I was bit by a little tick when I was 12. Didn't pay it much attention, swabbed some rubbing alcohol on it, I killed it and dropped it in the garbage. It wasn't attached, just crawling up my shin. The top of my foot itched like hell, but I had been barefoot outside and was eaten alive by mosquitoes.
A few weeks later, I felt like I had the flu. It was going around. I went to the doctor, he said it was a virus, it'll go away in a few days. I had already been getting gradually sicker over the past two weeks, it didn't sound like a virus to me. I went back to the doctor when my vision started blurring, and occasionally blacking out for a few seconds at a time. I had begun having headaches and was even more sensitive to light than usual. I talked to my mother ( a registered nurse) about the vision blackouts, she said to keep a log of how many times a day it happened and how long it lasted. The first day that it was really bad, my vision blacked out 8 times. The next day it was 19. I had begun having severe migraine headaches that lasted for up to 2 days. Some, I'm remember lasting longer, but they weren't as severe.
I had gotten to a green belt in my Taekwondo class, and I had to quit because I was too sick to make it to class. It was about a month/2 months after the tick bite. I was an A student for a few years, then I got bored and didn't try anymore. B's were average for me, a few A's, a few C's. I always got my grade up by acing the last tests of the six weeks. Now, I was lucky to make C's. This was not a regular occurrence. I had never made an F on a report card in my life. I got my first one that year. I couldn't make myself remember the subjects. I couldn't focus on the problems at hand. It felt like a thousand conversations going on in my head at once, and the teacher was the quietest one. I loved science class. That was the one class I looked forward to every day. I began making C's in this class. I had not made a C in science in at least 4 years. I even liked and got along with my science teacher well. We would have long discussions after class. This all came to and end, as I was constantly looking for a place to rest. I went to that school for one more year.
The mysterious illness made it extremely hard to get up in the mornings, so I was late to school almost constantly. During the weekends, I slept, rather than chase down friends and go outside and play. It even got to the point where I quit playing video games, because my thumb joints hurt to press the buttons. I would wake up late Saturday afternoon, go watch some tv, play my brother on a few videogames, then go back to bed about nine o'clock. Not exactly a normal 12-13 year olds weekend. Towards the end of the school year, I received a letter in the mail, notifying me of my court date. I was being called into court for truancy. I was missing too much school. I had doctor's excuses for all of it, but it didn't matter. They sent me to court, the judge said it sounded like BS to him, but we still had to pay the court costs for it. I was being pulled from class to be chided for being late for school and missing. They said they would hold me back and one woman even threatened to have me taken from my family. I had just about had my fill of the school's BS, so we decided to try a private school. That was a big mistake.
I went there for a year and a half encountered the same problems. During the my second year at private school, one of my teachers informed me I wasn't sick and preceded to chew me out right in the middle of class. I actually had the flu and missed the previous week. I came back on a Tuesday. I went home that day knowing I had to make up some work and have it by Friday. I took home a few books, and did some homework, then went to bed early. I missed the next two days. I went back Friday and didn't have one of my assignments. The teacher didn't like the fact that I didn't have my homework for Friday. She asked me why I didn't take my book home with me, I told her I was doing my other class's homework, I was planning to do her's on Wednesday night, but since I was sick Wed. and Thurs. I didn't get to get the books and I couldn't have done my homework anyway, migraines are a little distracting. I told her I had no intention of missing Wednesday and Thursday, and she continued to launch her verbal assault. I basically told her to stick it in a somewhat nice way, as I was never considered an impolite student and didn't plan on changing that just because they couldn't be professional. She told the principal and he came and got me out of class a few hours later. He informed me I was in a load of trouble, and he was calling my mother. I told him it was too late, I had already called her myself, and she was on her way. She got there about 15 minutes to a half hour later. He expected to run over the both of us and get me in some serious trouble. It didn't quite work out that way. My mother told him to go to hell a little more tactfully than I would have. We went and picked up my little brother and went home.
We started home school, but with the migraines happening on an almost daily basis, I couldn't focus on much of anything. We finally went to a new general practitioner in my hometown. She drew some blood(the first time anyone thought to do it since the problems began) and checked for everything imaginable. We found out it was Lymes disease, after 3 long years, we at least had a name for the bastard illness that plagued me. 6 months of on and off antibiotic treatment and I was well enough to work.
I had a job at a local construction company just down the road. I worked there for about 6 months, when I had a kidney stone, and right after I recuperated from Lymes it was a severe shock to the system. I was out of work for 6 months following, and began a GED course, scored above 50 on two tests(45 is required to pass, 80 is max, 48-50 is average) but I was only 16, so I had to wait another year to take the test. By this time, I had met someone at the hospital who was about my age and she dropped out of high school too. We went to an adult ed. class together for 6 weeks untill my 17th birthday.
We went to take the GED together, and we both passed. I received an award for academic excellence for a grade of 60. Only 3 people made higher than me in the state of Alabama that year, and they were 40-50 year old men. Apparently, the only permanent neurological damage was done to parts of my long term memory. I had quite a few child hood memories that just disappeared. I couldn't remember things that I had known for years. I had almost forgotten two of my great grandparents that died when I was 5. I can still to this day remember my first birthday, but there are other things that I had written down in a journal, those memories were lost forever, only being kept on paper. Even after reading them, I couldn't remember. I knew that I remembered those memories, but I couldn't grasp on anything more than a whisper. Shortly after the graduation, I had been tested for Lyme's again, it had come back. I took two treatments and it was gone again. I started working in construction again, and again my health went downhill.
I got married shortly after I turned 18, got a job at Wal-Mart, and started having symptoms again. Now, it affected my heart mostly. My pulse was fast and weak, my blood pressure was high. I began working outside some and felt better after the exercise. I found another job at a local mechanics shop. I worked there for a year, and I started to feel my heart problems come back. They worsened, and Dr. William Causey (who had been the dr. that finally cured me after I had been referred to him) varied my medication some, and we finally got it worked out. It started back, and I knew it wasn't fatal and would eventually go away, so I worked through it. I kept pushing, and then one morning as I was on my way out the door to go to work, I fell flat on my face, and stayed doubled over with chest pain that coincided with my heart beat.. My mother was stopping by to pick up my daughter, and helped me get up. That was when I had to stop working to recuperate again. After 4 months, I resigned, since it had only gotten worse. It got to the point that I didn't have the strength to pick up my 2 year old. I have it somewhat regulated since, I can work fine, but joint pain is an everyday thing. A few months after I quit my mechanic job, I started working on computers and that is career.
Basically, if you have the flu and it doesn't go away, get checked for Lymes. I live in Alabama, I've never been any farther north than Huntsville. I was bitten in west central Alabama. Deer ticks are everywhere deer are. It can be cured if found quickly, but no one looked for it since the Center for Disease Control says it only occurs in the northern states. I had it for 3 years before it was found. I will probably never be rid of it, but hopefully will be able to control it enough to get on with my life. We'll see what happens. Live life as is, because the alternative sucks...
the little bug that could...