Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease hit my family the summer of 2012.  When my husband had recovered, I did a series of posts of the disease and how it affected my family.  

Part 1

Summer is almost over and while I no longer have school age children in my house, I work an academic year position at a local Division 1 college.  Academic year means I have summers off as well as fall, winter and spring break…which means I am going back to work in the next few weeks.

This summer didn’t go ANYTHING like I had planned or hoped.  This is two summers in a row that this happened.  Last summer, my son, then 23 had shoulder surgery and was in a sling for 6 weeks.  He couldn’t do anything for himself, which meant that John and I needed to stay at home to take care of him.  Therefore…no summer travel like John and I were used to doing.

We had great plans for this summer.  Normally, we would go camping several times, go to the beach with extended family, I would make a trip to visit my parents, we might head north to Maine…whatever time and money would allow.

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Part 2

It was a few days later that John came home from a bike ride and he had a red mark on his arm.  I asked what that was and he said he must have gotten bit by something.  

A few days after that, while cutting his hair (yes, he cuts his own hair) and looking at the back of his hair with a hand held mirror he saw something on his back and asked me to come look at it.  He had two large, circular rashes that were warm to the touch.  

Again, I suggested a visit to the doctor and again, he said he didn’t need to go.  After all, he wasn’t sick enough to miss work and he wasn’t running a fever.  UGH!!

The internet can be a useful tool for a lot of things.  I was researching fever + rash + fatigue, then fever + rash, and every other combination of symptoms.  Meningitis, fibromyalgia, lupus and all kinds of other things came up, but for one reason or another I felt sure whatever was wrong with John was NOT what I was finding.  

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Part 3 

The doctor put John on an oral medication called doxycycline.  This is standard treatment for Lyme disease.  He was supposed to take this medication for 3 weeks and if he wasn’t better to give them a call.

We left the office, got the prescription filled, he took his first dose and went back to work.

By Saturday afternoon John said he thought he might be feeling a little better.  

Was it wishful thinking or was he REALLY feeling better?

We went to church on Sunday morning.  After church, John grilled something ( I don’t remember what) for dinner and we while we were eating he said his right eye wasn’t blinking.  

By the evening, the right side of his face wasn’t working at all.  It looked like he had had a stroke.

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Part 4

We left for the beach that evening instead of the next morning.  While the drive was less than 10 hours, it was just easier on everyone to leave that evening and drive part of the way.

Even though John had several restrictions while on the medication, it was good to have a break and be away from home.

One of the side effects of the oral medication was how it affected his taste buds…absolutely NOTHING tasted good.  So he was strictly eating to survive and he was not eating much!  A few days after stopping the oral medication and getting on the IV meds, his taste returned.  YEAH!!!  We enjoy good seafood dinners while on vacation and at least that part could continue.  Without much white wine of course!

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