I’ve been struggling to write about my experience with
Lyme disease. I’ve started a few different variations and none
of them seem to fully encompass the pain (physically and
emotionally), the wide-scale symptoms, and struggle that had
taken over my life. There have been so many breakthroughs in
the past few years that have shed light on how vastly Lyme can
affect you, and how common it is. My battle with Lyme disease
started back when doctors thought antibiotics would eradicate
the bacteria, the bacteria was only found in ticks in the
Connecticut area, and the disease started with the bulls-eye
rash and flu-like symptoms. Keeping that in mind, you can see
how frustrating it was to see a doctor in Arkansas and be taken
seriously. For several months, no one could tell me what was
wrong.

It had started with two tick bites when I was twelve years
old. I never had the bulls-eye rash, and can’t recall ever feeling
ill from it. I had scars where the bites were but never thought
anything of it. Fast forward a few years and I started having
increased joint and muscle pain. I was also very, very tired.
After seeing different doctors for months, my muscle weakness
had grown exponentially and I was wheelchair bound for
several months. A doctor spotted my tick bite scars and took a
chance on testing me. He didn’t put the results in my medical
record due to the possibility of him losing his medical license,
but he did prescribe me antibiotics.

The Lyme disease went into remission and I gained my
strength back fairly quickly, and I was so glad to get out of the
wheelchair that the small joint pain in my knees was ignored.
My doctor told me I’d be fine, after all. Any joint paint I had
were only residual issues that could get better…but may last
my whole life.

The joint pain and muscle pain became worse and the
fatigue came back. A host of other symptoms came up but they
weren’t easily explained, and medications weren’t doing
anything to help. There was so much confusion as to why I felt
the way I did, and I thought it couldn’t possibly be Lyme
disease. I was cured from it, remember?

When I was 18 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had
all the classic symptoms, including fatigue and horrible pain.
When anyone grazed my skin, or even did something as simply
as putting a hand on my shoulder, immense pain would be felt
and I would scream internally, trying not to shrug away.
With this diagnosis, a few different pain management pills
were tried out. Some natural approaches were also tried. I was
willing to do anything for some relief. Have you ever been to
the doctor and they ask you how your pain is on a scale of one
to ten? They may show you a chart where number one is a
happy, smiling face. Ten is a face that is crying, grimacing,
obviously in horrible pain. I lived my life at an average of
number seven.

Medications worked for maybe a week or two. Natural
approaches would send my symptoms away for a couple
months. I began to resign myself to this life. I could only
manage part time work, and I had to be careful about how
many activities I did during the week, because my body would
crash if I did too much.

When I was 22 I got married, and we moved into a small
apartment in Fayetteville. By this time, research had been done
and more truths about Lyme had come out. I was constantly
searching for more as I learned that Lyme disease was barely
affected by antibiotics if not taken within days of becoming
infected. I learned that the disease could mimic several other
diseases, Fibromyalgia included. After everything I read, I
knew I still had Lyme disease. Even with all the research, there
was still a lack of treatment. Once I got my hopes up about a
clinic that treated Lyme that was across the country. We were
willing to move, and trying to figure out how to afford it. When
something didn’t feel right, I did more research and found out
it was a scam. My heart was broken, thinking it was my last
hope.

I was resigned to a life of pain, of being limited in what I
could accomplish physically. The summer after we got married
my symptoms became much worse. My husband happened to
run in to doctor Quinn, and they started talking. My husband
told him about my struggle with Lyme disease and doctor
Quinn said, “I think I could help.” He didn’t promise a cure or
magic pill. He offered a possible treatment that could help me
manage my symptoms. I honestly didn’t want to try it,
considering all the other treatments I had done. I wasn’t ready
for my hopes to be high and only dashed.

My husband was hopeful, though. So I went for a consult
to hear what Dr. Quinn had to say. I was blown away in our
first appointment. This guy knew so much about Lyme disease,
he knew just how nasty, detrimental, and relentless this
bacteria could be. He was the first doctor that I have ever seen
who actually knew what he was talking about when it came to
Lyme disease. I’m not saying he’s the only one in existence, but
he was the first one I had met who understood it. I knew after
that consult that I would give this treatment my all.
It was a treatment of two months, with no promises. I was
told it would get a lot worse before it got better. I was on a
strict diet, supplements, and potent herbs.

It definitely got worse. My body grew so weak and my
body felt so terrible that we had to move in with my in-laws.
Most days it was all I could do to make it from the bedroom to
the living room couch. My husband would sometimes have to
feed me, because I had no energy to lift a fork to my mouth. I
only share that so you know that the treatment wasn’t easy,
but proved to be worth it. I was diligent in taking the herbs and
supplements and I followed the diet as best as I could. It was
challenging, but I held onto a hope that things would get better.
That it could actually help.

Almost two months after I started treatment, I woke up
with a buzz of energy when my husband’s alarm clock went off.
I got out of bed with him and for the rest of the day I had this
weird energy that I couldn’t explain. I felt that energy for a
while because my body had been using so much energy to fight
the Lyme disease bacteria that once it was finally eradicated, it
kept producing that same amount of energy until it realized it
no longer needed it. When I tested negatively for Lyme, I could
hardly believe it. I was afraid for a while that it was only in
remission and would come back in a few months.

Since that time, almost three years later, I haven’t had any
Lyme disease symptoms. I can’t put into words how thrilled I
am to write that. I continued to see Dr. Quinn regularly for
about a year because my body was lacking in certain vitamins
and nutrients that it needed, but after everything was leveled
out I finally felt like a normal person. I was in awe at what a
“healthy” individual felt like. It had been so long that I couldn’t
remember what it was like to not be in pain. I was and still am
impressed with Dr. Quinn and the amount of time he puts into
each individual person. I have referred several people to him
because no matter how bizarre or out-of-the-box symptoms
someone may have, he is able to figure it out and help them. I
also refer my friends to him because I know he genuinely cares
about his patients. I’m so grateful for Dr. Quinn at Ozark
Holistic Center and that I have the rest of my Lyme-free life to
look forward to.

Delaynie Wheeler

Thank you Delaynie for your strength, willingness, and desire to share your story and experiences. They will be a strength to others.