I'm Kristie, a 22 year old female who used to baby sit children outside in the grass two years ago(1997). That summer I noticed a dart-board on my left ankle, thought it was a spider bite and ignored it. I got real sick a few weeks later, but the doctor said it was Mono and that I just had to wait for it to go away. Eventually it did.
Last April (1999) I was living a happy-go-lucky life, studying and getting good grades at Penn State (university park) when a friend of mine, one of my best friends, suggested that I come over to her apartment for a little get-together(there was alcohol there. I really didn't want to go, would rather have been studying, but she insisted because I'd refused the past few parties she'd invited me to.
That was my last semester up there so I figured it might be fun to go. I was planning on drinking a little bit but I ended up drinking more; about 3 drinks and I was pretty buzzed. My friend was with me the whole time and it was just me, and two other girls, and her boyfriend (a close friend's party).
Well it was just about time for me to go home; around 12 midnight and I walked home with another friend who told me that if I needed to throw up, to just do it along the sidewalk. Well I felt fine, and I have never drank enough alcohol to throw up, but for some reason the thought of it sparked a tremendous fear in me. I started to get sweaty, shaky, rapid heart beat and felt nauseated.
By the time I got home, my whole body was convulsing, while I was sitting on my bed. I couldn't control my limbs and I couldn't stop thinking about throwing up. It just wouldn't leave my mind. The next day and for several weeks, I was obsessed with vomiting and afraid to eat. I also had bad memory and concentration problems. My blood pressure was sky high.
I would be fine until it came time to eat something. Then I would eat and have a panic attack that lasted at least an hour every time I ate something. After eating I would have to take a tranquilizer and an antacid or else I couldn't eat anything. Thinking it was just stress, I was hoping that things would get better when I moved home for the summer.
After I moved home, things got worse. The panic attacks got more frequent and I couldn't stop thinking about throwing up. It got to be so bad that I had at most 4 panic attacks a day; eventually the whole day was a giant state of terror. The acid in my stomach was getting too strong (as a result of being afraid) and my stomach started to ache violently.
This fact made me even MORE terrified of throwing up, and the vicious cycle continued until I hadn't eaten anything for about a month. At this point I had anorexia and weighed 84 pounds. At one point in time I broke down and just picked up a Bible, read some Psalms and prayed to God to please touch me. I had a little picture in my mind of Jesus being there touching my shoulder and I cried.
I felt better but the panic attacks still came. Terrified and afraid of dying I went to the hospital ER, where they found out that I was dehydrated and had a high liver count (I was jaundiced)...they thought I had Hepatitis, but I came out negative for A B and C. My stomach was inflamed and almost ulcerated. But no one could explain the jaundice or my weird thoughts and panic.
They sent a psychiatrist in saying that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and that the obsession was throwing up. Willing to try anything to get better I took the Prozac that they suggested. The truth is I didn't need the Prozac and it just made me more insane. Then I couldn't stop worrying about murder and death, and was terrified that I would kill someone, so I quarantined myself in my room for a couple of months.
I couldn't even look at my mom because I was afraid that I might kill her, and I wanted to protect her (because I love her) so I avoided her, and everyone else completely. I was afraid I was a threat to society, so to protect them I stayed quarantined. I hadn't seen the outside world for a couple of months. In the meantime I was reading the Bible daily. I knew that Jesus had a plan for my life and that there was a reason I was going through this.
Jesus was with me the whole time. I couldn't understand why I was so close to Jesus and I was still having bad thoughts. I felt like such a psycho. Then things got worse. I started thinking about throwing up so much that I lost control of my throat muscles. I started gagging whenever I looked at anything until I had dry heaves and a fever from severe dehydration. Back to the ER.
Weak and extremely sick I prayed to God that if he could, through his mercy, please help me not to pass out when they took my blood. They took 6 tubes of blood out of an 84 lb dehydrated girl and I felt fine. The time before that they took 3 and I nearly passed out. He cares even about the little things. That was the time they admitted me that I almost died.
I kept losing weight and felt Christ right above me in the hospital bed. I felt my spirit tugging to try to leave. I wasn't scared of dying just sad about not being able to live in the world anymore. I knew that if I died it would be much better for me. But I wasn't sure what was going to happen so I tried not to think about it.
After they discharged me I had to go back to the psychiatrist because they were taking intense care of me. I had a bland diet so I couldn't gain weight at all -- stayed at 85 for months. At the hospital I had prayed with my mom for good doctors to take care of me. After that prayer, when I went to the psychiatrist who suggested that I get retested for Lyme disease, which I'd had 2 years ago but never got retested for.
I got retested and it came back flaming positive. I had a DNA/RNA locator done and it confirmed the presence of the sphirochete. Now things are making sense. I'm not crazy, it's just bad Lyme disease....Lyme that got to my stomach, liver, joints, mind and central nervous system.
I went to a Lyme center in Hammonton and they have been taking care of me with IV therapy for 8 weeks. I'm almost done. No more panic attacks, no more silly thoughts, no more stomach pain, no more jaundice. My memory could be better... I'm still pretty weak and tired butI'm alive. If it wasn't for the grace of God I wouldn't be alive. If I didn't believe in Him, I might have become hopeless and lonely and let myself go.
The Lyme Disease Quilt Page
Please click on the mailbox to send me your comments
Lyme Quilt main page
Lyme Disease related links
Copyright ©1998-2001 The Lyme Disease Quilt Page