I'm a triathlete and runner in the process of recovering from Chronic Lyme Disease.

On September 24th, 2007 I came down with a horrific sore throat, fever, chills, aches and pains. I felt far sicker than I think I've ever been in my life. I figured it had something to do with the fact that on the previous day I had done a 50 mile charity bike ride with a friend. Strangely though, I hadn't been training all that hard at the time and 50 miles was my usual weekend long ride. Still, I assumed that my body was telling me that I had over done it somehow and that a few weeks rest would get everything back to normal. I was wrong.

After four days I saw my doctor. He said I had strep throat and gave me a 10 days of Penicillin. After a couple of days I started to feel better and after I was done with the antibiotics felt about 80% better. I assumed some rest would take me the remaining 20%, but for weeks I lingered in this semi-healthy state. I saw my doctor a few more times, he referred me to an Otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat), Infectious Disease specialist and a Psychologist. I refused to see the shrink and the other doctors were entirely unsuccessful. They screened me for all kinds of things including Lyme, EBV, HHV-6, CMV, MS, ALS and a few other acronyms, but turned up nothing. On paper I was perfectly healthy, but as the weeks dragged into months started feeling worse.

I started researching on my own and began to zero in on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In fact, that's where the Chronic Triathlete name comes from. I thought that my training in combination with the strep had deregulated my immune system and that I was suffering from a mild case of CFS, Post Viral Fatigue, Over Training Syndrome or some other sort of autoimmune burnout. I furiously Googled up doctors who specialize in the treatment of these conditions and saw several. They all had their own take on things, but none of them seemed to fit. I had many of the symptoms people classically complain about with these conditions, but it was never a lock. Something in the back of my head told me that they were wrong.

Thank God Google is free because I would have gone broke if they charged by the search. I queried all sorts of treatments, symptoms, herbs, pharmaceuticals and doctors. I'd even search for things like "athlete CFS" or "triathlete EBV" to try and see if what was happening to me had been experienced by other athletes.

Strangely, during these late night Googlefests, I noticed that Lyme Disease kept showing up in my results. I started reading more about it and looking into the symptoms. They sounded spot on, but I had been tested for Lyme way back when I first got sick. I was negative. I'd also never noticed a rash. I couldn't have Lyme.

Boy, was I wrong.

I learned about the proper way to get tested for Lyme and ordered a kit from IGeneX in California. I took it to my doctor and told her to test me. She sent it in and 3 weeks later my whole world was flipped upside down. According to IGeneX I tested positive though not strongly enough for a CDC positive. Coincidentally, while waiting for the results, I had gone to a new doctor, a Rheumatologist, to see about going on the Marshall Protocol for CFS. As I gave him my history he said, "Smells like Lyme to me" and started me on 100x1/200x1 of Doxycycline. The IGeneX test was simply icing on the cake.

So that brings me up today - 04.18.08. I'm starting my treatment for Lyme and hoping for the best. I have moderate confidence that since I've not been sick that long before treatment (IGeneX says within a year from the test which would coincide with trips last summer to Cape Cod and Upstate NY) that I'll respond well. Not sure if I'll be winning my age group again in future races, but if all goes well I certainly plan to keep running and maybe even triathlons in my life.

About My Blog:
I'm not much of a writer, but I've always been one to journal my life experience. I know the journey to recovery from Lyme is not a short trip so I thought it would be helpful to keep notes and track my progress. At first I was just jotting things down in a handwritten notebook, but after spending (far too much) time online looking for info I realized there are so few resources and even fewer personal accounts of the disease. I decided to set up this blog.

I'll do my best to keep it updated and relevant with what's going on. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or comments.

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