Woman Faces Lifetime of Illness After Tick Bite
O’FALLON, Mo. (KMOX) – A local woman says she’ll never be the same after her lyme disease went undiagnosed for seven years.
DeAnne LeBlanc says she remembers rescuing a puppy in 2003 and two weeks later finding an engorged tick in her belly button. She removed it but did nothing more.
Her symptoms, including panic attacks, began in 2007 and got worse right away. By 2010, she was bed-ridden.
“Think of your worst day of the flu, and then multiple it by 100,” LeBlanc says. “It’s like you can’t even move—that kind of fatigue.”
The pain moved into her joints next and her memory faded. Doctor after doctor misdiagnosed her.
But then a new low—LeBlanc’s longtime primary care physician told her she wasn’t going to keep ordering expensive tests for her “symptom of the week.”
“I literally just broke down in tears in her office,” she says. “I started crying and I said, ‘If you can’t help me, who can help me?'”
That’s when, she says, she became her own health advocate.
A friend suggested a chiropractor whose blood test confirmed a bacteria that causes lyme disease.
Having a diagnosis was a relief, but being told there is no cure has been an emotional journey. She now knows she’s never be the energetic wife and mother she once was.
“We’ve had some really emotional moments where we both have had to kind of sit in that for a while and just mourn that and say, ‘It might not ever get to that again, and that’s okay.'”
LeBlanc is being treated aggressively with antibiotics and supplements.
But, she says even her daughters, ages 7 and 9, know that if she does too much one day, she’ll likely be in the bed the next.
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