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Sandy is TICKed

Organized by: Sandy LiketheBeach

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Sandy's Photo

THE STORY:

Lyme Disease is a disease that has not only taken over my life, but my families’ life as well. Living with this life altering illness has changed everything for me and for us. My mind is in a costant fog leading me to ask for assistance in writing this letter to you all. My children and my husband have been on this journey with me from day one. I’ll take you back to the beginning so you can get a better understanding of why I am reaching out and raising money.


Christmas Day, 2012, I walked into the living room with a pain in my neck and asked my daughter, Mimi, to look at my neck to see if there was a spider bite or any sort of bite causing this pain. She was shocked to find a tick embedded in my neck. The tick was carefully removed and we all joked about how the heck that little thing got on my neck. Our property in Castro Valley backs up to a creek and we have 2 outside dogs as well. There was our answer as to how it got there! Our day went on and we didn’t give the tick bite much thought. Fast forward to about 2 weeks post-bite and I suddenly became very ill with pneumonia. My husband, Fred, was in Arizona at the time and changed his flight to come home early. At the time I didn't know, but this was just the beginning of the Lyme disease taking over my body. We all thought it was ‘just’ pneumonia. After being bitten by an infected tick, the Lyme spirochete invaded every cell in my body causing malfunction of all my body systems, body systems that activate the immune system. In simpler terms, my immune system was shot. I was miserably sick, but I had to push through and get back to work. After the pneumonia, I was visiting the doctor’s office on a regular basis. The aching, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, all symptoms I was experiencing at the time, was becoming more intense and I wanted answers as to why I was feeling this way. I was healthy before the pneumonia. I thought it must just be my age. It must just take a longer amount of time for my body to heal. The doctor’s visits consisted of MRI’s, CT scans, blood work, and almost every other test that can be offered. Our insurance deductible was (and still is!) so high that we were forced to pay out of pocket for all the appointments and tests. All the while, I was missing work in order to find out what was going on with me. A couple months go by and I was still so sick with multiple misdiagnoses. I was told I had severe arthritis, ‘maybe’ the beginning of fibromyalgia, a spinal injury, and worst of all “it was all mental”.

In March of 2013, my daughter, Mimi, had lunch with her friends Michelle and Ashley in Arizona. Ashley invited her friend and former employer Tammy Crawford to join. Tammy mentioned something about her daughter, Jessica, being sick and they got to talking about Jessica having Lyme disease. Mimi stepped out from lunch to text me and told me not to cry, but that she thought this was what I had, as well. I can’t say that I didn’t believe her, but I think deep down I didn’t want to believe her. “I’ve never been sick like this. There’s no way that little bite could change my whole life so quickly,” I thought. During this time, I was horribly sick, but I denied every minute of it. I told my family, “I can kick this”. Tammy recommended a doctor in Redwood City, CA, who was a Lyme specialist. Mimi flew in from Arizona to take me to see this doctor. I do not recall this visit at all. Mimi told me I slept the entire drive there and back. One of the many symptoms, brain fog, affects my short term memory causing me to forget most things that have happened since the tick bite. After leaving the doctor’s office, Mimi said she was left feeling even more confused by the disease, saying “it seemed like they were talking in a foreign language”. I left the office with probiotics and some other vitamins, but I had no clue as to why I was taking them or how they were going to help me. A couple more months went by and in May I was let go from my job at a local pharmacy due to new owners who had their own staff. The last thing I needed was spare time to think more about what was going on with me. I spent all my time and energy researching Lyme disease, hoping to prove that I didn’t have this awful disease. Every article, every symptom, every video, was enough proof. Lyme disease must be it. I wanted to curl up in a ball and hide until this nightmare was over.

Come November, 2013, my husband, Fred, and I flew across the country to visit our daughter, Casey, and her husband, Zach. Fortunately for us, we have children that will do anything for us and they insisted that we get out of the house and experience normality for a week. Casey booked the trip for us and on our way back we stopped in Phoenix to visit Mimi and Chris. During this visit in Phoenix, we went to dinner with Tammy and her daughter, Jessica. We talked more about Lyme disease and then when that became too overwhelming, we talked about happier times. Tammy asked if I could stay in Arizona a little longer in order to see a doctor in Scottsdale who she thought could really help me. Without hesitation, I stayed. I met with Debi Murphy PAC at Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine. The medical team at this facility specializes in Lyme disease and treating patients with this illness. My first appointment was about 3 hours long and we talked about almost everything regarding my health. Family health history, my health history, how I had been feeling on a day to day basis. The last part of the appointment was to have blood drawn. I was told my results would be sent in about 4-6 weeks. The results came in just before Christmas, but I wanted to wait until after the holidays. January 6, 2014, just over 1 year since the tick bite, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Lyme disease with co-infections to top it off. I broke down. I experienced every possible emotion one could think of. I felt relieved to know what it was, but I also felt overwhelmed because this was just the beginning of a long road to recovery. I had no idea what to expect, but I was told that it could take 6-8 months to start noticing a difference. I was put on doxycycline, azithromycin, B12 & B-complex injections, Vitamin D, Magnesium and the list goes on. At one point I was taking up to 30 pills a day and my body was struggling to accept them.
March, 2014, I flew to Arizona for an appointment with Debi Murphy. We discussed how sick I was feeling from all the medications and she decided to start me on the Cowden Protocol. I was told I could be on this protocol for 4-6 months. I ordered the first months supply, which consisted of various herbal drops and a calendar listing what to take and when to take it. This first months supply was $285. Also, at this time, I was instructed to change my diet. Absolutely no sugar (spirochete feed off of sugar), no gluten, and no dairy. The actual diet was not an issue for me, the most difficult part was the cost of all of this. My son, Freddy, and his wife Sonja offered to do the shopping and help with the upkeep of the house.

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MONEY RAISED
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Sandy LiketheBeach

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