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Our stories: Nancy


On a Boy Scout campout in the Northeast Kingdom in 1992, I was bitten
by a tick. Within a couple of days I got a bull's eye rash, but I
didn't do anything about it.

Several years later, I had some problems with first one knee, then the
other. I had some heart rhythm irregularities, that the cardiologist
couldn't find. My shoulders and neck started hurting; physical therapy
didn't help. A year later, and a second round of physical therapy, my
shoulder was better but my feet hurt. By this point I was on ibuprophen
6 times a day and my energy was decreasing, and my mind was not as
sharp.  A couple of times during my annual physicals, I complained
about the lack of energy and asked my PCP to test for Lyme. He did, but
the Elisa tests came back negative and I received no treatment.

In late 2002, my husband was talking to Dr. C, a friend, saying that he
felt like he was in a paper bag and couldn't punch his way out. Dr C
suggested that some of his Lyme patients said the same thing and
suggested that he come in for testing. The tests results were not
definitely positive but suggestive.

When I saw the list of Lyme symptoms that my husband brought home, I
realized that I had or had had many of them since 1992, not  all at the
same time, but sequentially and cyclically. I also went to Dr C and was
tested, again not definitely  positive but suggestive. In April 2003, I
started antibiotics: biaxin and plaquenil to start, adding tetracycline
in the fall. As each antibiotic was added, I would feel better for a
few days, then much worse (herxing), then gradually better.I also went
on a sugar  and  wheat free diet  In July 2004, when I stopped
antibiotics for a month, I felt much worse: my feet hurt much more, my
short term memory was worse, energy was down. Last fall, I was on
clindamycine for a couple of months, then minocycline and biaxin and
plaq. Now I am nearly pain free and will probably go off antibiotics in
a couple of weeks.

I have never been very sick with Lyme, having missed only 1 day of work
because of it. Most of my symptoms have been in my tendons and muscles,
though some were neurological. But after several years of treatment, I
do feel much better.

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