Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lyme disease

Rachel here. It's been a whirlwind of a month. Tomorrow I finish my last 2 pills for my Lyme disease treatment. I KNOW! Lyme disease? Crazy. It's been a learning experience for sure. It all started the Friday before Memorial Day. Bryan and I ventured to a part of Bryan's parent's property where a large tree was just cut down. I was on the hunt for the perfect stumps to add to a cute little play area for the girls in our own backyard... amongst some other smaller trunks/limbs to make some cute little building blocks. The materials were found, loaded... all was well. Later that evening at dinner, Bryan noticed I had a tick on the top of my ear. I removed it... no biggie.

Monday, Memorial Day, I stepped on a bee in the backyard... had some swelling... no biggie.

Exactly one week later, I woke up to an extremely itchy foot... the bee sting foot. I lathered it with lotion, scratched it... nothing was relieving the itch. Within two hours there was a large, raised, red, hot rash on the bottom of my foot all the way to my ankle. Luckily I was able to see a doctor that evening... the diagnosis... Cellulitis... basically a staph infection from my sting. The doc notices a small dot on the top of my foot... I say it's probably nothing, but want to talk about the bottom of the foot instead. I get placed on an antibiotic... no biggie... sort of.

The next day... the small dot/bump on my foot gives me an eery feeling. I see if anything will come out of it. I'm able to get a small black something out of it... no biggie (would later assume it was a small Deer Tick).

Within a few minutes I have a bulls eye rash. Thinking that doesn't seem normal, I get on the internet. My prognosis... Lyme disease. The only symptoms I had until that point were fatigue, headaches... etc... symptoms of life in general. The rash got me though. I began talking with friends and family on through the weekend... the plan was to call the doc just for some piece of mind... I'm doubting the severity.

Monday morning... call doc... they seem panicked... I get an appointment immediately... the rash is gone. After explaining what had been happening, the doc skipped all the testing (it was going to be a long drawn out process, and the doc was concerned with time) and immediately prescribed me my new antibiotic. He told me he was going to go with his gut instead of waiting six weeks for the results he knew he was going to see. I was going to be positive. That very day I began to experience severe aching in my right knee... BIGGIE.

I began the antibiotic the very next day (needed to finish out the first antibiotic first). Symptoms became increasingly uncomfortable. Severe aching, numbness, shooting pains all in my right leg. I became sick just about every morning from the antibiotic... it needed to be taken on an empty stomach which is hard to do after not eating for 12+ hours. My right leg and both arms would tingle and burn... ALL ... DAY... LONG... for 10 days. It felt like my whole body was asleep (like when your foot falls asleep)... not very much fun. Luckily the side effects have dwindled some, but there is still some aching in my leg.

While this entire thing is beyond comprehension to me, I can't help but be thankful I went with my gut and caught this early. I shouldn't have to endure swollen joints, a quirky nervous system, or even heart issues... because I caught it early enough. The longer you wait, the less that can be done for you... there is no cure. If I hadn't been proactive, my prognosis could be MUCH different... a life of pain. I'm hoping at worst my leg has some aches and pains every now and then... at best... the antibiotic kicked some butt and I can put this all behind me.



Allison said...

OMG! That is seriously one of my biggest fears :( Glad you caught it early and are on the mend!

Andria said...

How awful for you! I am so glad you caught this in time. Have you ever read about the author, Amy Tan? She had an undiagnosed case of lyme disease and started to go kind of crazy. Whew....that was before the internet....glad you were able to diagnose yourself! Hope you are feeling 100% soon.