Several months ago Brad and I went through a pretty scary experience. I came home from work to see the mower sitting in the backyard and Brad nowhere to be found. I went inside and found him on the sofa not looking so great. He said he felt extremely clammy, dizzy, and just generally bad. My first thought was that he hadn’t eaten much or had much water that day and after being out on the mower for awhile he just wasn’t feeling well. I got him to eat a little dinner and drink some water. An hour or two went by and he was still not feeling right.
A little before dark he decided to put the mower away. Once back inside he was in our kitchen doing who knows what when his phone rang. He tried to get his phone out of his pocket but wasn’t able to. He was probably in our kitchen for about 10 minutes before he came into the living room saying he had to go to the ER. The right side of his body was basically limp. He couldn’t get the phone from his pocket because his hand just wouldn’t do what his brain said.
We rushed to the ER, the whole time I was trying to keep him talking and aware of what was going on but it was very difficult. All kinds of thoughts were running through my mind – are we even going to make it to the ER was one of them.
Rushing into the ER we were immediately taken back. Brad was put in a wheelchair and triage began. The doctor asked him several questions about what was going on but he was unable to respond to most of them. I had to answer and explain what was happening because he just wasn’t able to put words together. We were rushed back to a room – stoke suspect. Brad wasn’t even able to undress himself and put on the hospital gown. I had to help him operate his arms because they still weren’t listening to his brain.
Nurses and doctors flew in and hooked him up to all types of machines and started doing all kinds of tests. They called in a neurosurgeon via teleconference because the hospital didn’t have one on duty. After being in the hospital for 30-45 minutes Brad came back around. He was able to move his arms and legs better. He was able to put this thoughts together out loud.
WHAT THE HECK HAD HAPPENED?
Brad was admitted overnight because they wanted to run an MRI but that had to wait until morning. They didn’t find anything wrong on any of the tests they had already done. I left to go home and call his mom to let her know everything that had happened.
His mom and I returned the next morning to stay with him while they did a few more tests. The doctors threw around several possible causes for the mini stroke but weren’t sure what exactly happened. Late in the day he was discharged with a diagnosis of “migraine” and told to follow up with his family doctor. Headache/migraine pain was not something that Brad had… at all…. We were very confused about this diagnosis and were generally baffled as to what had happened. Brad had been planning on going archery hunting the previous day but had decided to mow the lawn instead. What if this had happened out in the woods where he would have been all alone and without phone service? Was this going to happen again? What do we do?
Upon returning to work the next day, Brad shared his experience with a coworker and friend. This friend had just read an article about a girl who suffered from mini stokes and seizures with no diagnosis. Finally she was tested for Lyme’s disease and tested positive. Brad read the article and decided to ask him family doctor about it during his follow up appointment.
Brad did just that and was told by the doctor – patients never diagnose themselves correctly, but I will go ahead and have you tested for Lyme’s just to make you feel better. Well the very next day Brad received an urgent call from the doctor telling him that he tested positive. In fact, the doctor never had anyone have as many markers positive for Lyme’s.
Great… so what does that mean?
This is a question we are still trying to find an answer to. Brad has done 5-6 rounds of antibiotic treatments and still has a lot of health issues. His brain is foggy, he can’t think as quickly as he used to, he has trouble staying awake and feeling rested, he has no energy, his hands often fall asleep, and he has a very hard time staying focused. He has trouble remembering things – even something we just discussed 5 minutes prior. It is very scary and sad to watch these changes. Each time he takes medication it helps for a few days. Upon finishing the medication the symptoms almost immediately return.
He has started taking several natural supplements and we have both started doing a lot of research. There is so much information out there about Lyme’s disease but not a lot of it is helpful. There is no direct resolution to the symptoms. Everyone has different symptoms! We will be meeting with a doctor in August to discuss possibly IV treatment. I had read good and bad things about this so we are very unsure of what to expect.
Do you have experience with chronic Lyme’s disease? How have you treated it? What has worked and what hasn’t?