About the Author Jenna Smith has been a competitive dressage rider (USDF bronze and silver medalist) for the past five years. Jenna danced her way (with Waldemar, her equine dance partner) to the victory gallop after winning 3rd place (for adult amateurs) at Prix St. Georges in Saugerties, New York at the Region 8 Championships ? 2 weeks before coming down with a "mysterious" flu-like illness.
Within weeks Jenna went from daily riding workouts to spending her days bedridden in a darkened room. "What really frightened me was the combination of symptoms - acute abdominal pain, body aches and chills, itchy rash, joint pain, profound weakness, debilitating sensitivity to light and sound, repeated migraines, dizziness, brain fog and wild mood swings - all of which I had suffered with over the years at different times - but separately.
Previous doctor visits and medical tests revealed nothing, and the symptoms always resolved themselves so I stopped going to the doctor when something flared up. I never dreamed it was all tied together, and I didn't know a thing about Lyme Disease (other than the risk to horses!)
Luckily, a friend introduced her to a "Lymie Old-timer" who steered her to a Lyme-literate doctor right away. Still, it was thousands of dollars and many, many tests later before getting positive results on a western blot and starting aggressive oral antibiotics.
I feel fortunate that I had a diagnosis within 3 months - even though it felt like 3 years, because I was so sick, but compared to so many it was fast.
I was also lucky to have a primary care doctor who was open to working with the Lyme specialist; otherwise the insurance company would not have covered the mounting expenses.
Unfortunately, the oral antibiotics didn't seem to work, and Jenna's doctors ordered IV antibiotics. A CD-57 was ordered which confirmed the long-term nature of the disease with a count of 28 after 4 months of treatment (acceptable range is 60 - 360 but for Lyme, patients a count of 200 is desired before ending treatment), and provided a goal for IV treatment.
If you've suffered with Lyme disease, you know how frustrating and depressing it can be - especially for someone active like me. Food shopping, laundry and household chores never even registered on my daily list - I just squeezed them in between riding gardening, managing a working horse farm and a mortgage business.
Now I have to plan a whole day to do laundry and I still haven't the strength to leave the house let alone run errands.
As Jenna struggled through the roller-coaster of good days and bad days, she tried to utilize any clear days to research as much as possible about the disease, and any life-style and diet changes recommended for beating illness. This website is the result of that effort.
It was so frustrating to find a list of suggestions, and then have to search for the web for the right products. I found a lot of great information in a great many places, but felt that a central resource site would help other people - especially for those who suspect they have Lyme disease.
Jenna is married to her childhood sweetheart and business partner Scott Smith. They have six children and two grandsons, and currently live in the western mountains of Maine. She is also the author of the action/adventure novel, The Goddess of Sumer which is available at Amazon.