Frequently Asked Questions
1. When did you get bitten?
Lyme Disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, bacteria that is transmitted from ticks and sometimes even mosquitoes. It is said that when you are bitten by a tick, your skin develops a rash. I personally never have seen a tick on my skin and never remember a random rash, so I have no idea how or when I was infected. Believe it or not, less than half of Lyme patients remember a tick bite.
2. You don't live on the east coast, how did you get infected?
Ticks that carry Lyme bacteria are now in half of all U.S. counties. They are carried by deer, house mice and many common critters like squirrels, birds and chipmunks. This means that Lyme is more common than ever. Interesting fact: Lyme Disease is actually the fastest-growing vector-borne disease in the United States. You probably know someone who has Lyme, whether they know it or not.
2. What's a "Herx?"
A Herx is short for Herxheimer Reaction. This is a detoxification reaction in the body, as the bacteria is killed off. Borrelia, AKA Lyme bacteria, needs to be killed so you can heal from Lyme. But as bacteria dies, it exits the body through passing bowel movements and urination. A Herx is a direct reflection of the size and strength of the bacteria colonies being killed off. So the worse you feel, the more bacteria is dying off. Which is a good thing, but you have to get worse to get better. From my experience, I've gotten fever, chills, nausea, joint pain (arthritis), muscle pain (fibromyalgia), headache, fatigue, confusion, anxiety and depression. So a Herx essentially makes all of your underlying symptoms temporarily worse. They can last for a couple days or months, depending on the person. Everyone has different levels of bacteria and so everyone heals differently.
3. Can someone with Lyme Disease have kids?
4. Is there a timeline for getting better?
This isn't what anyone wants to hear, but every patient is different. Some patients get better in three months and some take several years. It all depends on your body and your treatment plan, which can include a healthy diet, exercise, stress management, mental health care, herbal remedies and prescription medicine, if needed. I have been treated for about a year and can feel myself slowly getting better. Like a roller coaster, there are ups and downs, but thankfully the trend is gradually going upwards.
5. Is Lyme just caused by Borrelia?
Not necessarily; many patients including myself have co-infections that hamper your immunity and allow Lyme to thrive.
If you have another question not listed, feel free to submit it in my contact page. I will do my best to help you out!