Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Lyme Story

Hello... I'm Lauren. I am 16 years old, a sophomore in High School, and I have Lyme Disease. All my life I have been an outdoorsy person. We have many pictures of me as a child in the woods or out at the barn. Well, in the 6th grade, 5 years ago, I began having symptoms of late stage Lyme Disease. Now, joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, and depression/anxiety are not major symptoms, so I just shrugged them off and decided not to worry about it. All through middle school these symptoms remained and even worsened. In 8th grade my depression/anxiety got much, much worse. I lost my motivation to do anything. I had always been very active in school and extra-curricular activities both, my grades rarely dropping below a B, playing basketball, volleyball, riding horses, fourwheelers, hunting... etc. I then lacked the desire to participate in any of these. Unfortunately, things progessively got worse, and fast. My freshman year I did not join the volleyball or basketball team, I barely rode my horses or fourwheelers and all I cared to do was lay around and listen to music. My joint/muscle pain had intensified tremendously and my doctor kept telling me it was just growing pains and it was nothing to worry about. But it was.

The summer between freshman and sophomore year I began having very irregular periods. My doctor gave me birth control and said that should take care of it. Heartburn was only to follow. My doctor then gave me an antacid pill to take once a day for acid reflux and said I should be fine. Shortly after that I started having Mono like symptoms, and was misdiagnosed with mono, at the same doctor visit a rash on my leg was misdiagnosed as ringworm. I had no idea all of these symptoms were from one cause.

The beginning of my sophomore year I joined the cheerleading squad because my friend forced me to. Now, homecoming week for a cheerleader is very stressful. I was dreading the quickly approaching week. When it came I had 5 tests that week, had to make cookies for the football players, and had practice/pep-rally/game every night. With anxiety problems already I was stressed beyond comprehention, when I think about that week it almost makes me cry because of the tremendous amount of stress I had undergone. Friday night was the homecoming game and it went GREAT! We won it in the last 4 seconds, literally, and it was an awesome night. Saturday night was the homecoming dance, I went and had a nice time there as well. However, Sunday morning I went bow hunting in the afternoon and got very confused and scared. I followed my moms advice and went to bed early to get some much needed rest from the long night before. Monday morning I woke up with no knowledge of what day it was how I got where I was or why my mom was waking me up. My memory was completely blank and I was also unable to walk and barely able to sit up in bed. So my mom took me to the Emergency Room where I was misdiagnosed with encephilitis and sent to a neurologist. The next day the neurologist informed me that my problems could only be addressed by a psychiatrist/counselor. Fortunately, I had already been seeing a counselor and had an appointment set up for the following week. When we arrived at her office she took one look at me and said, "She has Lyme." plain and simple. We discussed some of the symptoms of Lyme and she gave us the name and number of her doctor and told us ultimately it was up to us but she felt very strongly that I had Lyme. We got an appointment with her doctor in Columbia, MO at the end of October, about 3 weeks away.

At my doctor visit it was diagnosed as probable Borelliosis (Lyme) and I was sent home with a prescription for doxycycline, ceftin, zithromax, and flagyl. To be used in that order. I used the doxycycline until November and had wonderful results. In December things took a turn for the worst and I ended up in the mental health unit of my local hospital.

Shortly after being released from the hospital I began taking ceftin. It did not help me in any way. I slowly got worse. So after a month of moving backwards I started taking zithromax. I took 2 pills and began having seizures. It would begin with vertigo like symptoms, dizzyness, nausea, upset stomach...etc. I would then begin having the convulsions, uncontrollable twitches and jerking movements. I was completely aware during the entire thing and it was very very uncomfortable and scary. The first time it happened my mom took me to the Emergency Room where the doctor told me I couldn't have Lyme because I was not diagnosed by a neurologist. This was very frustrating and made me very nervous, if I was to get deathly ill there were no doctors in my area that had the slightest idea of what to do with me. After this scare I stopped all antibiotics but continued to take my 40 supplement pills a day. We continued with this until April when I visited my Lyme doctor again. He started me taking progesterone and estrogen horomone replacements in hopes of helping with my moodiness and irritablility.

In May I started having troubles swallowing pills. I stopped taking my supplements for a couple weeks but the pain in my throat soon became unbearable. I was unable to eat or drink anymore. On that Sunday I stopped eating and my pain was completely unbearable in my legs and feet. It felt as if someone was burning through my skin into my bones with super cold air. It felt much like a frost bite only worse. That night I went to the Emergency Room with the hopes of getting pain meds and I.V. fluids. The doctor I got in the E.R. did neither. I walked into the E.R. and had to be wheeled out of it, I was in far worse shape leaving than when I arrived. On the next day I went to my family doctor and she scheduled me to get an upper endoscopy of my throat on Thursday. On Tuesday I went and got I.V. fluids at my family doctor. They had to stick me 7 times with the needle before they got my vein because I was so dehydrated. On Thursday I had the endoscopy done and the next day I was admitted to the hospital to get I.V. fluids and to try to get some food down me. I stayed 5 days in the hospital and had a total of 10 bags of I.V. fluids, and 4 bags of rocephin. I left the hospital the following Tuesday with a prescription for 3 days worth of rocephin at the local hospital. I am currently trying to start I.V. antibiotics at home to hopefully see some noticeable improvement. However, the insurance has other plans for me.

Lyme Disease is an ongoing battle, and I am fully aware that there is a good chance I will be on antibiotics the rest of my life. Hopefully that wont happen and I will eventually be healthy enough to go back to living somewhat normally. Whoever is reading this please please if you find you have been bitten by a tick, go to the doctor and keep requesting to get one round of doxycycline until you get it. If it is caught and treated early it will go away forever. I hope this can help at least one person from going through what I have gone through and will go through!


  1. Lauren you are soo strong..!
    Hearing your story just makes me want to give you a biggg hug!
    I know that cheerleading is not the first thing on your mind right now but when you come back EVERYONE is going to be soo happy!
    Also when you come back to school!
    When you came to the first meeting we had i dont know how you did it! I know for sure you didnt feel good! And i dont think if anyone else was in your shoes they would have showed up!
    Again you are so strong, and im sure, an inspiration to EVERYONE!
    We ALL love you :D
    Get better and come back, please?!

    -Ashley Baczkowski :)

  2. awww ashley ur gna make me cry, u have no idea how much that means to me

    thank you sooo much


    p.s. i will come back eventually :)

  3. I'm so proud of you, Lauren!! God has a plan for you and its a big one. I know your up for the job. Your a real fighter, Lyme's will not win.

  4. mom u posted that on my account!!!