Health update

I posted this update on face book today:

I don’t like to draw attention to myself. Initially, I wasn’t going to share on social media about my debilitating illnesses, but many have asked and I decided I should tell you so I can ask for your prayers. And boy, am I overwhelmed by your generosity of prayers. It warms my heart. In addition, I am hoping that by sharing it could help others.
My fevers continue. But I am SO thankful that my fever came down yesterday. During the night and this morning it wasn’t as high as it has been for the past couple of weeks. And for the first time in a couple of weeks my heart wasn’t racing uncontrollably last night and this morning.
But the fever has continued along with the intense pain, burning feeling in my skin, heart problems, weakness, cough, lack of balance, sheer exhaustion, cramping muscles, joint pain, and more.
I’m realizing I’ve had the walking pneumonia for quite some time (based on blood work and symptoms). But I just chugged along pushing through because I didn’t have health insurance. My insurance had doubled in cost due to the “lovely” change from “Uncle Sam.” So, I lost the insurance.
And as for the tick borne diseases– I’ve been dealing with them for years–all new cases from new tick bites. I’ve been fighting for treatment due to ignorance and being misdiagnosed several times. I had to point things out to my doctors, disagree with their misdiagnosis of autoimmune diseases, etc. The blood work finally proved that I was right in several cases. I’m pointing this out to encourage others to fight for their appropriate health care. Do your research. Please don’t simply accept a diagnosis. And be aware that blood tests for Lyme and tick borne diseases may not show your positive diagnosis at first.

I’ve made the mistake in the past of trusting the test and then doubting myself thinking I must not have it then because this test says I don’t. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy and get exercise if you can. Protect yourself from ticks! I feel for the elderly and the very ill who just don’t know how or don’t have strength to stand up for themselves or question treatment.
One doctor was convinced I had Lupis and wanted to put me on a medicine that would slow down my immune system so the supposed autoimmune disease would stop attacking my joints. She based her “diagnosis” on my very high ANA count. I told her that I wouldn’t go on a medication that will slow down my immune system. I actually asked her, “Why would I want to go on that and slow down my immune system when I need it to fight this Lyme disease for which you are treating me? And don’t you think my ANA could be high because I am fighting Lyme? Is that possible?” She still thought I had Lupis. I said, “Let’s wait a month or a bit more and recheck my blood then. I bet the ANA will go down when my Lyme is treated.”
Well, guess what happened after I was rechecked? The doctor called me up and said, “You were right!” She was nice. I had another experience in which a PA was actually hostile toward me because I told her I thought I had Lyme (and I did!). And she refused to treat me. Unfortunately, the doctor from that office was away for a couple of days and I was stuck with this PA. I told her that I do not abuse antibiotics. In fact, I do not like to take them. But, I needed the antibiotic to get rid of the Lyme disease, I told her. I knew that the disease had progressed because I was experiencing some of the exact symptoms I had in the past when it had gotten out of control. This PA did not want to treat the WHOLE person.

She did not take any of my symptoms into consideration. She wanted to base her diagnosis on clinical (blood work) only. That is not what a good doctor or PA should do.

Anyway, what happened is that I ended up practically begging her to please prescribe the Doxycycline because I was convinced it would get even worse if I didn’t get on the medicine. She finally agreed to do so only IF I agreed to do another blood test. I said “GLADLY!” The next day her office called (she had the secretary tell me) and I was told that the blood test was POSITIVE for Lyme and that I should continue taking the antibiotic that the PA had prescribed. I thanked the woman and bit my tongue because I wanted to say, “You mean the medicine that I begged her to give me, the medicine she at first refused to give me?” But, what good would that have done? In addition, I was now on the antibiotic and I knew I was NOT going back to that office again.
Thankfully, I have just found a Lyme literate doctor who was recommended to me.
The three tick-borne diseases I am fighting now–Lyme, Babisia, and Q Fever are new cases from new tick bites. I have been dealing with tick-borne diseases for over 20 years.
For those who might not know, some ticks are only the size of a poppy seed and you can’t always see them on your skin. You usually notice after the area starts hurting from the bite and it’s usually too late then. The darn tick has done its damage and infected your body with disease which will attack every system of the body, wreaking havoc and causing serious harm. The longer you are made to wait for treatment (and this has happened to me due to blood tests that are not always accurate), the more devastating the damage to vital organs and systems.
I am going to start using an organic bug spray before I go outside. I don’t use poisons. Hopefully, I can ward off the ticks this way.
This update is by no means meant as a complaint about my situation. I am praying throughout these illnesses and offering it all to God. I believe that Our Lord can use our suffering in big ways, making it redemptive when we offer it lovingly to Him.
Though these symptoms continue, I am very hopeful. I see improvement in that my fever isn’t as high (right now) and I still have much more medicine to take. Each day, I pray will bring me closer to having all of this behind me and having strength again.
I am deeply thankful for your love, concern, and your many prayers. May God reward you!
I am hoping that I will get strong enough to travel to New Jersey the week of the 21st to present at the CMN that week. I believe that is very possible. With your prayers, it is.
This is turning into a book! But I thought I should fill you in.
God bless you and keep you. Thank you again. Please be assured that I am praying for you! ❤
PS In my last couple of posts I read your beautiful comments as I could, but believe it or not, I was too weak to click “like” on all of them. If I don’t “like” your beautiful comment it doesn’t mean I didn’t read it or that I don’t care. Believe me when I tell you that your comments and prayers warm my heart. And, I am praying hard for all of you.

20 thoughts on “Health update

  1. Dear Donna-Marie:
    I’m so sorry to hear about your bout of ill health.
    How heart-warming of you to offer all of your suffering lovingly to God.
    Please know you’re in my prayers and thoughts, and I look forward to reading that you’re well on the road to recovery.

  2. Dear Donna-Marie,
    Sorry to hear about your health problems. My daughter, Melanie has suffered over the pass two years off and on with similar symptons Also told she could have Lupus. She said med helped. Thank GOD.
    Your in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thank you so much, Craig. I am glad to know that your daughter is better now. God bless you and your family!

  3. Thank you for your sharing about medical care. Christmas week 2014, both wife & self went for medical care. She went from primary care to hospital where she stopped breathing for an hour. She has COPD & is now on oxygen. Some of her meds cost $300!

    My choice was VA primary care and was sent home with medication. Wife stayed in the hospital until Friday when she was transferred to assisted care. Because of some of my problems, including a large stone in my bladder, the VA had arrangements for me to go to the VA hospital, but would only go through if Wife was home! It took us until the end of the week to see the attending physcain and that was after 7:30 pm! Wife was finally discharged Monday @ 2PM AMA.

    VA had me go to hospital on Friday. After the stone was removed, they had me come back to have my aorta valve replaced. Now waiting to replace my knees.

  4. Pingback: Update: More ticks, additional co-infections, and more - Donna-Marie Cooper O'BoyleDonna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

  5. Hi Donna-Marie,

    I just read your blog about you being sick. I hope that your feeling much better since you wrote this blog. I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless.

  6. Dear Donna-Marie,
    Mother Theresa would be so proud of your persistence, perseverance and LONG suffering. I met you in Worcester this past September. I felt a real connection to you and will be praying for you.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Christine from New Hampshire

    • You are very kind, Christine. It was nice to meet you at the EWTN Family Celebration. Thank you for your kind words. May God bless you and yours!

  7. Dear Donna-Marie,

    I hope you are much better now, as this website is a few years old. Just wanted to say, “Been there, done that.” I’ve had to fight for medical help/attention, too, and false diagnoses. So frustrating. But with God’s help that seems to be changing. I also had a run-in with Lyme, but it seems a co-infection with a skin fungus that has been difficult to get medical help for, as it seems almost invisible. Anyhow, did the antibiotics and diet, etc. but now am also doing antifungal lotions and a medical antibiotic cream which is doing me and my health a world of good. Totally led by God to this, praise His wonderful name!

    • Dear Sharon,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that things are changing now for you. Yes, God certainly leads us! Yes, praise His name! God bless you!

  8. Fr. Andrew Apostoli is in my prayers. I met him a few years ago when he signed his book Fatima for Today for me. I also enjoy watching him on EWTN on Sunday Night Prime. He is so inspirational so many have learned so much from him. I am sure Jesus and His BLESSED Mother are with him always. Thank you Donna Marie for your updates. I always enjoy watching and listening to you on EWTN. You are also in my prayers and thoughts & may Jesus and His BLESSED Mother also always watch over you and your family. Thank you again.
    Love & prayers

  9. Fr. Andrew Apostoli is in my prayers. I met him a few years ago when he signed his book Fatima for Today for me. I also enjoy watching him on EWTN Sunday Night Prime. He is truly inspirational and so many have learned so much from him. I am sure Jesus and His BLESSED Mother are with him always. Thank you Donna Marie for your updates. I always enjoy watching and listening to you on EWTN. You are also in my thoughts and prayers and may Jesus and His BLESSED Mother always watch over you and your family. Thank you again
    Love and Prayers

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers, Virginia. May God reward you for praying for Fr. Andrew and for me too. You are very kind. May God bless your Advent season!

  10. Hi Donna Marie

    I just read this page today and your battle with lyme disease. My poor brother contracted lyme disease after moving out to live in the United States. He battled it for many years and searched various states to find a cure, often spending whole weekends in bed too fatigued to get up and also costing him a lot of money. Unfortunately he died age 50
    from an overdose of a painkiller he was taking to self medicate. I hadn’t realised how bad he had got as he stopped replying to my e mails. My family and I felt powerless here in the UK to know what to do and I only learnt of his death via a facebook post from his son.

    I wish that this disease was made more well known as many celebrities are trying to do ( the mother of Gigi Hadid I believe has the disease),

    I am so glad you were able to get the antibiotics ( the correct ones ) to treat it as my brother used to say that it could be treated if you got a lyme specialist who knew the correct combination of antibiotics to treat it.

    I just had to write to you as it was hard to loose him to this and he was not strong enough within himself to fight it ( he also had addiction issues )

    • Dear Julia, I am so very sorry that you lost your brother. May he rest in peace.Thank you for your kind note. I am still fighting the Lyme disease but I am doing fairly well at the moment. I pray that you will have a blessed Christmas. God bless you and keep you.

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