Originally published May 28, 2021
In an instant, one tick bite changed my life forever. I was around 7 years old and didn’t even know what a tick was, let alone what it would lead to. The life I knew as a very active and healthy child began to decline. From around the time of that first bite (which I had quickly forgotten about) all I really knew was something was different about me and I never felt well. I hid behind a smile while I was in physical, mental and emotional pain.
That first tick bite led to many diagnoses and too many medications to count. I was in and out of doctors offices and hospitals being told my case was too complicated for several years. I am now 39 and have seen 100s of doctors and have been to many treatment centers trying tirelessly to recover from the numerous conditions I was told I had. I became very lonely, isolated and even questioned if fighting this extreme pain was worth it. I am very determined and decided I would not give up. Somehow I would have to find out what the root cause of more than 70 symptoms and several illnesses was. I figured I hadn’t been through so much pain for nothing. I knew my purpose was to one day help motivate others through their struggles. About 5 years ago, I was bitten by another tick and had the rash that proved beyond doubt that I had Lyme Disease. Several doctors still refused to do the lab work, yet I wasn’t done. I love to research and did so for months until I was able to get the test that proved I not only had Lyme disease but that it was now chronic and was affecting everything from my head to my toes. I also was diagnosed with many co-infections. Not one drop of my blood was Lyme free. The first time I was tested it was a very clear diagnosis but many doctors continued to say I didn’t have it. I knew I had to fight harder than ever as my symptoms became so intense I could barely walk. My brain was deteriorating and I had to act quickly. After much research I came across a Clinic in Florida that I truly believed could help me. As soon as I could, I got on a plane with my service dog Cooper and arrived in Florida a day before I met the Doctor who immediately knew upon extensive testing exactly what was causing every single symptom on my list. Yes, it may have taken almost 30 years to find the treatments I needed, but I did! If felt good to know with the support of some wonderful people along the way, I never gave up. I loved Cooper, my family and those who put hours into helping me, too much to stop fighting. I was very blessed to be able to get to Florida three different times for months each time to receive the IVs and other treatments I desperately needed. Every symptom was improving but because Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment is not covered by insurance I could no longer afford the treatments I needed. I do believe these treatments saved my life. After learning that there is no cure for Chronic Lyme Disease I now know major flare will continue to happen. I do not want anyone else to suffer from this horrible disease. Please educate yourself about Lyme Disease, Prevention and how to get treated right away. Not only are human lives affected, but dogs lives are too. If you have even a slight feeling you make have been infected please get checked by a Lyme Literate Doctor as soon as possible. If your dog may have come in contact with a tick please get to a veterinarian right away. Lyme Disease has been reported everywhere in the World except Antarctica. You don’t have to live in certain areas to be infected and you may never see the tick that bit you or your dog. This disease can not only take over your life but it can take your life completely.
Please remember that Health is Wealth. Never take one day for granted, especially a safe and healthy one. I want to thank Cooper for being by my side through this. He knows I’m sick and lays with me for hours at a time, making sure I know I am never fighting this disease alone. He keeps me going even on the hardest days. He is my main reason to fight for my life.
💚🙏 Jen (Cooper’s mom) @kingcooper40
Advice from some of our community members...
@barleytheshihtzu I think the best way to check for ticks is with your hand all over the fur especially the head near the eyes!!! Ticks can be pulled out simply by the pet owner by pulling firmly but very slowly!
@nacho.and.kiki We check our dogs daily for ticks. We also check ourselves. If we find one, we use tweezers and pull them straight out!
@baileeandbingo Be sure to get tick preventative.items! It's so serious!
@snowybijou I just wanted to say how difficult a disease it is to diagnose and if one is thinking they may have it to be persistent to get it diagnosed and treated.
@littledelilahboston Take lyme very seriously check your self every time you are outside people can be left with devastating side effects for life.
Please read @lola_imperial_shiztzu story on our Instagram featured today 5/28/21 She shares a very important story of her own!
@franmad813 I just want everyone and their Furbabies to be Aware and Careful..Ticks are so small..some are never detected..Check your Furbabies every time they come inside.. Wear your pants with your socks over the bottom part of your pants..VERY IMPORTANT.. WHITE SOCKS!!!!! PLEASE STAY SAFE🙏
Thank you everyone!
Lisa @simplepetlove on Instagram