Eight months later, the test result was positive Lyme diseaseBut my doctor told me it was probably a false positive. At the time, there wasn’t a lot of information and knowledge about Lyme – especially since I lived in Southern California.
For the next four years, I continued to go to the doctors, looking for answers, because my strange symptoms didn’t end there. I started having Bell’s palsy (a condition that causes muscle weakness on one side of the face), nerve pain, chronic cough and sore throat, brain fog, and memory loss. Looking back, I had many of the classic symptoms of Lyme, but I didn’t realize it at the time.
I am also starting to get heart problems, specifically fascicle branch block, which messes with the heart’s electrical signals and makes it difficult to beat properly. Moreover, I had retinal damage in my eyes. I was going through all of this while raising a newborn baby.
My symptoms weren’t ignored by the doctors, but I had a wide range of tests — an MRI, a CT scan, several positive Lyme tests. Within that time, I was told I was probably lupus, problems with the adrenal glands, and I even needed back surgery. But I knew instinctively that none of these conclusions accurately determined what I was experiencing. I kept going between different doctors, doing my own research.
At the time, you really couldn’t find a Lyme doctor in California. Eventually, I reached out to a specialist in Boston, and faxed all of my medical records to him. He told me I needed to seek care immediately, especially since the illness was affecting my heart, so he called a doctor in Los Angeles who could help. This doctor diagnosed me definitively Lyme disease.