Hello everyone. My name is Tatijana and I’ve had Lyme disease since summer of 2016. Prior to becoming a victim to this disease, I was a hard working easy going dog groomer. I was family oriented and engaged to be married. This disease ruined my life at the age of 24. Still engaged, with the wedding postponed until I can manage something other than the pain and agony this new life has brought me.
My story starts when my health started taking a turn for the worst, experiencing unusual symptoms such as chronic bacterial infections, insomnia, muscle spasms, heart palpitations, and severe fatigue. I had to quit my job in fear of being fired for the constant call ins and inability to maintain my work as a dog groomer. I eventually found a family friendly, close knit grooming salon and was blessed enough to have many customers follow me, while working with a group of woman that we’re so kind and understanding. Although I wasn’t feeling well, my new schedule gave me a chance to perform and maintain my work according to what I was able to handle. This lasted a couple months before I had to throw away my entire career and inform my amazing customers that I won’t be able to groom, let alone work anymore.
It was November 2016 when my fiance brought me into urgent care with some funny symptoms- tightness under left rib, extreme confusion, anxiety, heart palpitations and muscle aches. What I thought would be a short visit, turned into a night in the hospital. It wasn’t until the very last test, the doctor came in and told us it was pneumonia. Pnuemonia? I never had the average symptoms and the doctor looked at me and said “sorry it’s taken so long to diagnose this, but your symptoms are quite unusual and don’t add up to the diagnoses.” Hmm… very strange. So while we waited for my discharge paperwork, my fiance did some research on his phone and came to the conclusion that it may be Lyme disease. The doctor popped in, and my fiance asked about the Lyme, but the doctor laughed and said it’s very uncommon. So we went home with a prescription antibiotic and thought nothing of it.
That weekend I felt like my soul died. My arm felt unusual so I took my sweater off and noticed a dime size perfectly red ring. It was actually quite cool looking but as soon as I noticed it, my skin started burning and my body felt flushed. Tingling all over, the outline on my tattoos became swollen. I went to see my primary for a follow up and sure enough he said I was fine and just recovering from the pnuemonia. He had no idea what the rash could be so I left it alone.
That night was the start of neverending symptoms- shortness of breath, anxiety, panic attacks, pressure in my head and neck, headaches, swollen glands, back and rib pain, joint and muscle pain, nerve pain, light sensitivity, ringing in ears, flu symptoms- fever, chills, aches, exhaustion, chronic dibilitating fatigue, insomnia, sense of disconnect, memory loss, stomach issues, tremors, rashes, menstrual changes, brain fog, severe depression, pressure and pain in collarbone, cold hands and feet, heart palpitations, tingling, numbness, shooting pains, stiff joints, snapping and cracking noises every time I moved, and belly’s palsy.
Since then, I’ve been in ED 9 times, have seen three different specialists and my primary care doctor. My primary care doctor to this day, does not believe I have Lyme- it’s simply all in my head.
I had the Elisa and Western blot test done, but it came back negative. I had an igenex test done and that came back positive for band 42, which is not Lyme specific.
I’ve been seeing a functional medicine doctor that has diagnosed me with lyme disease, Bartonella and babesia all from a clinical diagnoses. I was feeling a bit better prior to starting antibiotics (amoxicillin) and now I am very sick again. I can’t shake the fatigue, brain fog, headaches and pain all over my body. I almost don’t want to finish treatment. But I know I have to push through it so everyday I pray to God he gives me the strength to keep plowing through this disease.
In the mean time, all I do is learn learn learn, research research research until I am completely spent. The more knowledge the better. And when I see an ignorant doctor, I can be my own advocate and educate them on something they are so misinformed on!!