LINKS to Know More
Lyme Disease information:
Lyme Disease Documentary: Under Our Skin
Lyme Disease: The Basics
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a spirochete (say “SPY-ROH-KEET”) that humans can get from the bite of an infected deer tick. The spirochete’s scientific name is Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is called “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms mimic many other diseases (MS, Parkinson’s, CFS, Fibromyalgia, IBS, etc.). It can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart.
How do people get Lyme disease?
People usually get Lyme disease from ticks infected with Lyme spirochetes. Most human cases are caused by the nymphal, or immature, form of the tick. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed. Because their bite is painless, many people do not realize they have been bitten. Ticks may remain attached for several days while they feed. The longer they remain attached, the greater the risk that they will pass the Lyme bacteria into your bloodstream, where they will start spreading throughout your body.
If pregnant women are infected, they can pass Lyme disease to their unborn children. Some doctors believe other types of human-to-human transmission (sexual intercourse) are possible and more research is currently being done.
Where is Lyme disease found?
Lyme disease has been found on every continent except Antarctica. It is found all across the United States, with a particularly high incidence in the east, mid west, and west coast. Lyme disease has been found in 56 of 58 counties in California and is present in all land ecosystems.
Lyme Disease Symptoms (Lyme disease symptom list)
Early in the infection, many people experience a flu-like illness that may clear up without treatment. Some people get a rash around the site of the tick bite. Most of the time the rash is an ordinary red area, however if it is a bull’s-eye shape with a darker edge, it is a definite sign of Lyme disease and needs immediate treatment. Unfortunately this distinctive rash is uncommon (present in less than ½ of all Lyme cases).
Symptoms Include: Flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweats, muscles aches, fatigue, nausea and joint pain), Rash, Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis).
Late Stage Lyme:
If gone undiagnosed/untreated, Lyme disease can affect every organ of the body and the disease can persist for years.
Symptoms Include: Headache, stiff neck and/or back pain, light or sound sensitivity, cognitive impairment/memory loss, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety, irritability or mood swings, arthritis, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, tingling, burning or shooting pains, hearing loss and or sensory loss.
LYME DISEASE Support Group
FREE MONTHLY MEETINGS:
(Update pending on dates and location of support group)
For more information, please call
Shelly at (530)-891-8204
Sharing, Updates, Information from Lisa
February 27, 2014
Healing Through Lyme Disease
My story isn’t exceptional; but my community of love and support is. My son was about 2 years old when I started experiencing strange sensations in both of my legs, it felt as if worms were crawling under my skin across my calves. I was tired, weak, my muscles screamed out in pain, and I felt like I was losing my mind. “It must be mommy brain”, I thought. I went to several doctors and shared my symptoms. They poked and prodded, unable to pin point the cause of my pain, then gave me anti-depressants.
Then a couple of years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Indonesia and the Caribbean. I came back home from both trips sicker than I had ever been before, barely able to stand and walk on my own. Again, I went to specialists and had dozens of tests done. Still no one could find the answer to my weakness and pain.
While on Facebook one day, a friend who had similar symptoms reached out and encouraged me to get a specific Lyme test done through a private lab. I had already tested negative for everything, but went along with her recommendation for this specialized test. My doctor was reluctant and said the test was very expensive and needed to be paid at the time of the blood draw. I didn’t care how much it cost; I was tired of being tired. Three weeks later, the test came back positive for Lyme disease and two other tick borne infections.
My son will turn 21 this year. It took nearly sixteen years for doctors to accurately diagnose me with Lyme disease, because Lyme disease can mimic a lot of other illnesses and the testing accuracy rate is less that 70%. Unfortunately my story isn’t unique; most people with Lyme disease will see an average of 10 doctors before being accurately diagnosed with Lyme disease. What has been exceptional about my journey through Lyme disease, is my loving community of family and friends with their weekly check-in calls, cooking healthy meals, house cleaning, yard work and most importantly listening and holding my hand in my darkest hours of need and desperation. My family and friends continue to give me strength when I don’t have any left, faith when it has disappeared and hope when I feel helpless.
For more information about Lyme disease, visit www.ilsnc.org for monthly Lyme Disease Support Group Meetings and information, www.lymedisease.org, and watch the documentary, Under Our Skin.