Diagnosed with Lyme.
I have recently been diagnosed with Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, alongside two other tick-borne pathogens/co-infections. I am a professional triathlete, and fully rely on my body to make a living, as well as doing the things that I most enjoy. Since November, I started to struggle using my body for these things, with unexplained muscle pain and fatigue. With months lost to doctors, PTs, and myself all shaking our heads, I started down the path towards Lyme. I had X-Rays, MRIs, countless blood tests…They all pointed to inflammation, and I was told that I just needed to take some time off. The standard Lyme testing protocol came back negative. But I am nothing, if not consistently persistent, and found myself a Lyme specialist who ran some deeper testing, and found the infections.
Over the past few weeks I have begun the process of educating myself on all things Lyme. I have reached out, and spoken, to countless people about their experiences. Some athletes, some not, all in an attempt to understand what my journey might look like, and how this could affect me, as a person and as an athlete.
So, because of this, and how frustrating the experience has been, I want to help bring awareness to this illness. Lyme disease is something that affects people in many, many different ways, and looks like many, many different things, often going mis- or un-diagnosed, for years. My hope is that, if someone has any of these mystery symptoms, that often elude doctors, that they can consider the possibility of Lyme and/or other tick-borne illnesses, and can get the proper testing to find out. According to the CDC, between about 300,000 and 500,000 go undiagnosed, each year, with these illnesses on the rise and growing at an increasing rate! If not caught early, Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness can have devastating effects on someone’s life.
In some cases the symptoms can clear up quickly, with proper diagnoses and treatments. In others, it can be a long uncertain road. As of right now, it looks as though I may be on a steady path forward, but only time will tell. I intend to use this blog as a chronicle of my own journey, and hope to help others to more quickly identify the possibility of the infection(s), how to properly diagnose them, and how best to work with the treatments to come. And, most importantly, my return to health. I want to help others avoid the ambiguity and confusion that I experienced, so that they can start their own path to health as quickly as possible.