Lyme Stories from North Carolina Residents
Hillsborough, NC - Real Lyme Stories
My husband and I moved to Hillsborough, North Carolina as I continued my career as an office Manager for a medical center in Carrboro, North Carolina in 1989. It was shortly after that I also began a family as my first born child arrived in May of 1991.
In July of that same year, I was rocking my 10-week old son. Suddenly, I felt the left side of my face draw up and my left arm went numb. I was scared to death because I was holding my baby in my left arm at that time, and I thought I was going to drop him. For the next two to three minutes I sat their alone with my baby thinking I was having a stroke.
For the next two weeks I had persistent headaches. I was seen at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Memorial Hospital by their physicians and associates for a complete workup, with MRI and other tests. They were all negative. The doctors told me the only thing they could think of was that I was suffering with migraines.
In 1993, after my daughter was born, I suffered post partum depression. My depression continued until 1995. At that time I was treated for depression and put on medication.
Later I would learn that what I had experienced is an example of Lyme rage. I decided at this point I needed to work for myself and soon became self-employed. In 2000, I went back to work part time and began to have difficulty grasping new directions while learning a new computer program that required data input and retrieval of information. At home I began having trouble staying organized; I would misplace items and waste time trying to find them.
In 2000, I began having emotional mood swings along with sporadic outbursts which was very uncommon for me. I even told my boss off for feeling like I had been poorly treated and taken advantage of. I cornered her in her office shut the door and began yelling at her uncontrollably 03, while working at a new position I began having difficulty paying attention to detail while working with things that required me to calculate large amounts of money. I also had developed a rash on my arms and stomach. The rash would itch often, especially at night, and my body developed scabs that would not heal. I went to my dermatologist several times in 2003. I was given antibiotic ointment and a special body wash for acne.
The third time I went in 2004, I was told that I was picking at places and obviously I had emotional problems and needed to see a psychiatrist. This rash continued to worsen and I saw two other family doctors. Neither of them knew what it was and suggested a psychiatrist.
Since everyone thought I was crazy, I thought ok, I will go and see a psychiatrist and in January of 2006 I did. After my psychiatrist met with me and reviewed my history, she told me she didn't think I was crazy. She said my symptoms were real and furthermore "I think you may have LYME disease".
Lyme disease! After 15 yrs of symptoms that no one could put together, a doctor took the time to listen and make the connection. Finally, there might be a reason for all the symptoms I had experienced. She asked me to have a Lyme test done by Igenex lab and she wanted me to see another dermatologist regarding my rash. She also recommended I see an Infectious Disease doctor.
I saw another dermatologist who said, "You don't have Lyme. You just need to leave your rash alone and it will get better."
Then I went and saw our only infectious disease doctor who was new in town. He told me after 3 minutes that I don't have Lyme disease. He said, "I am from up north and you don't have Lyme in North Carolina." I realized I was living in hell.
I began to research Lyme disease on my own and found that we had a Lyme Specialist in North Carolina. I made an appointment to see him. After a thorough evaluation of my history, examination of symptoms, and lab work, he agreed I had Lyme disease. I was started on oral antibiotics and tried different regimens for over one and a half years.
I began having trouble at work making mistakes, forgetting things, not being able to do my normal activities and fatigue was so bad I would come home from work and go to bed. I would sleep as much as possible on the weekends just so I could go back to work on Monday and start again.
I knew I was getting worse. I was then started on IV antibiotics and would be doing this for 16 weeks. I am now on long term disability. During the last two years, my now 17 yr old son started having symptoms of depression, hallucinations, mood swings, and became withdrawn.
In 2007 we decided to have my son tested for Lyme disease. His test was Positive! He now has been started on antibiotic therapy. He went for 2 years thinking he was going crazy when what was happening was an attack on his brain by Bb spirochetes. My family has spent all of our savings just trying to pay for out of pocket expenses because my insurance carrier has denied coverage for our claims related to Lyme disease.
The amount of pain and suffering that people are experiencing in North Carolina is horrific. Just recently, a neighbor, who I have known since our daughters began kindergarten together, found out her husband has Lyme disease. These neighbors are worried about losing their home and losing their lives, as their husband is the only wage earner for the family.
Other North Carolina families who we have met are worried too because no one is LISTENING. Doctors are not being educated about Lyme and treatment. Insurance companies are not willing to pay claims because of greed and families struggle to make ends meet since out of pocket medical treatment is extremely expensive.
We are a real family facing very real problems with a disease that is definitely in North Carolina!