My Battle With Lyme Disease—Part 1by Brandilyn Collins-----In the summer of 2002 I was a fit, healthy, five-miles-a-day runner who’d been jogging for over 20 years. But one day I felt tired and weak-legged. I thought I was coming down with the flu. After two days of this malaise, I crouched down in the kitchen to reach for a pan in the back of a cabinet—and my legs gave out. I fell hard on my rear. And I couldn’t get up.I had entered the nightmare of Lyme.Lyme disease is spread through a bite of a deer tick. The illness is caused by a spirochete—a spiral-shaped bacterium—called Borrelia Burgdorferi. I never knew when I’d been bitten by a tick. Many patients don’t, as the ticks at nymph stage can be as small as the head of a pin. And I’d seen no reaction to a tick bite, either, as in the bulls-eye rash that some Lyme patients see. Fact is, it’s a myth that all Lyme patients get the bulls-eye rash. I had no reason to suspect anything was going on inside my body. Until that fall in the kitchen.It would be another seven months before I was diagnosed. I was fortunate to find an LLMD—Lyme Literate Medical Doctor—who could administer proper testing and who knew how to recognize the symptoms of Lyme. She put me on high doses of antibiotics, which I would need to take for months. The treatment causes “Herx” reactions—a flaring of symptoms due to the toxins released as the bacteria die off. I was sick enough already. But, oh, those Herxes. At my worst I was house-bound, barely able to walk, unable to read, and sensitive to light. My muscles and joints hurt so much I couldn’t stand to be touched. Processing any thought was terribly hard due to the “Lyme brain” fog. I stuttered when I talked because the words I sought just wouldn’t come. The exhaustion was unlike anything I even knew existed. Breathing was tiring. All quality of life for me stopped. My wonderful husband, Mark, had to do everything around the house, as well as continue his own grueling job. My 13-year-old daughter thought she was losing me.My experience with Lyme eventually planted an idea in my brain for a suspense novel about the disease. That idea would sit for seven years before I was ready to write the book. It has now come to fruition through my just-released novel, Over the Edge.But at that time in 2003, all I could do was battle through each day. Little did I know how much God would teach me along the journey—and what He would do for me before it was all over.Continued in Part 2.~ Brandilyn Collins, Seatbelt Suspense®www.seatbeltsuspense.comOver the Edge, a novel based on Lyme diseaseMore information about Lyme disease
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