Lyme Dx: It was all In My Head
By Mikayla | @Mikayla_Jennifer | February 25, 2019
I was always the girl who never wanted to go to school.
I’d always wake up with a stomach ache, anxiety, migraines, you name it. I made it through middle school but when high school came around things took a big turn.
I was fortunate enough to get accepted at Mount Saint Charles Academy; a private Catholic school where hockey was HUGE. I must have been half decent because I made the girls ice hockey team my freshman year and we ended up becoming division 1 state champions. I was lucky enough to continue playing my sophomore year but as junior year came around things really started to fall apart for me.
The migraines were still constantly screaming to be heard and I had been seeing a Neurologist for roughly five years already with no end or relief in sight. I tried everything from oral medications to giving myself shots at the young age of 13 in desperation yet nothing came close to helping. Honestly, I could feel my life slipping away and it seemed like no one cared or wanted to help.
“It’s all in your head.”
“Suck it up, you’ll be fine.”
“She’s doing this for attention.”
“You’re a hypochondriac.”
“She needs a psychiatric evaluation.”
All of their words still taunt me to this day; even with having a solid diagnosis and far too much “proof” of the diseases wrecking havoc on my body 24/7. When doctors, strangers, friends, even family start saying those things to you … it’s so easy to believe them. If only they knew the scars they were leaving on such a fragile, broken girl that would follow her for the rest of her life.
I started to not care and lose hope. I was scared this was going to be the rest of my life and I had little to no faith I would make it … until I met Doc.
Doc was (and this is a known fact, not even just a promise) the BEST teacher you could ever possibly have. He was an English teacher, yet his lessons went far beyond the classroom. He was my rock and I’m not sure he even realized it. He was the one person who had far more faith in me than I ever have. Doc believe me when no one else did and I truly believe I wouldn’t be here today if not for him. When I started to believe I was going “crazy” as so many had pushed me to believe, Doc pushed me to see another doctor and find the answers to whatever was destroying me … and that was when I finally met the Neurologist that would give me the answers I had almost given up on.
It took me over five years, a countless number of dismissive doctors, and hundreds of tests to finally come to a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease. I was treated for migraines, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks primarily but no amount of treatments helped; and then my joints started to swell like crazy. Being a three sport athlete - one of those being ice hockey - my pains were dismissed as a result from “playing rough” in games but I knew the size of my joints and the severe amount of pain I was in wasn’t normal. I was determined to stay strong and advocate for myself at the young age of 13 and I’m so grateful and proud that I did because I honestly don’t think I’d be here today if I had just listened to those doctors that told me it was, “all in my head.”
Come May 2013 we found out it truly was all in my head. From going undiagnosed for so many years the Lyme disease had invaded my brain and started to wreck havoc. It was actually my childhood neurologist whom was the only one to believe in me and decided to randomly test me for Lyme after the pages of unresolved and complicating symptoms I had. As soon as we got those positive results she immediately put me on Doxycycline. I went through 3 rounds of Doxycycline as my health was continuing to deteriorate and by the grace of God I was able to get an appointment with my Lyme specialist within a week - she was booking out 3+ months but she took me in right away. Thankful doesn’t even come close to how I feel for those handful (really less than handful) of doctors that stuck with me and believed in me.
Mikayla is a twenty-four year old who was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease back in May 2013. It took her over six years to find her diagnosis after being ignored and dismissed by one too many doctors. Mikayla was an ice hockey player growing up and had to give that up as well as take a leave from Nursing school with the rapid decline of her health. Since being diagnosed and learning how little awareness there is of Lyme disease, she has found a love for sharing her story across social media and helping others advocate for themselves.