• Jackie Ryan

Learning About Lyme

Updated: 14 hours ago

It's been a while since I've published anything besides a weekend getaway on @thatblueeyedblonde - I wish I could say it's because I was busy eating my way through Europe or sailing across the world on a yacht, but unfortunately, that's not the case.

For those of you who know me personally, you are familiar with my "incurable headaches" - you know, the ones all my doctors have claimed to be the result of stress and tension? Well, years later, I can tell them that those reasons weren't the only ones. Just a few months ago, in April, I woke up with an excruciating migraine - one so bad not even my emergency, last-resort, miracle-working migraine medicine could fix. All I wanted to do was sleep, but when it lasted more than a week, that's when I knew something wasn't right.

I made an appointment with my primary care who suggested that it might be a calcium deficiency, as being lactose-intolerant limits my ~natural~ calcium intake - this required blood work for testing (ugh). A week later, as I'm about to enter the parking garage at work, my phone rings - it was the nurse calling to give me my results. I was expecting a simple solution: up my calcium, maybe take an extra supplement, add "x" to my diet. Well, I was wrong. Despite my calcium levels being rather low, that wasn't what was causing me problems. It was stage 2, chronic Lyme Disease.

Lyme. Disease. I kept replaying those words over and over again, trying to figure out what this meant for my health and my future. My mind was racing - a billion questions came popping into my head, my anxiety spiked, and soon enough, the waterworks came. I was so caught off guard that I couldn't even comprehend what the nurse was telling me on the phone; all I caught was "antibiotics for a month." Knowing absolutely nothing about Lyme, aside from the fact that it's an infectious disease transmitted from a tick bite, I panicked. They say that the worst thing you can do is Google your symptoms, so naturally, I Googled the entire disease instead. It all started making a little more sense to me, the constant fatigue and falling asleep at 6:30, the migraines, the unexplained pain and stiffness and ultimately, the overall sensation of not feeling myself. (It's true, #TicksAreDicks)

I started the antibiotics that night, following the instructions to a T - making sure I drank a lot of water and waited an hour before/after eating. So far, so good. Until the next morning when I took the antibiotic right when I woke up -- bad idea. Let's just say I didn't go to work that day. It was only the first day and I already knew I couldn't handle living like this for a week let alone an entire month. But I knew it would help me heal, so I sucked it up, got some anti-nausea pills, and made it work - and slowly, I felt better.

As I took my last antibiotic, I did a happy little dance - congratulating myself for getting through the month with medicine that made me feel like crap. I was able to workout when I got home from work, I barely had any headaches, and I felt more like myself - it was amazing and I was so happy that I finally had an answer that wasn't "stress or tension."

Little did I know, that month of antibiotics (which felt like a year), was only the beginning; I'm currently on my second month. My treatment has only begun, and while it's not necessarily fun, I am learning so much and am incredibly thankful for all the help and guidance I have received so far. I have a road of healing ahead of me as I fight this disease, but at least I'm on the right road! I'll be sure to keep you all updated as my journey continues. Next up: Spinal Tap.


XO,

That Blue Eyed Blonde



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