Sometimes the littlest inquiries produce the biggest results. ~T. Guillemets
I am often asked how I got Lyme.
I found out I had Lyme last year – nearly 40 years after the known tick bite – and finding out was purely by chance.
I had made an appointment for my son with a new doctor; my hope was that she could assist with my son’s extreme anxiety around eating (see my post: https://tinyurl.com/yaguj3w5) that went beyond picky eating.
On this first visit, the doctor reviewed my son’s medical history, which, aside from very limited food choices, was relatively straightforward: no major illness, no ER visits, no high fevers, and no medications or antibiotics. Overall, he was a healthy, growing boy.
The doctor turned to me and asked me about my health. I told her I followed a healthy diet and that I exercised regularly, however, I had had a pulmonary embolism in 2013.
She asked if it was a result of surgery or if there was a family history of DVT. I answered “No” to both of her questions.
I had no known risk factors, yet my bloodwork showed I had tested positive for a Lupus Anticoagulant. I told the doctor my hematologist explained to me my body had been fighting a virus that had been dormant and may have been dormant for three weeks, three months, three or even 30 years – there was no way of knowing.
The doctor looked thoughtful as she took in these details and then asked me if I had ever been bitten by a tick.
A tick? The question caught me off guard. Yes, I had two ticks firmed embedded in my belly button when I was ten years old and that both had been removed by our family physician. I had forgotten about it after all these years.
The doctor asked if I had been healthy before the bite. Yes, I had been healthy and had perfect attendance at school.
When asked about my health after the tick bite, I realized I that no, I had not been healthy after the ticks were removed and in fact, my Mom used to tell me she could never figure out why I was sick all the time while my brothers were completely healthy.
After the tick bite and well into my forties I dealt with recurring sinus infections, mononucleosis, endometriosis, ovarian fibroids and cysts, nasal and vocal chords polyps, heart murmur, brain fog, chronic fatigue, migraines, low blood pressure, anxiety, depression, achy legs, deep joint pain, neuropathy, asthma, air hunger, allergies, and finally: the pulmonary embolism.
It is ironic: I had brought my son in for treatment and discovered I was the one who was sick and passed the bacteria along to my sons while I was pregnant. After my son and I completed blood work and evaluation, the doctor gave us a clinical diagnosis of Lyme; the blood tests confirmed three (3) Lyme co-infections.
One never knows where one simple question will take you. My doctor’s one question opened the door to a diagnosis, a treatment plan, better health, and hope and for that, I am grateful.