My Battle with Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever During the Covid19 Pandemic
Several months ago I started feeling so fatigued that I couldn't get out of bed. Working a 9-5 was my biggest challenge in ways that didn't make sense: I simply couldn't wake up in the morning. In addition to this I started getting strange virus like symptoms, landing myself in the ER where I was sent home with a "general virus" diagnosis and a thousand dollar medical bill.
A few weeks after that I went out for New Years Eve and suffered a hangover that was so bad that it lasted for two days. And for me, that was a sign that something else was seriously going on - rather than just the typical night of drinking.
As the months went on I didn't get better. I started to get dizzy whenever I stood up, each time feeling like I would faint. I was desperate for help, but I was also doubting myself. Was this all in my head? Was this because of my endometriosis? Or would this be like my gallbladder, where I knew something was wrong for years but nobody would listen to me?
Within a two week time period, around the time Covid19 was blowing up in China, I jumped between urgent care and my PCP four times until I got an answer. Thankfully, one urgent care doctor recognized the signs after I visited her for the second time and told me to go back to my PCP to get a tick panel done.
I was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), a tick-borne illness that can cause death if not treated right away. I was also tested for Lyme Disease but was told I didn't have it because my confirmation test was negative. Therefore, I basically had a false positive.
After my diagnosis, I was treated with a two-week course of doxcycline. At first I felt wonderful, like I finally had the life breathed back into me: I was running again, I had energy, and I could get up in the morning.
But then it got worse after a few weeks of having no symptoms. I now have body aches and habitual migraines. My memory is becoming worse, and the brain fog is real.
Imagine going through this while there is a pandemic blowing up around you.
After months of feeling like utter crap, I got retested for Lyme Disease and RMSF. Not only do I still have the RMSF, but I have Lyme Disease... officially.
I'm scared because my immune system is already compromised. I'm scared because of the idiots running around thinking they're invincible from Covid19. All it takes is one minute at the grocery store for me or my spouse to get your cooties and infest the household with the virus.
I'm a 27-year-old woman already battling two serious, but invisible diseases that you would never know I had. Don't make me a statistic.
I want to live a long and full life. I want to heal my body and grow old, living with happiness and love. I want the chance to make a name for myself and publish even more books. But yet some people say that this is population control. That it's just too bad if I get Covid19. That it's just tough luck, but they have to get their nails and hair done. That going to the bar is more important than my life.
That it's my fault for having a compromised immune system during the Covid19 pandemic.
You'd never know I was sick unless I told you. So please, the next time you say that this pandemic is really no big deal and that only the old are dying, please think about all of your peers that are facing unseen medical problems that your stubborn ass would never know about.
And for the record, those old people could be your parents or your grandparents.
For anyone else battling tick-borne illnesses, these are a list of symptoms that I've experienced. Please get tested and retested, demanding a visit to an infectious disease specialist for the correct treatment plan. It could save your life.
unable to get up in the morning
body aches similar to DONS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
shortness of breath
If you are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at: 1-800-273-8255
It gets better, and you'll survive this.