Beyond Lyme: My own story
Though the US is experiencing staggering numbers of people who contracted Lyme disease, what is less mentioned is Anaplasmosis. Luckily this disease is not as widespread as Lyme, though it can be extremely detrimental and even fatal if not treated properly.
Anaplasmosis (aka: Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA): is a strand of bacteria that ticks particularly in the northeast can carry and transmit to humans. It is in fact an infectious disease that flares and remains within the body as the cells transform. Clinical manifestations of Anaplasmosis can range from mild to life-threatening depending on the patient’s age and general health. Onset of Anaplasmosis generally begins within a week of a tick bite, and often includes fever, severe headaches, malaise, muscle pains, and chills. Other symptoms may include confusion, hemorrhages, and renal failure.
In 2011 I was on my way home from grooming the horses at the barn and I noticed a very warm pinching feeling on the right side of my rib cage., I scratched at it the whole way home and didn't think much of it. That little pain pain did not seem to go away so I went into the bathroom and looked, sure enough it was the tiniest tick have ever seen latched on real good! I removed it appropriately but with no rash or Bulls-eye I didn't think much of it for the remaining part of the day. The following morning I woke up groggy dizzy and vomiting straight out of bed. My entire body was shaking and I could barely get words out of my mouth. My skin was hot to the touch and I felt like I was boiling from the inside out. We quickly made the decision to head to the hospital after reading my temp of 104°. At first they also checked my temp and it remained 104° and they ended up sending me home with a extra strength Tylenol. I hadnt put the two together that I had been bit by a tick and that this could be causing all of this ruckus. Sure enough that same night my husband ended up bringing me back to the emergency room as my fever had risen to 105 and I could not walk or hold a normal adult conversation. The second time I was admitted directly into critical care as all of my bodily systems were failing and I was having a very hard time breathing.
For the next two days the critical care team tried a variety of different pharmaceuticals to try and get my fever down and also get a handle on what the heck was causing my body to shut down. At the end of the second day an infectious disease specialist came in and her first question was have if I had been bit by a tick recently? Because I was so weak I just nodded yes, She immediately ordered a variety of blood tests and sent them to different labs to run different titers, she seemed pretty confident this was a tickborne illness. Sure The next morning the labs came back I had off the charts Babesia Lyme disease as well as a fatal attack from Anaplasmosis. Six years prior to this episode I did lose my spleen in a horseback riding accident, so my body already did not produce new white blood cells and these tick borne illnesses are infamous for their attack on all of your white cells! My defenses were zero to none and I had slight chance of being able to fight this.
A pic-line was run into my heart and I had an IV coming out of my feet my head and my other arm. I was also put on a ventilator because I had contracted pneumonia, to this day I still have never had that hard of a time breathing. Every breath was extremely hard and I had to really tell my brain to do it and shift a lot of energy towards just breathing.
As I laid in the hospital bed everything in my body was deteriorating, my muscles were atrophying and I could not be the independent woman that I always have been. I had to have other people take me to the bathroom, brush my hair, brush my teeth, and that was all very very hard for me.
I remember, when I was conscious enough to have, "The conversation." They brought my parents and grandparents in and we discussed how bad this was attacking my body and they were not sure of the outcome, but to be prepared. All I could think in my head was I am going to beat this sucker no matter what, an incredible rush of energy came over me, I was going to survive! After three days of an extremely high fever it finally broke down with a strong cocktail of antibiotics. I spent two solid weeks in the hospital and it took me months to recover at home. The medical history on the drugs they tried on me was over three inches thick! You can bet I spent almost a solid year detoxing from all that.
In my opinion tick-born illness is extremely underestimated and people who don't have it talk about it as if it's some simple thing, when really once you have it, it affects you for the rest of your life and in different ways.
This disease hit me in 2011 and I have been able to manage it utilizing herbal and homeopathic protocols. It has not been easy but with my deep knowledge and The capability to apply the right means when necessary has really helped with stabilization and continuing a fairly normal life.
Listed below is common symptoms of Anaplasmosis:
muscle aches (myalgia)
chills and shaking, similar to the symptoms of influenza
loss of appetite
unintentional weight loss
sensitivity to light
change in mental status (extreme confusion, memory loss, inability to comprehend environment- interaction, reading, etc.)
temporary loss of basic motor skills