My name is Shelley Still and I am a 26 year-old Registered Nurse with Chronic Lyme Disease. I got bit by a tick in California when I was just 11 years old. I found the tick and had it removed, but never got a bulls-eye rash. I was sick off and on ever since that bite. I had a huge variety of symptoms ranging from memory loss, migraine headaches, panic attacks, acid reflux, and severe muscle stiffness.
By the middle of 2011, I was experiencing about 70 different symptoms. I had seen literally dozens of doctors over the years, and have had hundreds of tests done. No one knew what on Earth was going on with me. I had often tried to find out what could be wrong by searching the Internet. In June 2011, I went to the emergency room with severe chest pain. I was so afraid that I was having a heart attack. The hospital did many tests on me, and all testing came back as normal. I was shocked. What had happened in my body was NOT normal.
Right after that, I had to quit working because my symptoms were too severe. I was bed ridden. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t cook, clean, or even go to the restroom without assistance. I just prayed and asked God to help me find out what was going on inside my disabled body. My husband had recently bought me a book titled, “Over the Edge,” by a Christian suspense author, Brandilyn Collins. The book is a fictionalized version of her struggle with Lyme disease. I read the book and I saw my story being told through Brandilyn Collins. When I was done with the book, I immediately googled Lyme disease. Within a couple days, I was sitting in a LLMD’s office (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) and was being tested for Lyme.
Three weeks later, my Lyme blood tests came back highly positive. I’ve been on treatment now for almost a year, and have started to improve. I have a very long way to go, but I’ve seen the glimmer of hope and I know I will get well.
If I was still relying on the medical community to diagnose me, I honestly think I’d be dead by now. I don’t think I would have lived another year with how badly my body was declining. God is good and with help from others, we will one day be able to be rid of Lyme disease in this country.