Donna F. from Idaho
Updated: May 3
Do you remember being bitten by a tick? If so, do you recall where?
I spent my childhood skinny-dipping in the crick, four-wheeling, raising farm animals - enjoying the great outdoors. I recall a multitude of bug bites, but I wouldn’t have known a tick bite if it bit me on the nose!
How long did it take you to get a diagnosis?
I first became ill in the fall of 2016 when I was exposed to a water-damaged building. I did a blood test, but the results were negative. I finally received a positive test result and my official diagnosis in May of 2019.
Did you see multiple doctors before you were diagnosed with Lyme? If so, what types?
It was very fortunate that I was already seeing an integrative medicine DO - who also happened to be Lyme-literate - when I first became ill.
Anything else you would like to share about trying to find a diagnosis?
DNA Connexions offers an at-home test kit.
How long have you been treating Lyme for and what treatments have you tried?
I have been treating Lyme for several years with a combination of antibiotics, herbal remedies, and IV therapies. I have adopted an anti-inflammatory, gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-sugar diet, and I use a PEMF machine and infrared sauna on a daily basis.
List up to 5 of your biggest (past or current) symptoms:
Dysautonomia, Morgellons, IBS, neurological symptoms such as neuropathy, and extreme fatigue.
What (if anything) has made the biggest difference for you so far?
Lyme patients require completely different treatment protocols and I am still searching for the right protocol to help eradicate my infections of Borrelia Miyamotoi, Bartonella and Babesia. I will be visiting Lyme Mexico in Puerto Vallarta this year, and I hope that does the trick.
What is the biggest way that Lyme has affected your life?
Lyme is disabling. Every aspect of my life, physical and mental, has been impaired. I am 23 years old and I haven’t been able to live “normally” for several years. I have had to find joy as I miss out and put my life on hold, since I cannot care for myself the way a 20-something-year-old should be able to. I have lost more friends than I can count while grieving the loss of who I once was and what I was once capable of.
What do you wish people knew about Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is not just a bulls’ eye rash and joint pain. Lyme can mimic and develop into severe, chronic conditions if not treated efficiently. Finding a Lyme-literate doctor is the first step - they won’t overlook or downplay the severity of your situation as many traditional medicine doctors (and even your family and friends) will.
Any advice for someone newly diagnosed with Lyme?
If you are struggling to find a diagnosis: Follow your intuition. Keep testing. Take care of your body in the meantime - Lyme is just as vicious without a name.
For those who are newly diagnosed: this journey is going to drag you through the deepest trenches - try not to resist or avoid it. You will truly come to healing when you face the darkness. Step into your tenacity and do not back down.
Be your own advocate and do your own research! Connecting with others that have similar experiences will be very helpful. Take the bull by the horns!
Fun fact time! What is something that you like to do in your free time?
I love to spend time in the great outdoors - fishing, camping, hunting, four-wheeling, and enjoying the fresh, mountain air.
You can find more about Donna’s Lyme journey at her Instagram profile @moldy.me and her personal profile @donnamarva. Donna has also written a separate article, which can be found at this link: https://themighty.com/2020/03/reality-living-with-lyme-disease/