story really began the day our daughter,
Lori, was in her senior
year of high school not feeling well. Her grandfather was called to
pick her up
during exams. What he saw when he arrived frightened him terribly. Lori
had lost control of her legs, was very weak and could barely walk.
they struggled to get out of the school and into the car ... but found it
The nightmare had begun for all of us.
What we didn't know was that Lori had already been sick for quite a few
years. As a grammar school student, she had been a very energetic child
who loved athletics and was a star basketball player! However, just
after entering high school, her entire personality seemed to change.
She began to constantly visit doctors for various ailments that were
always misdiagnosed. There were sinus problems, ear problems,
headaches, neck aches,
sore throats, strep throats, constant swollen glands, mono, pains in
her knees, nervousness, shaking, anxiety attacks, seizures, blacking
out, extreme tiredness and fatigue, sleeping too much, insomnia,
stomach and chest pains, chills, a low body temperature and a
different things she had previously enjoyed.
There are many things I'm leaving out ... just trying to write this is
upsetting me. The memories that we all try to put in the past are now
right here with me as I tell my daughter's story ... and ours.
Each time Lori saw a doctor she usually was put on an antibiotic
medication. Naturally these medicines eased her symptoms and made her
for awhile ... at least for a few weeks. As the years went by the
frustrated by their own incompetence, began to infer that #1 - Her low
blood pressure was making her pass out! #2 - She was a woman, and
couldn't handle stress! #3 - It was in her head! #4 - (MY FAVORITE) ... She
was acting! These are just a few of the many ridiculous comments that
were made to a very sick person. On a number of occasions, I remember
her crying and pleading
with them to just believe her and to help in some way!! She would tell
them that she couldn't stand it anymore, but none of the doctors
take her seriously. This continued for many years until her medical
folder, filled with all her illnesses and different medications, became
at least two inches thick.
Then one day, while re-visiting one of her doctors, this
all came to an abrupt end ...... or should I say IT ALL BEGAN!!!!!??
Two years ago, one of our more concerned doctors had finally come to
the conclusion that something very serious was wrong with our 25 year
old daughter. She was sent for immediate testing ... we didn't know what
was going on and
were very frightened. Blood tests were sent to an infectious disease
doctor and, after further testing, he finally made the CORRECT
All these years ... all these terrible, suffering years, Lori HAS HAD
DISEASE. In looking over her records, our current doctors have
concluded that she must have gotten bitten and infected with Lyme at
about 13 years old ... and it was never detected. It has, by now,
entered her brain
and every other part of her body.
Our family has seen quite a few doctors for the disease. The doctor
she immediately started to see knew very very little about Lyme. We
specialists in the field, but found the majority of MD's didn't have
an adequate Lyme Disease background. One man I talked to was very proud
to tell me that in Medical school he had taken a "course" in Lyme!
that wonderful! A course!!!! Today I ask doctors what they know of
and many of them confess that they know very little.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH EVERYBODY?????
We went to pain doctors, neurologists, psychologists ... sought
alternative ideas. We tried everything. Her original doctor gave her
Rocephin intravenously for three months which cost Lori her gall
It was about at this time that I began to communicate on the internet
different people concerning Lyme. I wrote constantly of our problems
and one day someone sent me a letter that included a telephone number.
He stated that we should call because he felt sure he'd be able to
help. When my husband, Lou, called the number, the woman on the other
end answered the phone with "Doctor's office". We finally found out
that this man, this wonderful man that I had been communicating with,
was a caring doctor. We checked this doctor out with the Support Groups on LymeNet and they said "you're going to love him". Lori's first visit with the new doctor went well
with him spending more than two hours with our family. He asked Lori to
give him at least a year to get her better ... she was so very ill when
we first met him. He's treated thousands of Lyme cases and is truly one
of the most competent doctors we've come across during our long search
Lori and Russell married in March of '96. She couldn't carry a
traditional flower bouquet because she didn't want the intravenous line
in her arm to show. So, especially for pictures, she ordered fresh
flowers which she placed over that arm. We had a wonderful time at the
wedding and Lori looked
beautiful ... but, I was told the next day as they drove to the nearby Pocono's, her mouth was pulling down and getting rigid. Russell and Lori
had originally planned
to go to Jamaica, but she was uncomfortable to leave the security of
being close to her doctor. Looking back, it wasn't long ago at
all ... but it seems like a lifetime since their beautiful wedding day.
So much has happened.
A year and a half ago, besides the other Lyme symptoms, Lori began to
constant seizures. We were making many phone calls to the
emergency number. Thank God he had given it to us because we were so
afraid and needed to hear his comforting voice. The doctors tried many
different medications, mood elevators, etc. Because intense headaches
become a part of our daughter's life, she began to have injections
right into the head at different points. Lori was terrified to stay
of weakness, seizures and horrible panic attacks so Russell would drop
her off at our house early in the morning.
In the midst of all this, we had the usual insurance problems ... "we
pay except for the initial 28 day treatment, because we all know that
Lyme will be cured during that time!" Don't we all wish!!!!!!!
Too bad the
insurance companies couldn't be with us when my husband and I went to
Washington to a Lyme Disease Rally. Many of the victims of Lyme,
including Lori, weren't well enough to go, but we wanted to get an idea
of what was going on. Oh, how sad it was! People held up signs reading
"I've lost my
health, I've lost my job, I've lost my home, and I've lost my family".
than once we saw signs that included ALL the words. Yes, insurance
... you helped them to lose their houses and families. These are poor
sick people ... many of them in wheelchairs ... all of them very pale and
tired looking. But you say ... THEY'RE WELL!!!!!
Today, Lori still suffers from extreme fatigue, has pains and aches,
and panic attacks. She takes vitamins and eats the correct diet
indicated for Lyme Disease. A no sugar/no carbohydrate diet. We also found out
that many of her symptoms were worsened by hypoglycemia. So this diet,
specifically a modified Atkins Diet, seems to be working out well. She
was able to return to her teaching position this year after almost a
two year absence. She'll remain on the
current antibiotic medications because at this time, unfortunately,
it's the ONLY treatment available to ease her Chronic Lyme Disease. I
she can be fully cured of this devastating disease someday.
We beg God to look down on Lori and Russell and help when she is
weakest. As parents we pray that her life will be blessed with less
pain and that they begin experiencing the happiness that a young couple
We hope you'll also say a prayer for our daughter.
Guess what ... Lori and Russell are
going to have
a baby!! She's
seven months right now and everything is going great. The doctor
has her on a small amount of Zithromax and her medication will remain
the same as long as
she continues to feel well. Her due date is 1/31/2000. She's been pretty much
symptom free since May.
We need those prayers more than ever now!!
Our beautiful HEALTHY grandson, Cade
Russell, now almost eight months old ... was born February 3, 2000.
Lori had a wonderful pregnancy & delivery and is still essentially symptom
free. She's a pre-school teacher but would rather stay home with the
Grandma and Grandpa watch him once a week and boy does he wear us out.
Hey, we're getting kind of old. Thank you for your prayers! We're all
Lori remains essentially symptom
free although she does tire easily and occasionally gets Bell's Palsy
like facial pulling when she is over stressed. She has arranged her life
around her limitations by working only 3 hours per day, watching her
diet carefully and getting as much rest as possible (not much rest with
a 21 month boy running around). Cade is simply terrific and we love him
Lori is doing great. Her only
symptoms are related to hypoglycemia (a result of Lyme disease). Lori
and Russell are going to have another
baby!!! Her due date is 5/30/2003 and so far she is doing wonderfully,
just a little tired at times. Cade is now 2 years/9 months and is
really pushing the "terrible two's" to the limit.
Well, it's been a while since my
last update. Lori is doing outstanding ... very few minor symptoms. She teaches full time now. We have a new granddaughter, Jordan Rose. She was born May 29, 2003 and, at 2+ years, she's beautiful but a real "character". Cade, the first baby, who is now 5+, was diagnosed with Autism, but he's high on the spectrum. He's going to get some special schooling and then with all my heart I
believe things will be well for their family.