When I was 13, I went from a happy, confident and outgoing, straight A student and 3 sport athlete to a girl who slept through class, skipped lunch, started self-harming and became depressed out of nowhere.
Diagnosed with depression and tried every type of psychiatric medication; only to be labeled with treatment resistant depression at the age of 14.
Looking back over 15 years later, this was Lyme Disease and the coinfections called Bartonella and Babesia.
No one mentioned Lyme Disease as a potential cause of psychiatric symptoms despite my continued struggle with my mental health through high school, college and graduate school.
After becoming sick with a virus in Thanksgiving 2016, Lyme & Coinfections took advantage of my weakened immune system and reared its ugly head. The joint, nerve, muscle and bone pain started and never left. Chronic fatigue made daily functioning near impossible. Plus, new psychiatric symptoms like panic attacks and extreme mood swings felt like a monster had taken over my body.
March 2018, after 2.5 years of searching for answers, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, Babesia and Bartonella. Mold illness, PoTS and mast cell activation syndrome were eventually added to my list.
I have been treated since March 2018 with 4 different providers/offices. I have utilized oral antibiotics, oral antifungals, antiparasitics, antifungals, antivirals, herbs, detoxing, binders, parasite cleansing, ketamine, supplemental IV therapy (Myers Cocktails), glutathione pushes, lymphatic drainage massages, IV antibiotics and therapy.
Knowing that I am not crazy and that it is not “all in my head” has allowed me to keep fighting against these diseases.
Most days I live hour by hour, working as a telehealth therapist to children, teens and those impacted by chronic illnesses.
And of course, we cannot forget Penny, the beagle, who I adopted at the beginning of my Lyme Disease journey. Penny keeps me going on the darkest days and reminds me that napping and going for a walk are necessary for my healing.
Follow Alison on Instagram: @livingwithpennyandlyme