I fired a doctor who said I was depressed. I found another doctor who wanted to give me Ativan for my symptoms; he didn’t come
and tell me it was “in my head.” But I know Ativan is an anxiety med. He didn’t say that it’s used for other things or anything. Just that it would help.
I also told this quack that I’m a recovering alcoholic and that taking something from the Benzo family would be …. less than desirable. Especially since I had a love affair with Valium when I was 14. He chuckled and looked at me like, “Isn’t she cute?”
He said they use it in detoxes for alcoholics all the time (here I was sober for several years already … 4 maybe?). I took the piece of paper, the prescription, to shut him up. I threw it in my glove compartment and threw it out when I got home.
I switched doctors again. My mom was lamenting for months that I didn’t have a smart doctor like hers. So? I switched to hers.
I have difficulty stating how badly I feel, so mom came with me and did the talking. At this time, my heart was flipping out. I woke up at night not breathing –
was scary. My knees were becoming arthritic and I was scared to cross the street because it would take me so long.
I had a heart to heart talk with close family members about what would happen to my son …. what would happen IF ….
Yeah. I thought I was going to die. The heart stuff was nothing I’d ever experienced (I was an anorexic when I was younger so heart palpitations aren’t foreign to me. This was something else entirely.). The breathing terrified me. What if I didn’t wake up when it happened? I’d sit up, gasping for air with my heart rattling in the darkness.
Finally I saw Dr. C. She was sympathetic and seemed to genuinely believe me. This was new. She felt my knees and agreed they were swollen. I don’t remember what she gave me, but she gave me something and asked me to return in a week.
And there were scads of blood tests: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Vitamin Deficiencies ….. Lyme Disease. I sat there with the needle in my arm as the lady switched vial after vial after vial. I asked her if they were conspiring to sell them on the black market.
I tried to keep doing things with my son and it was April 2008. I took him for a walk in the woods. Bundled up in layers, we took a walk on a dirt path with a large wake between us and the trees. I trudged along, my knees screaming in pain. I kept my hands in my pockets because the weight of my arms felt such a burden to my shoulders; it was like carrying 50 lb weights all day with no relief. The sun was warm, a benign breeze filtering fresh air over us. In the shade were residual snow piles.
The next morning, my butt was itchy. ITCHY. My fingertips wandered under the elastic waist of my pajamas and scratched furiously. There was a bump. A big, scabby bump. I had my mom look at it.
“It’s a spider bite,” she informed me. With tweezers in hand, she picked at it. “See? The spider’s still here. He’s small….”
She presented the insectile carcass to me, and I saw a tick. A deer tick. We stashed it in a Ziploc and headed back to the doctor.
She chose to treat me for lyme disease after hearing that I walked in the woods ALL the time. Dr. C. didn’t think this particular tick was to be incriminated in what’s happening to me, obviously. My symptoms predated this nasty little guy by who knows how long. She declined to test him. It was obviously irrelevant. But she had questions.
No, there was no other tick that I recalled. No, there was no bull’s eye rash. No, there was no rash at all. No, I don’t recall any initial flu symptoms. No, I don’t remember when this started – but the worst of it seemed to be last summer.
And so I was on Doxycycline. Three weeks, twice a day.