Undiagnosed And Suffering With Lyme Disease: I Felt Like I Was Dying

suffering with Lyme

It’s been 5 years since I was bit by tiny ticks which infected me with Lyme bacteria.  Like the hundreds of thousands of people who get Lyme disease each year, it changed my life radically.

For several months, just like Avril Levigne, I felt like I was dying.

I went from being a healthy and active young mom to 4, to being barely able to walk a few yards to my mailbox. Everyday tasks such as taking a shower and getting dressed became incredibly difficult.

And it all happened so fast.

I realized I had taken my good health for granted, something I’ll not do again.

I was soon able to empathize with friends and family who also were dealing with chronic pain and chronic illness.

Because now I was living it too.

The multiple doctors and specialists I went to couldn’t figure out what was causing my rapidly deteriorating symptoms.

Because of this, I was untreated for 18 very long months.

What Is Lyme Disease Anyway?

When Lyme bacteria, or Borrelia Burgdorferi, has free rein over your body for this long without being treated the damage can cause destruction to every organ and system in the body. This includes the heart, brain, neurological and immune systems.

Lyme is called “the great imitator”. This is because the symptoms are like so many other diseases and conditions. These include Multiple Sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, and many others.

I repeatedly asked the doctors if my illness could be due to the tick bites I got at my home after being in the tall grasslands and forest area behind our house. I became extremely sick shortly after discovering the ticks and thought this was something that should definitely be investigated.

My Lyme diagnosis came much later.

“You Can’t Get Lyme Disease In Missouri.”

suffering with Lyme
Lyme disease has been reported in all 50 states.

Unfortunately, I was told, “You can’t get Lyme disease in Missouri.”

At the time, I was naive to believe that doctors are usually right. Of course, like the rest of us, they are only human.

And, out of necessity, I’ve learned how to advocate for myself as a patient.

I started doing my homework.

And asking the right questions.

The teacher in me. And the life-long learner that I am…It didn’t take long to figure out that, in this case, a wait and see approach was not appropriate.

With Lyme disease it never is.

I persisted in my quest for answers. Finally, the proper tests were given that proved they were tragically wrong.

You can indeed get Lyme disease in Missouri. And I had it.

Suffering With Lyme Disease, YouTube & Forgiveness

I did in fact have Lyme and another potentially deadly tick-borne illness, tularemia.

Since then I have met many caring physicians who are indignant when they hear I was given the run around for so long without proper treatment, especially when the doctors knew I was bitten by ticks and my health continued to go downhill so quickly.

At the time, my primary care physician simply told me that I had “tick fever”. (I was never clear about what that is.)

Later, I returned to this doctor because I wasn’t getting better. I was, in fact, getting much worse. He said I looked stressed (perhaps from the constant pain and insomnia?).

Then he suggested I watch a youtube video about the benefits of walking.

In my naivety, and my strong desire to do everything possible to get healthy, I did as he instructed. Unfortunately, I was unable to walk further than my driveway due to severe air hunger, heart palpitations and extreme weakness and fatigue….all symptoms of Lyme disease!

I don’t believe these doctors meant to harm me even though going so long without a diagnosis did just that. I believe they wanted to help me and were doing the best they knew how with the knowledge and tools they had.

Although I’ve had to work through some difficult and strong feelings like people sometimes do in life, I have no ill will towards them. (For more on this, please feel free to check out The Shocking Truth About Forgiveness And Your Health.)

I do, however, hope that these doctors (and all medical professionals) make concerted efforts to learn more and keep up on the latest about Lyme disease so others don’t have to suffer needlessly too.

If this happened to me it could happen to you or to your loved ones. And I would never wish this horrible disease on anyone! That’s why it’s important to me to share with you to help prevent other people from going through what I, and thousands of others, have.

Finding A New Normal After Lyme Disease

suffering with Lyme
Making healthy choices, managing stressors and listening to your body can help you deal with chronic illness.

Although life is very different for me now, I’m finding a new normal and constantly working to learn more and become as healthy as possible.

I’m thankful for a supportive family and friends.

In some ways life is actually better because I’ve learned to slow down and bask in the moment. Whereas before I was always multitasking, running from one event to the next.

I’m learning to live in the moment. 🙂

Although I lived a pretty healthy life before, I’m much more conscious of making healthy choices now.

I’m more in touch with my body now. I (usually) don’t push past my limits like I used to. (Bad habits are hard to break.)

I also try to better deal with stress in my life instead of ignoring it.

Healing has been a gradual process. But I’m thankful for every gain and positive change that has occurred.

I’m not well, but I’m stronger than I was a year ago. And  that’s definitely a positive in my book!

The Takeaway

Suffering with Lyme disease, then finally getting a diagnosis has been a prolonged and painful process. But God has brought me through and strengthened me through the suffering and trials, and He can do the same for you.

If you have a chronic illness, don’t give up!


Do you have a chronic illness? Can you relate? What tips can you share to help others? 

Please share your comments and questions below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


 You might like to read the following for help and encouragement if you or someone you love has a chronic illness:

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The Signs, Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease

signs symptoms and stages of Lyme disease
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Lyme disease continues to be a hot topic in the news, likely because it is increasing at an alarming rate due to climate changes and other factors.

Between 2004 and 2009 reported cases of Lyme disease rose 94%.

And the number of cases continue to rise today.

Fortunately, people are starting to take notice of this disturbing trend.

But, if Lyme disease continues to spread, often unrecognized and untreated, it won’t take long before everyone either knows someone who has it, or they have it themself.

Lyme is now much more common than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and other vector-borne illnesses.

Knowing what to look out for is crucial.

I’ve been living with late-stage chronic Lyme for the past 5 years. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this horrible illness and believe prevention is essential.

I’m going to share the signs, symptoms, and stages of Lyme disease below so you know what to watch for. I truly hope this will help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

signs, symptoms and stages of Lyme diseaseSigns Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease

1. Early Localized Lyme Disease (1 to 4 weeks)

This stage can develop from days to weeks after becoming infected.

Symptoms may include:

  • Rashes – Less that 50% of Lyme patients remember developing a rash. Sometimes the rash looks like a bulls-eye. This is referred to as erythema migrans (EM). It is a myth that you must  have this rash to have Lyme disease (1). I did not ever see a bull-eye rash, but have developed a number of unusual red and splotchy rashes since the tick bites (for more on rashes, keep reading below).
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills, fatigue, headache, pain or stiffness in the neck and swollen lymph nodes (2).
  • Nausea, dizziness and vomiting

Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme Disease Infection (1 to 4 months)

This stage develops when the disease is not found and/or treated properly soon after infection. At this point the infection can begin to affect the joints, heart, nervous system and skin.

Symptoms may include:

  • More rashes that start to appear in different parts of the body due to the infection spreading
  • Paralysis of the facial muscles, or Bell’s Palsy
  • Fainting
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Painful, swollen joints, such as the knees
  • Heart palpitations or Lyme carditis
  • Conjunctivitis, or pink eye
  • Meningitis – swelling of the brain

Stage 3: Late Persistent Lyme Disease, Or Chronic Lyme

Failure to treat Lyme promptly can cause damage to the brain, joints and nervous system. This is the most serious stage.

Symptoms may include:

  • Extreme exhaustion which is not relieved by sleeping or resting
  • Inability to control facial muscles
  • Heart problems, such as pericarditis
  • Tingling and numbness of the hands and feet
  • Arthritis, often in the larger joints, such as the knees
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Confusionsigns symptoms and stages of Lyme disease
  • Difficulty thinking or reasoning
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Getting lost, even in familiar areas
  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Tremor
  • Sensitivity to sound, light and smells
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Mood swings, depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Migrating joint and muscle pain
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Vision difficulties
  • Weight gain or loss
  • “Air hunger”
  • Pain in the chest or ribs
  • “Heart block”
  • Neck pain, stiffness and cracking
  • Night sweats
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart murmur or valve prolapse
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Menstrual irregularity

The Takeaway

This list of signs, symptoms and stages of Lyme disease is not exhaustive. I’ve talked to a lot of people with Lyme and many of our symptoms are similar, but others are different.

My friend, if you are struggling with an illness and the doctors have been unable to help you, you may want to consider this list to help you rule out (or in) Lyme disease, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or live in a tick-infested area.

And of course, if you know you’ve been bit by a tick, mosquito, etc and aren’t feeling well, please get yourself checked out immediately.

Here is a list of doctors who specialize in treating Lyme patients. I would highly recommend starting here.


Do you have any of these symptoms? Or do you have an unexplained illness and can’t seem to get answers?

Please share your comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


For more on Lyme disease, you may want to check out:

Connect With Me Below:

Pinterest — /LoriGeurin
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Twitter — @LoriGeurin
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Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.

Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.


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16 Vital Facts About Lyme Disease: A National Epidemic

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People are talking more about Lyme disease lately. And with good reason.

A bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi causes Lyme. The bacterium is a spiral-shaped spirochete. Try saying that 5 times fast.

But joking aside, Lyme disease is no joking matter. In fact, it’s a serious topic for any of the millions who have it or have had it.

It is a world-wide disease and it has been reported in all 50 states.

So, here are 10 essential facts about Lyme disease–what you need to know:

Facts About Lyme Disease

  1. Lyme disease is a national epidemic. Over 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year according to the CDC. This is 10 times more than previously reported. Furthermore, Lyme is under-diagnosed and under-reported.
  2. It is called “The Great Imitator”. This is because it can mimic other conditions such as arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, Bells Palsy, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, MS, ADD, Lupus and others.
  3. Less than 50% of Lyme disease patients recall a tick bite. The ticks are often the size of a poppy seed and go undetected. (1)
  4. Less than 50% of Lyme disease patients recall a rash. Despite what you may have heard, many people never get a bulls-eye rash. Some may experience other types of rashes, but many don’t recall a rash at all. (2)
  5. Lyme disease affects 6 times more people in the U.S. than HIV/AIDS, yet it receives less than 1% of the funding. And Lyme is nearly twice as common as breast cancer. Yet insurance doesn’t cover long-term treatment for chronically ill Lyme patients. So they have to pay out-of-pocket for expensive treatments. As a result, many cannot work anymore and have lost their homes simply trying to pay for proper medical care. Something is very wrong with this picture.

    facts about Lyme disease
    Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed.
  6. According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the U.S. Vectors include ticks, mosquitoes, flies, parasites, sandflies, fleas and freshwater snails.
  7. Anyone can get Lyme disease. But children and those with lower immune function are the among the most susceptible. People exposed to mold, parasites and systemic infection are also vulnerable.
  8. There are 5 subspecies of Borrelia Burgdorferi (the Lyme spirochete), over 100 strains in the U.S., and 300 strains worldwide. (3) And the really crazy thing is that these spirochetes are adapting to the environment. They can actually change forms to evade antibiotics. The different forms include cyst form, cell-wall-deficient form and spirochete form.
  9. The number of cases of Lyme reported annually has increased nearly 25-fold since national surveillance started in 1982. (4) And that doesn’t even include all the unreported cases.
  10. Lyme disease is transmitted by a tick bite. Ticks are everywhere. They know no borders. So if you are sick and have Lyme disease symptoms please go to a Lyme-literate doctor. Here is a link to help you find a doctor who specializes in treating patients with Lyme disease. Also, spirochetes were found in mosquitoes and horse flies, according to Willie Burgdorfer, the man who discovered Lyme disease. However, they don’t yet know the rate of transmission. (5)
  11.  The most commonly given test for Lyme is the ELISA test. But, it is unreliable and misses 35% of culture-proven Lyme disease. (6) Currently, the most sensitive test is the IgG and ImG Western Blot tests, available through IGeneX Lab in Palo Alto. www.igenex.com.
  12. People who often spend time outdoors are more likely to get Lyme. If you spend time working outside in the grass or woods apply a natural tick-repellent before going out. And make sure to be extra vigilant to check for ticks when you come inside. Also it’s best to remove your clothes as soon as you come in and wash and dry them. Finally, check thoroughly for ticks before taking a shower. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s so much better than the alternative.
  13. Test for other tick-borne illnesses too. Examples of these co-infections include: Babesia, Tularemia, Anaplasma, Bartonella, Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever and Ehrlichia. If any of these or others are present and left untreated it reduces the chances of successful Lyme disease treatment. (7)
  14. No studies show 30 days of antibiotic treatment cure chronic Lyme disease. According to ilads.org, “Short treatment courses have resulted in upwards of a 40% relapse rate, especially if treatment is delayed.” (8)
  15. When first getting bit, common symptoms include: flu-like symptoms, headaches, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, muscle pain, vision problems, nausea, loss of appetite, swollen glands, rashes, neck stiffness and pain, trouble sleeping, chills, sweats. You may want to read The Signs, Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease for more details.   
  16. Lyme can cause long-term complications when it’s untreated. And, unfortunately, the average Lyme disease patient sees 5 different doctors over the course of about 2 years before being diagnosed. This was my experience too. By this time, the disease has done tremendous damage to the body and patients often end up having long-term health problems. (9)  At this point it is called Chronic Lyme Disease, or sometimes called Late Persistent Lyme Disease. Symptoms include:
  • Extreme exhaustion not relieved by sleeping or resting
  • Inability to control facial muscles
  • Heart problems, such as pericarditis
  • Tingling and numbness of the hands and feet
  • Arthritis, often in the larger joints, such as the knees
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Confusion
    facts about Lyme disease
    Failure to treat Lyme promptly can cause damage to the brain, joints and nervous system. This is the most serious stage, Chronic Lyme Disease, or Late Persistent Lyme Disease
  • Difficulty thinking or reasoning
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Tremor
  • Sensitivity to sound, light and smells
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Mood swings, depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Migrating joint and muscle pain
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Vision difficulties
  • Weight gain or loss
  • “Air hunger”
  • Pain in the chest or ribs
  • “Heart block”
  • Neck pain, stiffness and cracking
  • Night sweats
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart murmur or valve prolapse
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Menstrual irregularity

The Takeaway

In summary, Lyme disease is a serious, debilitating disease. And it’s essential to know the facts. Most of all, I hope this has helped you learn more about Lyme disease so you can protect yourself and your family.


Do you know anyone with Lyme disease? Please share your thoughts and experiences below. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as quickly as possible.


Also, for more about Lyme disease you may want to check out:

Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.

Connect With Me Below:

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Twitter — @LoriGeurin
Instagram — @LoriGeurin
Bloglovin — lorigeurin
Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. And you can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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Chronic Illness: What’s A Spoonie Anyway?

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What’s a spoonie? If you have a chronic illness or know someone who does then you may have heard this term before.

But if you’re like me, before my illness, I had no knowledge of the term.

So, What’s A Spoonie?

A spoonie refers to anyone who has a chronic illness.

This can include:

  • lupus, like Selena Gomez
  • Lyme disease
  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • stroke
  • fibromyalgia
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome, like Venus Williams
  • HIV
  • epilepsy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parki nson’s disease, like Michael J. Fox
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic migraine
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

There are others too, but this covers some of the most well-known chronic illnesses.

The Spoon Theory

Christine Miserandino developed The Spoon Theory to help explain to her friend what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, in her case lupus. Even though her friend had been beside her throughout her illness, she struggled to understand what it was really like.

To explain the theory to her friend, Christine handed her a bunch of spoons and said, “Here you go, you have Lupus”.

Next, she “explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted. ”

She then asked her friend to count how many spoons she had. Christine explained for each activity, or daily task, her friend did (such as washing her hair, shaving her legs, getting dressed, typing on a computer, and standing on a train) she would have to give up a spoon.

She told her friend that if she didn’t choose her spoons wisely she would be out of spoons before the day had barely started.

At the end of the hypothetical day her friend only had one spoon left, and was starving. If she cooked dinner, that would cost her the final spoon. But then she wouldn’t have any left to wash the dishes. On the other hand, if she went out for dinner, she might lack the energy to drive herself home.

Although my battle with Lyme disease is going on close to 4 years now, I had wondered until recently what a Spoonie was, that is until I came across The Spoon Theory. I shared it with my sweet Mom and she thought it was a great way to explain what I’ve been through and what others go through every day.

what's a spoonieNo Sob Stories Here

So, my purpose is not to tell a sob story about myself or anyone else. 😉

My intention is to share this insightful concept, The Spoon Theory, with you so it might help you and the ones you love.

If you have a chronic illness you may want to consider sharing the theory with loved ones to help them better understand what your daily life is truly like. As much as they love you and care about what you’re going through, chances are they don’t fully get it, because it’s truly hard to understand if you haven’t lived it yourself.

I didn’t have a clue what chronic illness was all about until I had became ill with Lyme disease and 4 other chronic illnesses (Sjogren’s, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, fibromyalgia and chronic migraine).

It wasn’t that I didn’t care about people going through health crises, because I did. But I see it very differently now and I’m thankful for the Spoon Theory to help others better understand what it’s like.

It’s so not fun having to cancel plans with family and friends at the last-minute because you’re “all out of spoons” but now I’m thankful to have The Spoon Theory in my back pocket to help when I need it most!


Do you have a chronic illness or know someone who does?

Do you think you might use the Spoon Theory to help your loved ones better understand what you’re going through?

Please share in the comment section below. I’d love to know what you think about this!


Connect With Me Below:

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Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. And you can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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