How It All Began

My experience with poor health began in my 16th year. I developed extreme migraines which lasted for days at a time, the doctors said you’ll just have to learn to live with them. So I did. I was a wimp when it came to pain but I learned to live my life in spite of it. Looking back I believe God was preparing me for the intense pain I would face in my twenties.

Through the years my health improved and worsened by turn. I was put on several different diets to no avail. Then at nineteen, I had an episode in which I fainted then came to, but couldn’t respond for about 5 minutes. This happened I think 4 times at approximately 6 month intervals, getting a bit worse each time. My doctors didn’t know what to make of these episodes and one diagnosed me with vertigo and another concluded that I simply fainted easily.

The 1st several weeks of November of 2009 were incredibly busy. I was getting ready to go on a mission trip with my youth group and ignored the steadily worsening headache because I was too busy to sleep it off. After several days it had climbed to a level 7 and after teaching my class of 14, I went to church for council meeting. And there it was at church that I had my first major seizure. Wow! Talk about embarrassing.

The doctors decided the seizure was caused by stress and I began the search for answers. 5 months and 2 seizures later, I was diagnosed with Neurological Lyme Disease by a Doctor in PA and began treatment a month later.

My main symptoms were:

seizures – they would last for hours. Twisting, jerking and pain. I would get so exhausted and have no idea how my body could continue to seize. My seizures followed a peculiar pattern. They always happened at night, I never lost consciousness, and my entire body would twist backward. My wrists, fingers, ankles, knees, and my back would twist backward. If someone tried to straighten me, I would jerk back into the twisted position.

extreme brain fog – I could hardly carry a conversation. I would get very nervous if I had to try to talk to someone. To be in a group of people and try to follow a conversation was very difficult.

dizziness – my balance was really bad. I depended on a cane for over a year.

memory loss – I would be driving and suddenly not know where I was or forget how to get home. I would do something and then 5 minutes later have no idea what I’d done. I would try to sing a song and get halfway through and suddenly the words were gone, I had no idea how to finish the song. I would misplace everything. People say, “Oh that happens to me too.” Not like this. It drives you crazy and you think you’re loosing your mind. Which you are.

Pain – constant pain. The four hours between pain pills seemed like an eternity.

Paralysis – I lost the use of my legs. I was in a wheel chair for several months before I graduated to Bart, my lime green cane.

Fatigue & Insomnia – I would be desperately tired and yet I would lie awake for hours.

Headaches – a pounding, stabbing pain that could literally stop me in my tracks.

2 thoughts on “How It All Began

  1. Andrea – I feel your pain, Literally! I have had all these symptoms since 2003. I was 28 when my symptoms started, married for 5 yrs to my soulmate (still married to him!), with a 3yr old son and 2yr old daughter. Our house was completely torn apart and being redone by my husband and we were living in a trailer and my husband lost his job 2 months into the mess. Not a good time! But GOD is GOOD!! Thru the entire 9 years God has helped guide us and lead us thru this struggle, thru the good, the bad and the ugly! And it does get ugly, but it can get very good! Don’t get discouraged, OUR GOD is amaZing and if u let HIM HE will take care of you and comfort you like no other can or, to be honest, ever will! My favorite Bible verse is 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.” The reasons this verse means so much to me are numerous, but a couple are ….my seizures are non-epileptic seizures so many doctors have said that they are in my head (which of course they are LOL), but that makes you start doubting your sanity. This verse tells u that God gives us a sound mind, that’s HUGE to me! Also, the fact that God hasn’t given us the Spirit of Fear is so awesome to me, cuz I get so afraid sometimes. Afraid that my kids will grow up without me, afraid of the pain coming again, afraid of being alone when the seizures come, etc… But just knowing that God loves me enuf to give ME this verse helps me so much and I really Pray that this will help you too!!!


  2. I was just diagnosed with Lyme in March of 2016. I can certainly identify with all you have shared here. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Reading of others experiences helps me not to feel so alone. Blessings, Valerie


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