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Op-Ed: I think I have Lyme's disease?

I have to say something that I have been hiding from the world for a long time now: I’m pretty certain I have Lyme’s disease. I’ve wavered on whether to put it to paper but after deep soul-searching, I realized that as a journalist I need to document my struggle to show solidarity for the 10’s of other people that suffer. This is my story.

Day 1: Infection

It was a Friday night… I still can’t get the night out of my head. I went down frat row and was probably about 8 claws deep when I made the life-altering decision to walk down the Lakeshore path to get home. Just as I approached my dorm I felt what I’m absolutely certain was a tick land on my neck. I didn’t feel a bite or anything… but I know at that moment I became patient zero.

Day 2: Symptoms

I woke up around 3 pm with a splitting headache and unbelievable nausea…. I felt a pit form in my stomach as I realized what could be wrong. In a panic, I checked WebMD. Headache? Body aches? Sleeping super late? It had to be Lyme's. I mean 8 claws wouldn’t give me a hangover, especially since I didn’t eat anything that night so the alcohol would pass through my system quicker. If it wasn’t a hangover…it had to be Lyme. I was especially worried because nausea isn’t even a symptom! I knew I had a rare strain.

Day 3:

My symptoms, suspiciously enough, seemed to have vanished! But this didn't assuage my worries, as I read that Lyme has a dormant period. I thought it was odd that my dormant stage came in after the symptomatic phase, but I just knew my Lyme was a special kind of evil. 

Present-day: Life is a constant struggle, the attacks can come at random. I’m out of breath walking up Bascom, I fall asleep in class and perhaps worst of all… I’m tired when I wake up for my 8 am classes. So far, my professors have refused to accommodate for my disorder and doctors ignore my suffering. “You don’t have Lyme”,  “We ran the tests”, “Please stop calling our office” - these are the things I have to listen to every day. I have to fight on, and I’m brave for writing this.

If you would like to help raise money for my treatment please consider donating to my GoFundMe, "Living with Lyme's" .


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