The first installment of my multiple part story about Lyme disease begins in July 2014…
It was July 2014, a week after the July 4 holiday. It was a beautiful summer afternoon and I decided to walk a few blocks from my home office to the Fed-Ex store to drop off a package of documents I was sending to a client. The parking lot there was always crowded and stressful but it was close enough and I love walking, so I usually walked there.
Right when I walked in the door I started feeling dizzy and nauseous. The air inside was cool, yet I broke out into a cold clammy sweat standing in line. I started getting nauseous and queasy and my knees felt weak. I finally got to the front of the line, handed my package to the cashier and staggered home with my stomach in knots.
Within an hour of the first symptoms my fever went up to 102-103 and it did not break for five days. The whole five days I had this “summer flu”, I had horrible fatigue and an awful throbbing headache. I had the most awful aching pains in my upper and lower leg bones, it felt like my bones were being crushed by a steamroller! I could not get comfortable, nothing helped. It was miserable.
During the five days that I was sick, I could not eat or keep any food down. I felt so awful and was delirious with the fever. All I could do was lay in bed or on the couch crying from the severe pain in my legs. I thought maybe I had a tropical flu, because my leg pain sounded like descriptions I found online of Dengue Fever. On the sixth day, my fever broke and my leg pain and digestive issues subsided, though I was still very weak.
It took another week to fully recover and resume my schedule. After this strange illness passed, over the following 2 years I started to experience severe fatigue which became worse with time.
Had I googled “Summer flu” I may have seen some links suggesting a summer flu may be more suspect. A summer flu may actually be lyme disease. The flu doesn’t go around in summer like it does in winter months. I didn’t know anything about Lyme disease back then though!
I was about 51 years old when I had this strange flu, and although I had experienced chronic fatigue 15 years ago, recently I had been in very good health. Besides having a low thyroid which I have managed with bio-identical hormones, diet and exercise for the past two decades, I was productive and successful in my work, and felt like nothing could keep me from reaching my goals.
I was happy, healthy and in great shape. I loved to exercise and do yoga. For the past 15 years, I hiked five miles or more almost every day. I eat an extremely healthy diet too.
After a week, I thought I had recovered from the strange mystery flu. I never gave this flu a second thought until three years later in 2017 when I became extremely ill with unmistakable symptoms of Lyme disease.
Little did I know that I’d be in so much pain that my world would be turned completely upside down, and I would never be the same again.