Our story begins a couple of weeks after we had got back from our summer holidays in the Canadian Rockies. My wife, Sheila, said she felt slightly unwell and started to get headaches. At the same time she started having hot flushes but thought these were because she was “just another woman of a certain age”.
Throughout nearly thirty years of marriage Sheila has always remained calm under fire. She is one of the most level headed people I have ever met whatever kind of crisis might appear on the horizon she has always taken it in her stride. She has also enjoyed robust good health.
So it was more than a surprise when Sheila came home from work one night with raging eyes and what seemed to be a high fever. She went to bed shivering but her skin was cold to touch. Her words to me were “I’m scared”. Quite what she was scared of was not apparent but I spent the rest of the evening in bed with her comforting her in my arms.
The next day she went to her doctor who suggested that from her symptoms she seemed to be suffering from anxiety and had experienced a panic attack. She was signed off sick from work for three weeks. At this time she suffered a marked loss of appetite and severe headaches. On several occasions her heart beat so quickly it felt as if it were about to leap out of her body.
After a few more weeks Sheila found it impossible to go work. Some days were better than others. She had facial pains in her left cheek and her left elbow became swollen with a lump. Then the pains started to spread to her right side.
In addition a series of strange rashes appeared and then disappeared on her back.
During the next few months she was seen by several hospital specialists who diagnosed everything from a trapped nerve in her arm to thyroid problems. She also had a brain scan.
Several doctors suggested the problems were all in her mind and were merely symptoms of the menopause.
Then by chance I came across an article on the internet about Lyme’s disease. I remembered she had been badly bitten on her ankle while in the Rockies. I dug out a photograph of our holiday and when digitally enhanced it revealed the classic bull’s eye appearance of the swelling which is characteristic of Lyme’s disease.
Luckily we had an excellent GP who had known Sheila for many years. When told about the bite he trusted us and prescribed some simple antibiotics. Within a fortnight Sheila made what can only be described as a miraculous recovery. Today she is almost back to her normal self. What might have happened had she not been prescribed the antibiotics does not bear thinking about.
As a footnote subsequent blood tests for traces of Lyme’s Disease proved negative.
Current Location: Brighton UK
Infected in: Canadian Rocky Mountains