Bergen County, NJ

Infected: June 2019
Diagnosed: July 2019
Current health: “I feel much better but my EKG still shows problems.”

“I am sharing my story hoping that it will spread awareness about the danger of Lyme disease. I heard about Lyme all the time. I knew I was supposed to look for a tick attached to my skin and for the bull’s eye rash. Not in my case.

“I felt weird, simply not myself for about a week. I had chills, headaches and I felt nauseous. I thought that I caught the flu in the middle of June. After a few days when I felt better, I went hiking with my husband. While walking the trail I knew so well,  I felt heart palpitations. I could not understand what was happening since I am pretty fit and my heart was acting up on a flat road for no reason. I went to work on Monday and while sitting at my desk I would feel the palpitations on and off again. I never had a heart problem in my life so I thought that since I am 49 maybe it was a sign of menopause. However, on Thursday, I woke up with a stiff neck. It was painful and lasted 3 days. I noticed that every time I would pick something up from the floor I would get dizzy. Walking up a flight of stairs would make me tired and my heart would beat faster.
My left ear would get plugged just like it would happen on a plane while landing. Left side of my throat felt sore when I was swallowing. On Monday left side of my jaw was hurting.

“At this point, I decided to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor. I told him about my palpitations. He did not pay attention to the them. He was doing his job: checking the ears. He did not think out of the box.  He told me I was fine, and told me to go home. If the neck hurts, I should see neurologist or orthopedist. So I went home.

“Next day I woke up with a swollen face. I went to work and the swelling came down during the day. Finally, on July 4th when my face was swollen again, I decided to go to urgent care. The nurse practitioner on duty was amazing. Once I told her all my symptoms she did EKG and within 5 minutes she was saying she thought I had Lyme disease. She sent me to a hospital to the ER. It was confirmed there that yes indeed, I have Lyme disease.

“I was diagnosed with Lyme carditis. The bacteria damaged my heart temporarily. It caused a heart block. My heart beat was about 30 beats per minute. I spent 7 days in a hospital. I was getting antibiotics thru IV for a month. I feel much better but my EKG still shows problems.

“Please do not ignore anything!! Listen to your body! When you think something is wrong, it probably is. Wishing all my fellow Lyme disease survivors good health and speedy recovery.”

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