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A Typical Day in My Life With Lyme Disease

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My alarm goes off but it wasn’t needed as I have been up for most of the night. My joints are aching as I sit up to get ready for the day. There are storms coming through the area which causes extra joint pain to occur.

I take my medicine with my breakfast shake as I try and battle the nausea I experience early in the morning. I pack my lunch, put it in my backpack and head out the door at 6:45 a.m. I have to be at my internship by 8:00 a.m. and I know there will be traffic, so instead of sleeping in a little, I make sure to leave early. I give myself a bit of a pep talk as I sit in the car getting ready to head into work. I prepare myself for the 10-hour day of standing, walking, kneeling, bending, lifting and handling all of the animals. I know it will take a toll on my body but I continue to push myself.

I am sure to take my breaks so my sugar will not crash on me and cause more symptoms. As I continue to work, I suddenly start having an episode of Lyme carditis because the Lyme bacteria had infected my heart, causing electrical problems.

My heart stops for a second. I can’t breathe during that time, and then my heart starts up again but it’s fast and pounding. It eventually calms down but then I continue to experience the palpitations. Each time it occurs, more fear runs through my mind. The chest pain is heightened as I finish up my work day.


I clock out and head back out to my car for the drive home. I arrive home and sitting in the car for an hour has caused all of my joints to stiffen up. I step out of the car, limping until I’m able walk without the stiffness. I head into the house and get changed and I am physically and mentally exhausted. I ask my mom how her day was or what she did, only for me to ask her a couple more times because I don’t remember I already asked her. My memory has gotten so bad because the Lyme is also in my brain.

I eat dinner and then work on some homework for the summer classes I am taking to try and lower my class load for next semester. The less I have to worry about the better. I take a quiz, unable to remember anything I just read in my textbook five minutes ago. I decide it’s time for bed even though I know I won’t fall asleep for a few hours. Who can sleep with the chest pain, joint pain, palpitations, stiffness and spasms? My brain just doesn’t shut off and thoughts are constantly popping up.

Did I remember to do that assignment? When’s my test due? Did I set my alarm? I know I just checked that my alarms are all set but I better check again just to be safe. Did I remember to take my medicine? Will I even be able to walk tomorrow or will I be in too much pain? I’ll be lucky if I sleep four hours tonight.

Lyme disease is a tough disease to live with but I make it through every day. Some days are worse than others and some are better than others. It’s scary feeling having your heart stop and restart. I always find something to look forward to for the next day because it helps make the day more bearable. You have to make it through some way since life won’t stop.

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Thinkstock photo via bokan76.

Originally published: May 31, 2017
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