All these years, I assumed I’d sidestepped the worst of it. It’s been 25 years since I first contracted Lyme disease, and I told myself I was one of the lucky ones. But maybe not so much.
Years ago, I was at a trade conference for insurance fraud and a bunch of claims examiners were laughing about how they deny coverage for chronic Lyme. (Assholes.) I mentioned that I’d had it, and was never treated. They got quiet; one of them finally said, “That’s not good. You’re probably going to have problems with your heart later.”
Not me, I thought.
Well, now I’m very short of breath, all the time. Even sitting down. The cardiologist who tested me said my heart was “fine.” I feel like I’m going crazy, that no one understands that I feel like an 85-year-old. “You need to lose weight,” my primary care doctor says. “Yes, I do, but that’s not the problem,” I tell him. “I can hardly walk across the room. This can’t be normal.”
I’ve turned into a hermit, because it’s so exhausting to go anywhere.
I finally talked to someone who’d also had untreated Lyme, and she said, “Oh yeah, that sounds just like me. It’s Lyme carditis. I was so bad, I had to get around on a scooter. You need to get this test.” (It’s $400, and naturally insurance doesn’t cover it.)
If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know how much I hate taking antibiotics. The thought of IV antibiotics sounds like a nightmare. But I’m going to see what I can do to get diagnosed, and possibly feel normal again.