Me versus Lyme disease, part 2

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July 9, 2015 by scratchtype1

I wrote some about fatigue problems in my last post, and said that if they persisted, I’d probably talk about them with the doctor at my next scheduled appointment. But Monday morning I had another crap run and the legs felt terrible. So when I got back from that, I called the doctor’s office and got an appointment for the early afternoon.

Based upon the symptoms of fatigue and some aches down in my joints and the fact that I had been diagnosed with a high likelihood of Lyme back in late May, the doctor ordered some bloodwork for that, along with checking thyroid levels (I’m at increased risk of thyroid problems because of type 1 diabetes), iron and vitamin D levels. Immediately after the appointment, I stopped at a lab to get the bloodwork and then waited.

This morning the call came in. I tested positive for Lyme, so I’m now back on antibiotics. But there’s a lot of uncertainty to all of this. From what I’ve been able to read, those antibodies could be lingering aftereffects of an infection already wiped out, which could mean I don’t have active Lyme, but I’m suffering what’s called post-Lyme syndrome, where some people can feel excessive fatigue for weeks or months(!) after the infection. Or it could be the Lyme disease bacteria is still in me and the antibiotics are needed to kill the infection. Less likely, but possible, is that I got another tick bite some time and reinfected, but I have not seen any bright red patches on my body since that one in late May. But not all Lyme disease tick bites will produce a bright red rash.

It was also found that the vitamin D levels were low, so it was recommended that I supplement. It seems odd since I drink some milk every day along with yogurt and usually get a good chunk of time in the sun. But okay, I’ll do that, since fatigue can be a symptom of low vitamin D.

I suppose the reassuring thing is that it’s not all in my head. The fatigue is real. When I’m running at what should be really easy effort and feel like it’s nearly impossible to keep going, that’s real. It’s not me being a wimp or wuss. It’s my body collecting all the signals, sending them to my brain and yelling, “I’m tired!” In spite of that, I’ve been averaging over 30 miles per week and I guess I’ve been trying to look at it is a kind of training — can I keep running or walking in spite of that? And if I can do that now with a deck of cards stacked against me, what will I be capable of doing when the deck is fair again? What will I run like then when my body is not fighting Lyme and I have better levels of vitamin D?

Maybe then again I will feel like I have lightning bolts for legs and I will go flying across the world.

I suppose also this another endorsement of how regular exercise can be helpful. Not only does running make my legs and heart stronger, but because of how the running wasn’t feeling right, I went to the doctor to check out why. Without that daily effort to run, I might not have been so quick to realize that something was wrong.

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