My Symptoms- I Wish I was Exaggerating

This is me last summer- covering my head to protect myself from ticks (I was ALWAYS so careful!).  I was very sick at that point.  Little did I know that I already had Lyme Disease and had been bitten years earlier.

Photo of me last summer, looking like a hunchbacked fool, haha.  I was covering my head to protect myself from ticks while walking through a wooded area (I was ALWAYS so careful!).  I was very sick at that point…little did I know that I already had Lyme Disease and had been bitten years earlier.

This is honestly how I felt on my worst days, but with many more knives, needles, etc.  Every type of pain imaginable was EVERYWHERE.

This is honestly how I feel on my worst days, but with many more knives, needles, etc. Every type of pain imaginable, EVERYWHERE.

I’ve included a list of the symptoms I’ve experienced.  There are up to 57 symptoms of Late Stage Lyme Disease, plus dozens more from the co-infections, and due to the way this disease attacks every organ and tissue in one’s body (and can even penetrate bone), it’s not surprising to have so many.  I wanted to share my symptoms so that others who may be dealing with similar issues can determine whether they feel they need to be tested properly for Lyme.   I also want people to understand the severity of this illness so they will do everything possible to protect themselves and their loved ones.  Please keep in mind that Lyme can present itself differently in each person, and can mimic many other diseases.

Another reason for sharing this is because I want the people in my life to understand why I might not always be the best at returning phone calls or emails, or why I might need to cancel plans at the last minute.  I do have good days sometimes, but my bad days are really bad.  I’m not looking for sympathy…I just want people to know that I haven’t stopped caring about them or other things in my life.  I’m not being  lazy or trying to be a bad friend…I’m actually just really sick.  Plain and simple.  And I need all the love, understanding, and support I can get.  I can’t fight this alone.

I think I was bitten in 2007, but I never had a bulls-eye rash or any initial symptoms (it’s estimated that at least half of people bitten do not get a rash).  I’ve had a lot of random symptoms for years, but I just tired to deal with what I could until I could no longer ignore some very serious issues.  Over the past year or so, my health has declined so rapidly that I am now unable to function most days.  At this point, I cannot even count how many doctors and specialists I’ve seen.  My symptoms were initially mimicking Multiple Sclerosis, but continued to become more numerous, unusual, and severe.

Overall, most days I feel like I have a really bad hangover and the flu at the same time, plus all kinds of other symptoms…

* migraines

* insomnia

*acid reflux

* nausea

* vomiting

* abdominal pain

* numbness/tingling in limbs

* itching

* electric shocks

* balance/coordination issues

* severe eye pain (burning/needles stabbing)

* feeling sand or foreign objects in eyes

* seeing lights/spots/stars

* double vision

* blurry vision

* shaking/bouncing vision

* loss of vision

* seeing designs when I close my eyes- like a kaleidoscope

* sharp pains in neck and back

* muscular pain in arms, legs, hands, and feet, etc. (crushing, burning, shooting, slicing, throbbing, pins and needles )

* pain/aching in joints and bones (fingers, toes, wrists, elbows, hips, shoulders)

* stiffness in legs

* muscle twitching/spasms

* impaired coordination

* memory problems

* confusion/disorientation

* hallucinations

* feeling like I’m in a video game- detachment from reality

* hypersensitivity to light, sound, touch

* frequent unexplained fevers

* hot flashes

* chest pain

* heart palpitations

* low blood pressure

* rapid heart rate

* pain below ribs

* swollen glands

* severe headaches (behind eyes, lower back of head)

* numerous allergies

* dizziness

* clicking in ears and hearing issues

* easy bruising

* getting lost in familiar locations

* throbbing hands and feet

* sore soles of feet, especially in the morning

* anxiety/panic attacks

* inability to follow conversation

* difficulty speaking coherently

* frequent hoarseness/ loss of voice

* feeling worms crawling under skin

* severe attention/concentration problems

* inability to process information

* difficulty breathing

* debilitating fatigue

* night sweats

* chills

* overall body discomfort (it would hurt to wear clothing at times)

* twitching of facial muscles

* crossing and shaking of eyes

* dental problems

* feeling like my brain is going to explode

…and I’m probably missing some.  So PLEASE be very careful in wooded or grassy areas!  I was very careful, but it still happened to me.

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