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Jaclyn T's Story

I am a thirty-one year old woman with Lyme disease. I was diagnosed in August of 1993; it seems as if it was alot longer. I, too, went to numerous doctors in the Philadelphia area, and was told that I had a nervous tick. My symptoms in the beginning were flu-like, I just did not know it. At the time I was working full-time and going to school part-time. I thought it was because I was doing so much. I felt tired, but continued to push myself.

Well, on my boyfriend's (now husband's) graduation from college in May, it hit hard. I could barely walk, and my neck and arm were extremely sore. All I wanted to do was sleep. My hand started to shake and eventually progressed into my shoulder and then on the other arm and shoulder. As the weeks went by, undiagnosed, more and more symptoms started.

Finally, in August, a small town doctor told me that I had Lyme disease and started IV antibiotics right away. Slowly the symptoms started to decrease. The shaking of my arm and shoulder took the longest to slow down. For seven years, I have been treated on and off with IV and oral antibiotics. The shaking is usually the first sign of the Lyme reoccurring.

I had a baby in October 1999. The pregnancy went well, but afterwards the symptoms slowly began again. I have been battling with fatigue and shaking since December. I was on oral antibiotics twice; they helped for awhile. Now, my daughter is not sleeping through the night and I am having a hard time getting myself up to par. I will never be 100%, but the days that are ok seem to be less and less.

I have not been working since September. I am a teacher and am worried I will not be able to go back next year to teach. Unfortunately, we need the money, so some how I am going to have to try. Some days I just want to crawl into bed and sleep the days away, but when I look at my daughter I press on.

I have to be strong for her no matter how difficult it may be. I will continue to battle this disease in hope of a cure. If there is not, I will manage somehow to get through each day.

Jaclyn Tartaglia

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