the skin area between thumb and pointer finger, and by winding the window down (despite annoying some people) to deal with my sensitivity to intense smell from new car interiors. I had increasingly painful intermittent menstrual cramping. I thought maybe one of my ovaries was inflamed. I was introduced to Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium and helpful postures.

I recall depression; I was lying outside under the stars and wept for a long time. I remember being confused and telling myself I should be happy given my life at the time. I had mood swings and irritability, but one would say what teenager doesn’t. I had over reactions of emotions. I started to cry during heartfelt arguments.

I used to love maths and science. I recall being so proud at testing as a yr 11 standard during year 8. Suddenly I couldn’t concentrate like I used to, it took me along time to study and comprehend the topic, and I never got to finish exam papers in time. It’s not because I wasn’t interested, I would sit in my lunch hours with my Physics and Maths texts as I was failing, I managed to bring my grades up a level it took a lot of effort but I still failed Math C and Physics. I managed to pass Math B on my senior certificate which was required for my university entrance application.

I had a lot of stress around Aug/Sept 98 due to a change in parental custody. It was a major life adjustment and I recall losing around 3-5kg at this time, yet I was eating a lot of food, and had always had a stable body weight previously. University was exciting however hard for me as I believe I had symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and talked to my sister about it when I would come home from Year 12 and have to sleep. My uni text books would put me to sleep, even one lecture did. Study, sleep, eat, and work. I had moved out of home by mid 2000 with my boyfriend by this time and burning the candle at both ends (very poor diet) exhausted me until my body’s immune system crashed early 2001.

Lyme rash photo (left):

No comments:

Post a Comment