I let it go on for three years. I’d feel sick or exhausted and tell myself to suck it up, be a good mom, and complete the tasks on my to-do list.
But even in the first two years, I battled a bevy of symptoms.
Symptoms of a weakened immune system like fatigue, hair loss, and frequent infections. Neurological symptoms like headaches, insomnia, and sleep disturbances. Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Even neuropsychiatric symptoms like depression, anxiety, and irritability.
All those little symptoms I was having? I didn’t realize they added up to one big problem. I just kept going.
And I’m not the only one. In fact, far from it.
Two friends wrestled with Lyme for ten years before getting a diagnosis. Another was bitten by several ticks in her childhood and struggled through her teens before finally being diagnosed as an adult.
Delayed diagnosis is common with Lyme—it’s one reason it’s one reason I launched this website.
All the signs point to October 26, 2015, as my initial infection date. But it’s possible—even probable—I was reinfected later.
I noted eight other times when I might have gotten bitten. For example, I went hiking and, twelve days later, got sick with what I thought was bronchitis, a cold, or the flu.
Suffering in Silence
As I read through the timeline, I watched my health deteriorate starting in late 2015. Almost as if I were reading about someone else, my heart broke for myself. For so long, I suffered with late-stage Lyme disease in relative silence.
After the traumatic birth of her son, my friend Kristina Cowan battled postpartum depression. In When Postpartum Packs a Punch, she writes, “Suffering in silence wasn’t my style.”
Well, clearly, it was mine, because I suffered in silence for far too long. My husband knew more than anyone, but even he didn’t know the extent of what I was wrestling with.
He always tells me I work too much, so I knew if I told him how bad I really felt, he would make me rest. But between writing, ministry, and caring for our home and children, there was always so much to do! I didn’t feel right about resting (more than was normal) if nothing was wrong with me.
But something was wrong. Terribly wrong.
Now I’m telling my story so you and your loved ones won’t suffer in silence. You’ll see what’s going on and demand the help you desperately need.
Two years into my journey, I did finally seek out a doctor, but I left his office feeling like a hypochondriac. Another year would pass—and my symptoms would worsen and multiply—before I was finally diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease in 2018.