Chronic Lyme Disease
~ Our Daughter's Pain ~
Our family's 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.
Together they struggled
to get out of the school and into the car...but found it nearly
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
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, nausea,
stomach and chest pains, chills, a low body temperature and a
disinterest in 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
"feel better" for
awhile....at least for a few weeks.
As the years went by the doctors,
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 seemed to take her seriously. This
continued for many years until
her medical folder, filled with all her illnesses and different
medications, became at least east 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 years old
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 diagnosis.
All these years....all these terrible, suffering years, Lori HAS HAD
LYME DISEASE. In looking over her records, our current doctors have
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
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 looked
for specialists in the
field, but found the majority of MDs'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! Well, wasn't that wonderful! A course!!!!
Today I ask doctors what they know of Lyme, and many of them confess
that they know
WHAT IS WRONG WITH
We went to pain doctors, neurologists, psychologists...sought
alternative ideas. We tried everything. Her original doctor gave her the
intravenousy for three months which cost Lori her gall bladder.
It was about at this time that I began to communicate on the internet
with 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.
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
communicating with, was a caring doctor. 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 compitent
doctor we've come across during our long search for help.
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 closeby Poconos, 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
have constant seizures. We were constantly making phone calls to the
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
elevators, etc. Because intense headaches had become a part of our
daughter's life, she began to have injections right into the head at
terrified to stay alone because 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
won't 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".
More than once we saw signs that
included ALL the words. Yes,
insurance companies ....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,
headaches, and panic attacks. She takes vitamins and eats the correct
diet indicated for Lyme
Disease. A no sugar/no carb diet. We also found out that many of her
symptoms were worsened by hypoglycemia. So this diet, specifically the
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
because at this time, unfortunately, it's the ONLY treatment available
to ease her Chronic Lyme Disease. I hope she can be fully cured of this
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 should.
We hope you'll also say a
prayer for our daughter.
UPDATE November 18, 1999
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. At this point she is symptom-ree! We need those prayers more
than ever now!!
UPDATE April 24, 2000
Our beautiful HEALTHY grandson, Cade Russell, was born February 3. Lori
had a wonderful pregnancy & delivery and is still symptom
free. Thank you for all your prayers! We're all so happy!
Thank you...Angela & Lou Bachmann,
(Grandma & Grandpa)
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