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Nadine's Story

My name is Nadine Sue Lingo and I am 48 years old. I am a licensed Practical Nurse. I am married and have a 22 year son. I live in southern PA., in between Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Delaware.

Back in May, 1997, I woke up with a stiff neck and a terrible headache. As I am in tune to my body, I knew something was terribly wrong. On the back of my neck was a small light red spot the size of a half dollar. My family doc did not have office hours that day but my chiropractor was in, so I went to see him. He did not know what the red spot was from.

The rash burned, itched, and hurt all at the same time. It kinda felt like a sunburn, but not fully. We left for vacation the next day so I could not see my doctor before we left. On vacation I still had a stiff neck and headaches. The red spot was spreading and it looked like a slight sunburn through a window screen.

It spread down my right side of my back to the right side of my chest. And it looked like it also went up on my scalp. My husband insisted it was a sunburn before it started to spread. When we arrived home the rash was gone. Then the muscle aches began. I had just done a lot of garden work and I thought it was from doing too much, so I thought it was nothing.

Three weeks later I had a "butterfly" like rash on my cheeks, and I did not just feel quite right with my hands feeling stiff when I woke up. So, I finally saw my family doctor. I told him about the rash I had 3 weeks before but he did not seem interested. He thought I could have Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I remember reading about Lyme Disease, but it said the rash was a bull's eye. The rash I had was not, although it spread. I questioned the doctor if it could be Lyme Disease. He ran a test for Rheumatoid Arthritis and with my coaxing a Lyme test. As you can guess, I was negative for the Arthritis and positive for Lyme. The scariest thing about all this is that I NEVER saw a Tick!

He treated me for 3 weeks, because that was what the "book" said. The Lord was with me because in the news paper was an article about a woman who contracted Lyme Disease in a Park a few yards away from my home. I called her and got the name of a Lyme Literate doctor who I now see. I wanted my family doctor to treat me but he said I should be better; but I was not.

It was terrible. I had trouble with numbers and would switch them around. It got so bad that my husband had to take over the check book. I would find myself driving on the wrong road, which was very unlike me, because I had a very good sense of direction. The fatigue was horrible. I was a very active person and worked out.

I could not keep up me exercise routine. It was hard on my husband too because I could not help him with some things like before. I can see why some marriages have broken up because of this disease. I thank God for a loving son who explained to my husband that I was sick, although I did not look it.

The Lyme doc found out that not only did I have Lyme, but also hypothyroidism and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. He told me I was lucky and had "someone" watching over me, because I could have died from the Rocky Mt. Spotted Fever. I was also positive for Babesosis. I have been on antibiotics since and have taken Mepron 4 times.

I still see the Lyme doctor and hope for the day when Lyme disease is completely cured. I consider my self lucky. I read about others who cannot walk or drive a car. I still have some symptoms. Once a month my knuckles on my hands swell although they do not hurt. And some of the vertebrae in the middle of my back swell, I become more tired, and the dexterity in my fingers is not what it should be.

I can say that today I feel 99% myself. That may change though. It seems that when I get really tired out that I need to go on the Mepron. I am afraid to quit the antibiotics because the Lyme may come back stronger. I encourage everyone to be careful out doors. Be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease because you may never see a tick, and still can get Lyme Disease. I did. IT can strike at any age, any place.

Nadine S. Lingo

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