What’s your greatest fear? When we moved to Maryland in 2015, one of mine was that my husband, daughters, or I would get Lyme disease. We had traded Chicago’s cold, crime, and bad traffic for an enemy the size of a sesame seed. How could we fight a foe we could barely see?
Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, is spread through infected blacklegged ticks. Also known as deer ticks, these bloodsucking arachnids are far smaller than other ticks. Depending on their stage of development, they range in size from a pinhead to an apple seed.
But the damage they cause can destroy your life. Untreated borreliosis can lead to arthritis, neurological problems, and even heart failure. Brain fog, joint pain, and severe fatigue have caused many Lyme sufferers to go on disability. Others have died.
In contrast, the CDC says, “People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages . . . usually recover rapidly and completely.” This underscores the importance of discovering Borrelia burgdorferi as soon as possible. Better yet, let’s prevent ourselves and our loved ones from ever getting it in the first place.
Lyme disease is most common in the Northeast, but it’s spreading across all fifty states. In fact, cases have been reported in more than eighty countries. In the U.S. alone, the CDC estimates 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. That’s one in every thousand Americans every year. Unfortunately my dad, daughter, and I are three of them.
Never Alone weaves our story with vital facts about this tick-borne illness. It will include four parts, dozens of chapters, and at least a hundred or two blogs. Here’s a peek at some of the content I’m covering:
Part One: Our Family’s Lyme Disease Story
- A Fear Realized, a Dream Come True
- An Unwelcome Gift for My Fortieth Birthday
- Bad Buddies in the Big Apple
- Misdiagnosed and Feeling like a Hypochondriac
- My Insomnia Solution: Becoming a Sleep Geek
- The Weekend My Husband Thought I Would Kill Him
- Am I Dying? Daydreaming About a Diagnosis
2. Saved by Our Seven-Year-Old
- The Lyme Disease Rash: Our Daughter’s Story
- The Symptoms of Lyme Disease? I’ve Had Forty
- How the Lyme Disease Test Failed Me
- Could I Have Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Treatment for Lyme Disease: Finding Hope
- Finally! A Positive Test for Lyme Disease
- Lyme Disease Testing: “I’ve Had This How Long?!”
3. My Journey from Hope to Healing
- Babesia Treatment: Neon Yellow and Nauseating
- Did Michaela Have Babesiosis, a Malaria-Like Disease?
- In the Shadow of Your Wings, I Will Sing
- Complications from a Clean-Up Drug Called Coartem
- Doxy Side Effects: Sun Poisoning from Skiing?!
- Flu Season Robs My Med-Free Victory
- Beauty and the Belligerent Bartonella Beast
- Treatment for Bartonella: Taming the Beast
- Drug-Induced Lupus? The Week of Murphy’s Law
- “You Have the Immune System of an Eighty-Year-Old”
- Pneumonia, Strep Throat,, and Chronic Sinusitus
- Lyme in the Time of COVID-19
Part Two: Lyme and Other Insect-Borne Infections
4. Lyme’s History, Biology, and Global Threat
- Itty-Bitty Bug—Big, Big Problem
- How Lyme Got Its Name
- Fourteen States Where Lyme’s the Worst
- From the East Coast to Fifty States
- “The Fastest-Growing Vector-Borne Illness in the US”
- Lyme Disease Reported in Over Eighty Countries
- Borrelia: “The Cockroach of the Bacterial World”
6. How to Recognize the New Great Imitator
- Lyme’s Three Stages and Their Symptoms
- Summer Flu? You Might Have Lyme Disease
- Early Disseminated Lyme Disease: Seven Telltale Signs
- Late-Stage Lyme Disease Symptoms
- Misdiagnosis: A Frequent and Frustrating Problem
- Differentiating Lyme from Other Autoimmune Disorders
- How to Recognize Lyme Disease in Children
- Lyme Rage, Aggression, and Irritability
5. Why Standard Testing Might Not Be Enough
- Why the ELISA Doesn’t Make the Cut
- What’s Wrong with the Western Blot
- The C6 Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme) Test
- The HNK1 (CD57) Chronic Lyme Test
- Which LabCorp Lyme Tests Should I Get?
- The Lyme Lab: Accurate Results Through Igenex?
- How Lyme Disease Should Be Diagnosed
6. Lyme’s Common Co-Infections and Other Tick-Borne Diseases
7. Current Events: A Concerning and Controversial Theory
Part Three: Treatment Protocols for Tick-Borne Diseases
8. Antibiotics and Anti-Malarial Medications
- The CDC’s Recommended Treatment Protocol
- Why a Short Course of Antibiotics Might Not Be Enough
- Best Drugs for Lyme, Babesiosis, and Bartonellosis
- Treating Kids with Lyme: Amoxicillin Isn’t Enough
- Disulfiram: The Cure for Persistent Lyme Disease?
- The Downside of Treating Lyme with Antibiotics
- Why You Should See a Lyme-Literate Doctor
8. Healthy Habits: Complementary Approaches to Treating Lyme
- Sleep Smarter: Top Ten Tips
- Post-Lyme: Top Vitamins to Prevent Relapse
- Four Recommended Diets for Lyme Disease
9. Lyme Disease Triggers and Related Health Issues
Part Four: Stories of Friends and Family
The final segment of Never Alone: Our Journey with Lyme Disease is all about you! I’ve already had the honor of hearing many of your stories, and I hope to hear and learn from many more. If you’re willing to share your experiences with the world, I’d love to interview you.
Side note: Most of the part four memoirs will be exclusive to the published version of the book. Others will be exclusive to the blog.
Do you have a personal story you’d be willing to share about Borrelia burgdorferi? If so, e-mail me from the Contact Me page.
Want to start reading our story? Just click here!