As you may have picked up from the title of my post, I have Lyme Disease :( So I guess all the terrible symptoms that I was feeling a few days ago weren’t just something to ride out. Actually, on Monday I felt like my body was slowly disintegrating and deteriorating – it was absolutely awful. This was my first rendez-vous with Lyme, and I never want to experience anything like that ever again; and I don’t want any of you to, either. I would only wish this kind of thing on extremely evil individuals who deserve such torture.
Like I said, I don’t want any of you to get Lyme, but let’s face it, ticks are small and sometimes entirely undetectable, so we can’t always stop them from biting. Especially if you live an active lifestyle such as myself, where you find yourself outdoors in the woods often.
So, just in case you start feeling a little wonky or actually find a tick on you (I never found the little bastard that did me in), I wanted to write down a list of the symptoms that I had, along with a picture of the rash that showed up on me. It wasn’t your typical bulls-eye rash that is so notorious, so I thought it would be beneficial for the future to see one that wasn’t stereotypical.
– Headache. This was the first symptom (minus the baby spots, but I’ll get to that in a minute) that I had. It started off as a mild “Monday Headache” type of deal, with just a slight ache near my frontal lobes. It lasted for about a day, then it got progressively worse. The second day, it was harder to ignore. Whenever I was not standing completely vertical, my head would start to pound and my brain felt like it was pulsating inside my head – not a fun time. On the third and worse day, all hell broke loose. Whether I was standing, sitting or whatever, my head felt like it was about to explode. I couldn’t turn my head without having my eyes feel like they were going to pop out, and every little movement was accentuated tenfold via a headache.
*After taking the meds, the headache has subsided significantly, but there is still the occasional pounding if I move too quickly.
- Backache. The second symptom; it began shortly after the headache. At first, I thought that maybe I had slept weird the night before because it was only my lower back, but as the day continued the pain started to spread up my spine. I don’t know how many of you have every fallen off a horse before, but it felt like I had taken a really bad fall on my spine. It progressed almost as quickly as the headache, and by the second day I couldn’t bend over without wincing in pain. The pain got so bad that the only comfortable position for me was laying flat on my back in bed, and even then the small of my back wasn’t comfortable. Basically, I felt like I had the spinal cord of a 90-year old at the ripe age of 23.
*After taking the meds, the backache has entirely gone away. I can bend over, sit, stand and do just about anything else without any back pain. Hooray!
- Fatigue. This is sort of a no-brainer for any kind of sickness, but nonetheless it came with the package. My sleep patterns were terrible, and I pride myself on my sleeping skills. Normally, I can fall asleep and stay in deep slumber for a solid 8 hours, but with this disease I was waking up every 2 or 3 hours and couldn’t stay asleep past 6am. Obviously, due to the lack of sleep and overall deterioration of my body, I felt completely drained. I also moved a lot slower than normal.
*After taking the meds, and resting a TON (spending 12 hours in bed kind of rest), I feel rejuvenated. Thank the lord.
- Hot Flashes & Cold Sweats. These go hand-in-hand with the fatigue and sleeping issues. I had a hard time sleeping because my body couldn’t control it’s own internal temperature. I would sleep with the air-conditioner on and be comfortable one minute, then the next I was shivering and had to have sheets, a comforter AND a fleece blanket on, then the next time I would wake up, I would be covered in a nasty layer of sweat all over my body and would need to strip down to just my undergarments to be cool enough; then two seconds later I would be shivering again. This part was terrible, and it wasn’t just during the night (though that was the worst). Throughout the day, I would be constantly donning and shedding sweatshirts, it was a giant pain in the arse.
*After taking the meds, I have gotten much better at maintaining a good temperature. Last night I slept very well I am pleased to report. My body will still go from cold to hot sometimes, but not nearly as frequent.
- Other Aches & Pains. After the backache, the joints in my knees started to feel weak and I had a hard time bending them, which made moving around a bit of a drag. My neck also started to follow suit, and to make matters worse I would have a fever as well. The scariest part though was after I had already taken my first pill, these symptoms continued to progress. The symptom that freaked me out the most was that when I was sitting at AAA waiting to sign some documents, my jaw started to get sore and slightly numb, and I couldn’t open my mouth all of the way. I started to talk a little funky, and was close to the point where my words were almost slurring. Bell’s Palsy is a pretty dangerous symptom of Lyme disease where damage to the nerve in your face causes weakness or paralysis of the muscles, and if Lyme is left untreated one side of your face can completely droop and be rendered useless. So yeah, that was absolutely terrifying.
* After taking the meds, my face is free! No jaw pain whatsoever and my mouth is wide once again.
…. That’s a lot of symptoms, huh? I know it’s lengthy, but I wanted to be as specific as possible. The general public needs everyday accounts such as mine. I also happen to be in pretty tip-top shape — I actually just weighed myself and I am 130.6 pounds with 19.6% body fat, which puts me in the athletic category — so I am very in tune with my body and can hone in on specific issues pretty quickly; mostly because on a regular basis, I have no health issues to deal with.
I’m not trying to sound braggy, but if someone at my age (23) and in my healthy state can be so debilitated by this disease, it scares me to think how people who aren’t in peak form can be affected. Granted, they probably are not outside in the woods climbing rocks like I am, but ticks aren’t just in the woods. They are in the grasses at beaches, too, along with various other locations outside. Animals can be carriers, as well.
Now, I want to show you what the rash looked like. It did not start this large and evil, as a sidenote. It began as a few red dots that I assumed were either mosquito bites or poison ivy, but after a few days the dots turned into this. Not something to joke about.
After being on the medication for two full days, the rash has definitely diminished, but it is still there. However, I took pictures when it was at its peak before any help from drugs, so just be aware that it is pretty intense. Also, it is near my boobs, and although I don’t actually flash you, there’s a bit of skin up for show. Uhh… you’re welcome?
You can see how red and angry it looks here. It was pretty itchy, but when scratched it burned with a white hot intensity akin to 1,000 suns. It also generated a LOT of heat; I could feel it through sweatshirts.
This is a prime example that a bulls-eye does not have to be by the book. As you can see, there is a lighter ring around the outside of the rash, with a lighter inner area as well, both broken up by a dark red rash.
Well, there you go, kiddies. I have to work for a few hours tonight, so I’m going to go back into my room/cave and muster up some more energy before that time comes. Stay safe and please, put on tick spray and/or stay covered when outside in the woods! I know that may not be fun, but believe me, this is way less fun.
Peace and Love as always xxoo