In 2018, blood tests revealed not only that I had Lyme disease, but that I’d probably had it for at least a year or two. I felt troubled and . . . elated.
Strange response? Well, let me back up to the beginning of my story.
When I was growing up, I loved reading Nancy Drew novels like The Clue in the Diary. Nancy might blow the dust off a musty letter or notebook and use it to solve an important mystery.
So, as I prepared to share my Lyme disease journey, I put on my detective’s hat to uncover the truth. You see, I didn’t know when I’d gotten infected. How long had I battled this debilitating disease?
To get to the bottom of it, I gathered my prayer journals, medical records, and Mom’s One Line a Day memory books. I read the entries from May 2015 (when we’d moved to Maryland) through my diagnosis in October 2018.
I also researched the three stages of Lyme disease and possible reactions to the tick bite itself. Here’s what I discovered:
First, most people don’t show immediate symptoms from the tick bite. Instead, they develop delayed symptoms from any pathogens the ticks may be carrying.
However, according to Harvard Medical School, “…some people may develop fever, headache, nausea and a general sick feeling caused by tick secretions. These symptoms usually go away within 24 to 36 hours after the tick is removed.”
Second, stage one Lyme disease symptoms usually begin one to two weeks after the tick bite. However, they can appear as early as three days afterward and as late as thirty days afterward. Some say they can even begin hours afterward.
Third, stage two Lyme disease symptoms usually begin one to four months after the tick bite. Occasionally, they can even begin days or weeks afterward.
Fourth, and finally, stage three Lyme disease symptoms begin weeks to years afterward.
Check out my first infographic for a quick overview of the symptoms of each stage of Lyme disease!
So, how does all this information relate to my journey? Click here to continue reading my story!