Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lyme Disease-1 Lisa-0

Joy's message for me last night

I remember the first time I found a tick on one of my kids.  It was Mother's Day weekend 5 years ago.  I was sitting outside manning our garage sale and the kids were playing in the woods behind our house.  Joy came up to me and sat on my lap.  I looked down at her head and shrieked!  There was a TICK on her head!  At least I assumed it was a tick since I'd never seen one before.  I kind of flipped out because ewww.  Thankfully a friend just happened to be currently shopping at my sale and knew what to do.  We got the tick off and I breathed a sigh of relief that it was a dog tick and not an evil deer tick.

Since then I have found 2 other ticks on my kids, always dog ticks.  But my kids will attest to the fact that I am a bit of a bug spray fanatic whenever they are going to be playing in the woods or out in nature.  And I always make them do a tick check and take a shower after they are done.  

Last Saturday, July 2, I was doing my hair in the mirror when I glanced at my arm.  I did a double take.  What was this rash on my arm?  And is that a bullseye rash???  I took pictures because that's what everyone does when they encounter a weird rash on their body, right?  Okay, maybe that's just me.  

I ran down the stairs and stuck my armpit in Hubby's face.  "Is that a bullseye rash?  Do I have lyme disease???!!!"  We looked at it.  I had Dr. Grandpa look at it (we were on vacation at my in-laws' lake house).  We decided that it was maybe/probably/hopefully a spider bite because lyme disease is considered "just emerging" in my area.  But if I started to get flu-like symptoms, then I needed treatment.

I was fine for a week.  Friday night I started to feel bad.  Saturday I started feeling really bad.  By Monday morning I called the doctor the minute the office opened to make an appointment to be seen that day.  Yesterday.

The doctor asked me my symptoms: Every limb feels like it weighs 1000 lbs.  Everything hurts.  I am tired.  I feel like I am an electric type Pokemon character because I keep getting shooting electric pains through my body.  I showed her the picture of my rash.  She gave me medicine.  I blessed her.  She warned me about die-off.  Yes, I'd read about that.  It's when you take doxycycline and the first few days you feel worse.  A die-off reaction, also called a Herxheimer reaction, occurs as bacteria die during antibiotic treatment.  It basically means every symptom is magnified until the die-off finishes.  I thought I knew what that meant.  I thought I was prepared.

Last night after 2 doses of the medicine, I laid in bed and my entire body felt like it was humming with electricity and pain.  I wanted to cut my legs off.  Today I decided that everyone in hell is going to have lyme disease because that is what it feels like.  Every task takes a Herculean effort.  I have to give myself a pep talk that yes, I can rotate laundry.  Yes, I can goto the store and buy groceries as long as one of the kids pushes the cart.  Library-fine, but David has to carry the book bag.  Because I just can't.  

So to anyone who has ever dealt with lyme disease--my sympathies.  To everyone who lives in my area--we have lyme infected ticks here.  I had not been out of the area until 2 days before the rash showed up, which means I was bit near home.  To everyone who comes near me--I'm sorry if my new perfume smells an awful lot like bug spray but it is necessary.  And to every child everywhere who fights their parents about wearing bug spray (or maybe it's just my kids)--let this be an object lesson.  You do not want this.  You really, really don't.  Wear your bug spray and stop whining about it.  

And to Joy, my compassionate child--thank you.  She came into my room yesterday and found me sprawled on my bed and asked if I was okay.  I said no.  She asked if she could make dinner and then asked to pray for me.  I left an hour later to goto the doctor.  When I got home at dinner time, she had the table set and a spaghetti dinner almost ready.  She is only almost 9 years old.  When I grow up I want to be just like Joy.