Our Family's Lyme Disease Story

The Weekend My Husband Thought I Would Kill Him

All in all, by the grace of God, my husband and I have a fabulous relationship. When people in media talk about how hard marriage is, we look at each other like, “What are they talking about?”

Mark and Christy Brunke in New York City

Growing up differently and being opposites in many ways, we’ve had to make adjustments. And sometimes I’ve gotten incredibly irritated with my husband over little things. (I’m sure none of you can relate.) Still, doing love God’s way has proved an amazing blessing in our lives. 

But the weekend of our tenth wedding anniversary, Mark thought I might kill him.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, by that point, I’d probably battled Lyme disease for almost two years. Applying the strategies from Sleep Smarter had helped a lot. But then my beloved grandmother died. The stress from that experience—plus more time for the Lyme disease bacteria to spread—caused my health to plummet. 

In New York City with Lyme disease bacteria

Another Turning Point in the Big Apple

Before Mom-Mom’s passing, Mark and I had planned a trip to New York City to celebrate our anniversary. If I’d known how I’d be feeling then, I would have suggested we book a more peaceful vacation. Maybe a quiet weekend in the mountains? Even so, we’d already paid for our hotel, so off we went.

That’s when the trouble started.

Besides the awful way I felt, Mark and I had different ideas about what a trip to New York should look like. His included chilling in our room, going to see a movie, and wandering around the city.

I said, “This is your first time in New York City!” I thought we should tour the landmarks, bike through Central Park, and see a Broadway show.

But my body couldn’t keep up with my ambitious schedule. 

At Grand Central Station with Lyme disease bacteria

In Mark’s words, looking back, “You wanted to conquer New York, do all the New York things. The problem was, ten seconds into one thing, you’d be exhausted. Then you were mad at yourself and mad at me, because you were beat.” 

He also described me as “inconsolable” and “angry at every turn.” (Sorry about that, honey!) 

As a side note, I probably also had Bartonellosis at the time. One of the prominent symptoms of that co-infection is irritability. More on that later.

Finally, I submitted to Mark’s suggestion to return to the hotel and take a nap. After that, the weekend brightened. We went out to eat. We walked around Times Square. We saw Beautiful: The Carol King Musical

Christy Brunke at Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

But the Lyme disease bacteria in my body continued to multiply. Soon, my symptoms would multiply too. Click here to continue reading my story!

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