My Adventure to Diagnosing Lyme Disease

Hi! My name is Christin and I am a dancer, creator, fiancé, and owner of two cute fuzz balls. I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life and consider myself to be an outgoing, fun, down to earth person with a bit of a clean freak problem. I’ve always loved to dance and knew at a young age I wanted to become a professional dancer. After high school I got accepted into the dance program at Cornish College of the Arts; a 4 year Bachelors of Fine Arts program. Throughout those years I not only learned so much about the artistry and technique of dance, but about the history, and how to take care of my body on a daily basis. I took every opportunity to choreograph, teach, observe, and kick myself in the ass. By graduation I was ready to dominate the Seattle dance world! By that next year my work was shown in a few festivals, I was teaching kids and adults, and was even recognized in the Seattle Times. But little did I know what I was in for over the next 4 years that would completely alter my path as a growing artist.

The day after my birthday October 2011 I woke up thinking I was having an appendicitis attack my stomach was in so much pain. Ended up at the hospital where they did blood work and tests, including an ultra sound on my abdomen. Doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong so they sent me home with nothing. After a month of discomfort and a few more doctors I was told it was a colon infection and would heal on it’s own. Over the next year I had 4 random attacks that kept me home from dancing and in much pain. Thought it was still healing, so didn’t think too much of it.

September 2012 I started dancing full time. No more desk jobs or things I didn’t want to do. I started teaching at a new studio that had amazing kids and paid really well! Unfortunately the second week in my lower back/hip went out. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever been in! MRI showed it was a very small .33 mm bulging disc at L5 (didn’t feel like that though) and started PT right away so I could get back to dancing. But I was only back for a few weeks until things really blew up.

My fiancé Ruben (boyfriend at the time) and I went to Vegas for my birthday. The night we got home I ended up feeling like I had the flu. Stomach pain, bloating, nausea, and fatigue. A few days later I had about a tablespoon of blood in my stool. Thankfully I was sent to a Gastrologist at Swedish who was thinking it could be Crohn’s disease or maybe an ulcer. After having a CT and endoscopy/colonoscopy (and yes I was only 25) I was told it was Crohn’s disease. I was so relieved to finally have an answer after dealing with constant stomach pain/bloating for about 3 months, not being able to eat anything, and the worst losing all my teaching jobs. I was completely bed ridden at this point so it was a relief to be looking on the up side.

Crohn’s medication didn’t work, so over the next 8 months I had more procedures, saw a handful of speciality doctors including a neurologist, naturopath, and even had an MRI on my brain and another endoscopy/colonoscopy. My pill cabinet was growing with supplements that weren’t helping and bills were piling up as I still wasn’t working. Thankfully Ruben got a great government job so insurance improved and we were now able to afford the things I needed. My fatigue and nausea were rather chronic now, anxiety was becoming an issue, along with numbness in my extremities and continuous struggles with my gut and what foods to eat. I was exhausted everyday, sad to not be dancing, and frustrated I had no answers even though I knew there was a bigger picture to this.

October 2013 I saw a rheumatologist at Swedish to look at allergies, and other auto immune diseases like Lupus, HIV, and Lyme. Once the blood results came back I was told there were no allergies, but that was all. I looked at the blood work online having no idea what it meant, and having no idea the Lyme western blot came back POSITIVE.

I went on living my life at home, trying to do what I could to feel better. Even though I knew there was a bigger picture to all of this I just had to wait until something broke in my body….or I found the right doctor. So I waited for things to settle and see what my body would do. By May 2014 I wanted to give naturopathic treatment another try. I researched doctors in the Seattle area and picked one who had good reviews and I had a gut feeling about. By my second appointment with this doctor she looked at my previous blood work from the last couple years and said, “I’m pretty sure you have Lyme disease.”

And that was the beginning of my new journey towards treating Lyme disease.

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