Christy Shares her Lyme journey and recalls life before Lyme as a competitive athlete
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
• Who are you? Christy
• Where are you from? SC
• How old are you? 40
• Family life: kids, spouse, pets
I have two sisters. My Dad passed away in 2019 so I’m currently taking care of my Mom. I have a 5 year old Belgian Malinois named Havoc.
II. Life before Lyme/chronic illness set in:
• When is the last time you remember feeling good?
Probably early 20s right after high school.
• What types of things did you enjoy doing before you got sick?
Hiking anything active outdoors. Driving my Jeep
III. Medical journey:
• Do you remember being bitten by a tick? No I don’t. We did a lot of camping with our youth group in high school I’m thinking that’s where it happened.
• What symptoms did you have following the bite? I don’t remember any. I could have thought it was the flu. I started feeling different in my mid to late 20s. I didn’t have a sudden onset it seemed to happen slowly. I got into triathlon and running in my late 20s. I struggled greatly. I knew something wasn’t normal. It was like my brain and body weren’t connecting. I had MS arthritis type symptoms. I continued to keep going though. My parents were the only ones who believed me. They spent thousands in PT and chiropractor visits trying to fix me. I found I also had scoliosis but there was definitely something more. In this 10 plus year time period I did multiple marathons ultras and Ironman triathlons in level 10 pain. My body would shut off and my legs would give out. I continued strength training and training for these races. I believe this helped me not become much much worse. Finally a chiropractor told me there was something else going on and he couldn’t fix it. I was sent to a naturopathic doctor. He diagnosed me with Epstein Barr. He also found food sensitivities that were adding to my inflammation. I was having severe pain in my left side and food was aggravating that. Changing my diet helped some although I’m very limited in what I can eat now. About 3.5 years ago I met another naturopathic Lyme doctor who diagnosed me with chronic Lyme. After over a decade I finally had an answer. We did SOT but my lyme was so far gone much damage was done. I have coinfections that are still causing issues. I was mocked and treated badly in my local triathlon community. Told I wasn’t training enough and that everyone was in pain. Also my extended family called me lazy and worthless. They didn’t believe I was sick. It was very hurtful and I felt alone because nobody seemed to understand. I’ve not raced in about 3 years but hope to again someday. I’m seeing a rheumatologist now trying to see if I’ve developed an auto immune disease. Lately I have gotten worse breaking out in rashes and having severe joint pain and pain in my left side. My organs feel weird sometimes. It really scares me. I was exposed to a toxin and mold last year and took a downward spiral it almost killed me.
• Did you ever experience extreme reactions to other bites (flies, fleas, mosquitoes) no
• Does anyone else in your family experience similar symptoms or has anyone else in your family been diagnosed with Lyme or chronic illness. My mom has arthritis
• What was your experience with testing? I as only tested by my lyme doctor.
• When did you finally get diagnosed? 3 years ago
• What was your diagnosis? Lyme only? Did you have co-infections? Lyme Babesia Epstein Ehrlichia and Bartonella
• After you received the diagnosis of Lyme, looking back were you misdiagnosed and for how long? Yes for over a decade
IV. Life after diagnosis:
• How did you feel once you received your diagnosis? Relieved to finally have an answer
• Did you run into issues with insurance? Yes my parents spent a lot of their life savings on it.
• Did you experience issues with treatments? I had severe herxing after SOT. Then started getting better then got severely worse after toxin exposure. Still have coinfections.
• Were you unable to treat due to financial difficulty covering costs? With my father gone now I can’t afford treatment. I got two grants from lyme Foundations that helped. I wanted to do stem cell but it’s so expensive.
• What treatments have you tried? (Be specific, supplements, meds, alternative treatment)SOT, Brehner protocol, herbal treatments. Working on getting a PEMF machine with grants. Anti microbial herbs and meds help greatly. NAET also helped my trauma from being sick so long. I went to North Georgia Wellness for that.
• What treatments worked? All helped some
• Did you try any treatments that did not work for you?antibiotics
• Have you been seen by a Lyme literate doctor, and do you care to share contact information? The Genesis center
V. Personal touches:
• How has your life changed since you were diagnosed? I was actually relieved because I’ve felt I was carrying a boulder on my back all these years and couldn’t explain it.
• Has your illness had an impact on personal relationships/friendships? Very much. People don’t understand
• Advice: what advice would you offer to other who are on the same journey?
Never give up. Don’t stop living no matter how bad it hurts sometimes.
The information shared on this page is for informational purposes only, it is opinion and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult your medical provider for medical advice and before starting any new treatment.