Kimberly S. from Ohio
How long do you believe you have had Lyme/tick-borne illness?
I have had Lyme since the summer of 2012, so almost 5 years.
How long did it take you to get a diagnosis?
I wasn’t diagnosed until November of 2015, so it took over 3 years.
Did you see multiple doctors before you were diagnosed with Lyme? If so, what types?
Yes! I saw neurologists, ophthalmologists, autoimmune specialists, allergists, cardiologists, ENTs, pediatricians, and basically any other kind of doctor you could name.
Were you diagnosed with anything else before Lyme? If so, what?
I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri, Vocal Cord Dysfunction, asthma, and chronic fatigue.
Anything else you would like to share about trying to find a diagnosis:
It was honestly the most frustrating process of my life. I began to lose faith in doctors, and I haven’t completely regained that faith.
How long have you been treating Lyme for?
About 1.5 years.
Do you have any coinfections? If so, which ones?
I have Bartonella and Mycoplasma.
What types of treatments have you tried?
I was on antibiotics for over a year (Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Zithromax, etc). With the antibiotics, I was on a ton of herbals and supplements such as a probiotic, vitamins A, B, & D, grapefruit seed extract, cat’s claw, and many more. I am now trying Cowden’s Protocol.
List up to 5 of your biggest (past or current) symptoms:
Fatigue, headaches/migraines, brain fog, joint/muscle aches, and nausea.
What is the biggest way that Lyme has affected your life?
Lyme has affected my life in many, many ways. Every day is a struggle for me. Because of Lyme, I was forced to quit competitive figure skating, which was the thing I loved most in the world. I have to put so much more effort into schoolwork now, and the simplest things tire me out. I have to cancel plans with friends constantly, and I often feel alone and misunderstood.
What do you wish people knew about Lyme Disease (could be referencing doctors, the government, the public, your family/friends…)?
I wish the government would acknowledge Lyme and do more to raise awareness. I wish that the people around me were more aware of my constant battle. Some of my friends know I have Lyme, but they never even ask me how I’m doing anymore. It’s like they can’t wrap their heads around a chronic illness—for them, they’re sick for a couple days and then get better. Most of all, I wish that everyone would come together and work until Lyme has a cure!
Any advice for someone newly diagnosed with Lyme?
Stay strong. If you have a diagnosis, that’s half the battle. Remember that even though the world may think you’re crazy, you’re not. Your struggle is very real. You may feel alone, but if you search you can find other wonderful and inspiring people dealing with the same thing as you. Always keep fighting—every day you wear a smile, you’re beating Lyme.
Fun fact time! What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not attending to your Lyme?
I love reading, writing, and listening to music.
To find out more about Kimberly's journey:
Her personal Instagram is @kimmy.grace16 and her Lyme Instagram is @lyme_4_life.
She also made a Youtube video to share her Lyme story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9AhkwqqGSE&t=3s