I was 4 (1988) when I was diagnosed with Lyme. I was the second person in our area diagnosed at that time. The 1st was a game ranger who's diagnosis, unfortunately, came from his autopsy report.
I never had the bullseye rash. BUT my cousin from TX who visited us that summer did. She had a negative Lyme titer which turned out to be STARI(southern tick associated rash illness). There's another one for ya.
I don't remember much but I remember taking meds everyday, several times a day, for a very long time. I remember pain and lots of it, needles and bloodwork, doctors, nurses and people around me, questions, big words, things I didn't understand. OSU medical came and studied our family, our land, killed and beheaded our dogs and cats to further study the effects the disease had of them. They interviewed our neighbors and my mother repeatedly.
I don't know what long-term effects its had on me because I was a small child then and I'm an adult now. I do know what strange things I've have to deal with as I've grown older, though. I have rheumatoid arthritis, chronic sinus infections(every 3-6months for 3weeks at a times, numbness and tingling in my hands(thumbs mostly), spooned toenails, occasional joint swelling( ankles and knees), double jointedness in my left shoulder and elbow (constantly popping out of place), weird twitching/spasms in random muscles, eyes water a lot especially at night which causes blurred vision, slight deafness in both ears, wounds don't heal as quickly as most people (3wks to 2months for a mosquito bite to heal), anemic, bruise very easily, and LOTS of staph infections. I'm sure there's more but I don't really notice the weirdness anymore, I've just learned to deal with it all because I thought the was the "normal me". I've dealt with this stuff for my whole life.
So with all this, my husband was diagnosed with RMSF 2wks ago, along with SEVERE strep infection, water intox, and peptic ulcers. He had symptoms for awhile but no one could diagnose him til now.(3ER visits and 2 doctors later) he's on doxy and a few other meds for his stomach.
I am researching both diseases. They are closely related but vastly different. It seems Caucasian males and females are more susceptible than other races. As with any other disease not everyone has the same symptoms or have all the "textbook" symptoms. Not everyone has the same outcome or long term effects. Everyone is different.
In conclusion, the research I've done and the interviews I've had with victims of these diseases (survivors and families of the victims), the information I've collected is this: disability in our area is a NO-GO because these diseases have "good days&bad" its not a consistent BAD so there's no need for a disability check when you still have enough good days to motivate. BS!!! It is an auto-immuno disease causing your body attack itself. It destorys the connective tissue and joints. Nothing you can do but live with it.
I don't understand how 1 little critter can do so much harm to one body.
Has anyone out there been diagnosed with either of these tick-borne illnesses? Does anyone has any concerns or comments to add about their own personal horror stories? Or the long-term effects of these diseases?
I would like to hear your stories.