Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Amy Tan's grueling battle with Lyme Disease

The writer Amy Tan (Joy Luck Club) traveled the world promoting her books, going to writer's retreats, visiting friends--but was vexed in 1999 by sudden exhaustion. She returned from a trip halfway around the world and slept around the clock.

Stress, jet lag--she concluded. There followed insomnia, a bad back, frozen shoulder.

Her feet grew tingly, she seemed to vibrate inside. Her heart often raced. She could not work.

She saw psychiatrists.

And she had test after test--all they showed was her blood sugar was low. She was only 49--a tiny tumor on her adrenal gland was found in all the testing and removed. Symptoms continued. Even worsened.

She had hallucinations. Saw people who weren't there.

She stopped driving--she would stop on green.

She had had a rash on her leg--but no "target" ring like a tick bite.

One doctor ordered an ELISA test--she looked it up--Lyme Disease. But it was not an accurate test, she learned from message boards. Those sufferers knew doctors who knew Lyme.

She went to one--and sure enough, she had it. She got the Western Blot test--which can also miss cases. Positive!

The spirochetes had entered her brain--accounting for her blank staring. She went on seizure meds.

She took antibiotics for seven years, easing onto a Chinese antimicrobial known as Lingzhi.

She can write again, but is not the same.

The CDC says maybe a million people a year are felled by this stupid tick. If you get bitten or get a mysterious rash, go to a doctor.

Don't give up.

Check out: https://www.amytan.net/lyme-disease.html

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