With Lyme Disease becoming more and more prevalent, chances are pretty good that you know someone personally (or have heard one of your friends talk about someone they know personally) having Lyme Disease. The good news is, Lyme Disease is gaining more awareness. The bad news is, that’s because more and more people are being affected by it. The really bad news is, there is truly very little known about this crazy disease and even worse is the fact that there are so many myths out there surrounding it that pretty much all of the info you likely know about Lyme Disease is actually a myth.
Transmitted only by deer ticks. (Myth) Tick needs to be feeding on you for at least 24 hours to transmit disease. (Myth) Remove the tick by putting something caustic on it. It’ll come right off! (Semi-myth … you bet it will come right off, right after it pukes the contents of its stomach into you, infecting you with who-knows-what). You will notice a bulls-eye rash. (Myth; many people don’t) Lyme is a fairly easy disease to treat and two weeks of antibiotics is plenty to get rid of it permanently. (Big myth) Lyme disease is mostly knee pain. (Ha!) There are only a few states where Lyme Disease can be found, so if you’re somewhere other than those places, you can’t get Lyme Disease. (Myth)
A myth can be defined as “a widely held but false belief or idea”. Many myths are just “stories”; they can be amusing, and most don’t hurt anyone. The problem with myths about Lyme Disease is not only do they hurt people, they are hurting thousands of people around the world right now as you read this.
And so over the next few weeks, I will be posting here on my blog about Lyme Disease (as well as on Instagram – come follow me @healthy.home.body!), including my personal story, treatment options, support, and resources. This is obviously not all-inclusive, so please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions!
To begin, I am going to share some of my personal story with Lyme Disease. It was hard for me to write, and even harder to post it here, as I don’t really know the end of my story yet. However, I want to be open and vulnerable if it helps even one person to realize that they are not crazy; if that’s you, please know that this isn’t all in your head. You are sick, and there are things that you can do to help.
My Lyme Story
I don’t remember a tick. I don’t remember a bite, or a rash, or anything specific that made me think I had Lyme disease. Did you know that approximately half of all people diagnosed with Lyme Disease don’t recall ever having a bulls-eye rash? This is one of the first (and most important) things that I want you to take away from my story: just because you don’t have a “classic case” of Lyme Disease doesn’t mean you don’t have Lyme Disease.
My doctor believes I likely contracted Lyme sometime in 2006. It’s kind-of ironic to me actually, because after growing up on a farm and being out in nature so much, and then getting married and living next to a state park that warned of ticks on its entrance sign, I would end up contracting the disease during the year we lived in the suburbs of Chicago. Who would’ve thought? I later learned that actually your chance of being bit by a tick is quite high in cities, as pets are often brought to parks for exercise, ticks will live in the parks (and often survive winters because the temperatures are warmer in cities), and hitch a ride home on you or on your furry friends … and then bite you later when they find you in your house. That’s the second thing I want you to remember from my story: you don’t have to live in an area where Lyme disease is common to contract it. It has been found throughout the United States and several other countries in the world, including Europe. If you suspect that you may have contracted Lyme Disease, do not let your doctor tell you that “we don’t have that in this area”. Chances are high that you do.
Over the years, I had a few symptoms, but nothing that gave me much reason for alarm, let alone seeing a doctor. I had some visual hallucinations during my first pregnancy in 2007, but I assumed maybe it was a pregnancy thing. Around 2006 or so, I also started having a lot of trouble with my ankles, particularly my left one. They would swell up and caused me quite a bit of pain, so much so that by about 8 hours into my 12-hour shift I would have difficulty walking. I assumed it was just old snowboarding injuries acting up, and I bought better shoes to try to get through my nursing shifts.
Sometimes I would have digestive issues. Nothing major. I started going gluten and dairy free in 2012 or so, as my son had been on a strict diet since 2010, and I thought maybe it was the answer for some of my digestive issues too. I did notice that eating better helped with my mild anxiety and depression, something I hadn’t even really realized I had until it started to get better. In 2013, we started the GAPS Diet, and I noticed that I felt better than I had in a long time.
In 2015, I quit my hospital job. It was a very good time for me, and yet it was a little bit rocky initially, both health-wise and financially. By the summer of 2016, things were looking the best for us that they had in a long time, and I remember telling my mom that I worried about things being so good … they never seemed to stay that way for long. That weekend a good friend of mine had a medical emergency, and I stayed with them in the hospital. For a couple of weeks after that I was not myself: I was very fatigued, out of sorts, felt low, and was achy. I assumed it was just that I was tired and emotionally everything had been difficult.
In general, I feel that the thing that helped me keep going for so long after my initial exposure to Lyme Disease was the fact that I had adrenaline on my side. I lived on it. From the moment I contracted the disease, I was going 90 miles an hour. Three pregnancies, two babies, one loss, autism diagnosis, sick kids, cooking special foods, therapy, homeschooling, working 12-hour night shifts, starting up a home business, living on coffee, sugar, and more coffee … it didn’t have a chance to catch me. Until I slowed down, started to care for my health, and it saw its opportunity to take advantage of that.
Something is wrong
October 2016. I had just been enjoying a few days in Utah at an all-expense paid business event. The week had gone well, but for some reason, I just really hadn’t been myself. I was tired. I was uninterested. I remember that I kept wondering why I wasn’t enjoying myself more when it was such a great experience. I had crazy night sweats every night I stayed there (and I remember thinking that wow, I must be sleeping hard!). On the day that I was visiting the beautiful lavender farms, I took a two-hour nap on the lawn.
For dinner the night before I flew home, I picked up a salad from the local grocery store, and I used the last bit of dressing from the salad bar (and thought that maybe that wasn’t such a great idea … who knows how long it had been there). I finished maybe half of it before just having a heavy feeling in my stomach and not wanting more. I applied some essential oils to my belly and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning early to catch my flight home, but I wasn’t feeling well at all. I chalked that up to not being an early riser (I’m not), and I applied more oils. I think I also managed to drink some coffee. I got through security at the airport, settled into my seat on the plane, and we took off.
It wasn’t long into the flight that I started to have some really bad abdominal pain. At first, I couldn’t really describe where I felt it, but eventually it centered around my belly button. I kept getting up to use the one bathroom on the plane (but nothing was happening) and continuously applied essential oils around (and even in) my navel, all over my belly, inhaled them, took peppermint internally and along the inside of my cheek … nothing was helping.
I felt so bad having the lady I was sitting next to get up for me, so I ended up huddled on the floor in the back next to the bathroom. It helped somewhat to lean forward or hunch over, but I just couldn’t get the pain to stop, and I couldn’t vomit. I felt like if I could just get sick I would feel better, and at that point I would have done anything to make the pain stop. It was a very long three-hour flight home.
Somehow, I managed to get off the plane and get my luggage before it really hit, and I ran to the nearest bathroom. Thankfully I had kept the air-sickness bag from the plane, because the bathroom was full, and I couldn’t wait.
The vomiting was the most intense I had ever experienced. And it wouldn’t stop. I just kept vomiting until I had nothing to vomit, and then I started dry heaving.
I also had absolutely no strength. I knew I needed to get on the bus and get home, but I couldn’t work up the energy to cross the street to get to the bus terminal. I put my suitcase down on the floor, and I laid down on the dirty airport floor next to it using it as a pillow, in between the door to the outside and the door to the bathroom, and I couldn’t move. I had never felt so ill.
Eventually I managed to get up and asked the cleaning lady for an extra garbage bag that I could take with me. I found a couple Motrin in my purse that my sister had given me recently (I hadn’t taken OTC meds in a couple years before that) and I took them, hoping it would help stop the horrible abdominal pain.
I managed to get on the bus, and I even managed to doze a bit on the 80 minute-or-so ride home. Then I drove myself home from the bus station (another 30 minutes) and crawled into bed, where I then proceeded to vomit until 3am the next morning.
It took me a few days to get back on my feet after that, but I did, and honestly at the time I just assumed I must have had a bad case of food poisoning. It passed (thank goodness) and that was that. Or so I thought.
A few weeks later we went on a small trip down to Saint Louis and stayed with friends. Before we left, I remember feeling very anxious about the whole trip; I had been starting to get really nauseous around dinnertime each night that week and was just wiped out. The night we went out to dinner in Saint Louis I was dry heaving in the bathroom.
The next week, I reached a new rank with the essential oil company I represent, and I was over-the-moon thrilled about it, as it was a goal I had set a few years earlier. We celebrated, I felt great … and then I woke up the next morning about 5am with severe abdominal cramps and anxiety, panic like I had never felt before. I ran to the bathroom every 5 minutes for the first few hours (I’ll spare you the details); what scared me the most is that I couldn’t get it to stop. All the natural remedies that usually helped me seemed to be doing nothing.
Once the runs to the bathroom were done, the vomiting started. For hours and hours. I couldn’t get it to stop. And for the first time, I was seriously thinking of just calling it quits and heading to the ER (and I hate hospitals). My husband was ready to load me up into the car that minute, but the thought of vomiting in the waiting room while I was waiting to be seen, being asked dozens of questions, poked, prodded, given an IV (with my lousy veins and dehydrated body) made me hold off “just a bit longer”. I promised him that if he didn’t force me to go to the ER at the moment, I would go see my primary doctor as soon as I started to feel a little better. I didn’t think that they would be able to do much for me, though.
Sometime mid-afternoon the vomiting finally stopped, and I was able to keep some of my homemade electrolyte formula down to try to help with the muscle cramping I was experiencing from the dehydration (I also rubbed a mineral-loaded gel on my legs and feet to absorb minerals that way as well, which really helped).
I didn’t recover as quickly from this episode though. The next night I started having severe lower abdominal pain, and it kept me up for 36 hours straight, just rocking in the bed and trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. As soon as my eyes would get heavy and I would start to dose off, I would bolt upright in panic. Lights and weird images would flash in front of my closed eyes, and I couldn’t shake off the sensation that my body was racing.
For a couple days after that, I had all sorts of strange things start to happen: bruises that would come and go all over my body. Rashes that would last for 30 minutes and then disappear. My tongue would turn completely white, and then it would recover. Frothy spit. No spit. Normal spit.
The anxiety would grip me and the nausea would come on, making me curl up in pain, and then five minutes later I would sit up and feel great, like nothing was wrong. And then five minutes would pass, and it would start all over again. I had my mom sitting there with me on the bathroom floor, and I would cry and tell her that I wasn’t crazy, but I felt totally crazy.
I made an appointment to see my doctor, and I also made an appointment to see a chiropractor, because I wanted someone with a more natural approach, and I didn’t know who else to turn to locally. It took me a couple weeks to be able to tolerate food after that episode. I was hoping that it was just a fluke (maybe it was the coffee I drank the night before??) and that it would never happen again. Unfortunately, it became a normal routine in my life.
I saw the resident on call at our clinic, and while I didn’t share all the crazy details (because I’m not crazy!), I did share what had been happening over the last month or two. She and the medical student palpated my abdomen, which continued to be tender especially around the navel area, and she diagnosed me with IBS (meaning something’s up with your gut and we don’t know what) and wanted to send me to a psychiatrist to be medicated for my anxiety.
I came home and told my husband, “I told you so”. I knew that something more was up, and I knew the medications she offered weren’t the answer.
Unfortunately, the chiropractor didn’t help either. He noticed my spine was misaligned, which “could” be leading to the nausea and vomiting that I was experiencing. The recommendation was that I come for adjustments three times a week initially, which I tried to do. However, it generally ended up being 1-2 times a week because I would be vomiting and couldn’t leave the house for my appointment. During this time, I also started experiencing migraines and severe spinal pain along with extreme weakness (I would lie in bed and be unable to move my limbs) and fatigue (something as simple as a shower would do me in for hours), and after a few months I correlated my cycle in symptoms with my adjustment schedule. Were they really connected or was I just sick? I don’t know. But either way, I ended up stopping chiropractic care.
In the meantime, I had also been seeing a friend (who I had been seeing before I got sick) who was able to assist me holistically. She had been testing me for several months and had helped with things like allergies or hormone imbalances, but nothing major had ever shown up in my testing. In February of 2017 though, as she tested me during a strong migraine, her machine showed that I had both Lyme and babesia (a protozoa similar to malaria) in my brain. It was also around that time that another health practitioner friend of mine, when hearing about my chiropractic experience, asked if I had ever been tested for Lyme disease.
I am so, so thankful for the wonderful friends and resources that I had already been exposed to, as the average time for a person to be diagnosed with Lyme disease can be years. For me, it was just a little over six months from the time I became seriously ill until I was diagnosed.
By March of 2017, I was spending more time in bed than standing. I couldn’t think of how to homeschool my boys. I had a hard time putting thoughts together or finding words, and I rarely got a good night’s sleep. I continued with cycles of nausea and vomiting, generally becoming more severe at 2-week intervals. I would have severe abdominal pain that would radiate to my hips. I would have severe fatigue that wouldn’t allow me to do anything, but my brain wouldn’t “shut off”, and I would lay in bed for hours (sometimes for days) without being able to do anything. Looking at my phone was overwhelming and trying to follow the plot of a movie would send me into panic and vomiting attacks. I had anxiety, my heart would race, I would have crushing chest pain and my arms would go numb, I couldn’t shut my mind off. I was spacey and forgetful. My eyesight worsened, and I had to get glasses to see. My legs and thighs would mottle, and my hands and feet turned purple. I would get internal chills (the best way to describe the feeling), and my whole body would shake uncontrollably. During severe episodes (flares), I would also get a fever, generally no higher than 100F, and it usually only last for about 45 minutes. And while pain was not my biggest symptom, I always had some form of pain, usually in my hips, legs, or spine, or small joints like my elbows and hands. It generally tended to migrate from one area to the other. I experienced “air hunger”, which basically felt like I just couldn’t get enough air. I would have to remind myself to breathe, and the air felt so thick.
I had lost about 20-25 pounds, and I was starting to feel like I was dying. I literally just felt like life was draining out of me and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
That month, I had my first appointment with a Lyme Literate medical doctor (LLMD). Through testing and clinical diagnosis, I learned that I had Lyme Disease, but not only that. I also had several co-infections that were making me very ill, including babesia, protomyxzoa, activated Epstein Barr Virus, mycoplasma, C. pneumoniae, and HHV6. I also had high ammonia levels from the Lyme. She also found that I had Candida overgrowth, parasites, other bacteria and viruses, and that my adrenals, thyroid, liver, kidneys, stomach, colon, and brain were weak.
I started a protocol with her using a combination of herbs and supplements, plus Rife treatments that were done in the office. After the first Rife session, we drove home (we live several hours away from her office) and I had never been in so much pain. The migraine and spinal pain were acute, and every bump of the road just made it worse. However, I had hope because the treatment had done SOMETHING. I had answers and I had a plan.
The next day, my mom commented that it looked like I hadn’t slept in days. I was pale and completed wiped out. But for the first time in months I felt grounded, like life was not being sucked out of me. I don’t know how to truly describe the feeling, except that it was very, very good. It was the first time we started making progress in the right direction.
During this time, though, I still hadn’t learned to accept the realism of what healing from Lyme Disease would look like. On my good days, I would make a crazy amount of plans (like I was normal, ha ha) and then become depressed when I would flare up and have to cancel them all.
We had planned a trip to Europe that April to see my husband’s family. Naively I thought that if I could just get “a couple treatments in”, we could go on the trip for 3 weeks and then I would come back and finish up treatments. I ended up crashing just from packing for the trip, and in tears finally decided it would be better for my husband to go alone. I am so glad that I made the decision I did, as I spent the whole night in severe abdominal pain, and thankfully I spent it in my bed and not on a 9-hour cross-Atlantic flight. For the three weeks he was gone, a member of my family stayed with me every night, as I would still often wake with symptoms, and I was terrified of becoming very ill, needing assistance, and leaving the 911 call up to my two young boys.
The next month, I wrapped up treatments with my Lyme doctor and was pronounced “cured”. While I felt much better than I did before, I still felt quite crummy, and I didn’t feel like I was cured at all. I continued to finish the last of the supplements I was given, and I hoped that with time my body would “catch up” and recover and I would truly feel cured. I started Buhner’s herbal protocol in the hopes that it would help to regulate my immune system and wipe up any damage done by the bacteria and parasites. Gradually though I got away from it, because after all, I was “cured”, right?
The summer passed relatively quietly. I was excited that I had not had a vomiting episode since March, before I started treatments with my LLMD. While I was not 100% yet, I was really hopeful that the worst was passed, and I could move on with my life.
August started kind-of crummy. My stomach just felt off and my energy wasn’t the greatest, but I also had been pretty busy in July (do you see the pattern here? I always had a “reason” why I wasn’t feeling well. Denial!). By August 12, I was back in bed with very low energy, brain fog, stomach upset, and just needing to rest. I figured it was the heat and all the activity.
I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on August 13 with familiar symptoms, starting with the anxiety and the severe internal shaking. This progressed to external chills enough that it woke my husband up. I started to cry. “It’s back.”
I vomited a total of eight times that morning before collapsing asleep for a couple hours that afternoon. I had a low grade fever, and the panic started the following night with night sweats and nausea. I didn’t fall asleep until 3 a.m., and then awoke again at 6. This continued for several days. I was exhausted.
Three days later I was vomiting again, and I begged my mom (who came over while my husband worked) to take me to the ER. I was done. I just wanted drugs, and I wanted them to knock me out and make it stop. Thankfully, she talked me through my anxiety, and I finally slept that night. We headed up to the Lyme doctor’s the next day.
The Lyme was back, and we started treatment for it again, this time just specifically for Lyme as it seemed the other infections were under control. However, the treatment didn’t feel as effective this time. And the vomiting episodes didn’t stop.
By the end of September, I decided that if I was going to get better, I would have to take a more active role myself in the whole process. I committed to doing the Buhner protocol, and we purchased a Rife machine to be able to use at home daily. (We also had an IonCleanse footbath that I was already using regularly during treatments).
It’s now nearly a year later and two years since I first became very ill. I would love to tell you that I have completely conquered Lyme Disease and am in remission, but I’m still not 100% there yet. There are days when I really struggle. And I do still have episodes of vomiting and flare ups. However, they are fewer and farther between, and when I vomit, I tend to only vomit once or twice, instead of violently vomiting for hours and hours. I am making PROGRESS! And while we always wish for healing to be rapid and complete, there are times when we need to learn a little patience and allow our bodies to heal at their pace. I continue to work on learning this. 🙂
Currently, my main issues continue to be:
• The joint and muscle pain. There are some days (like last Sunday) when every single joint in my body hurts (including each toe joint – a small detail I know, but it becomes a big detail when you just can’t take one more thing hurting). On days like this, it is very hard to function, as just a touch from someone can send me over the edge. I’m focusing so hard on just keeping it together.
• Depression and anxiety. While these are better, I have to work very hard on controlling any and all emotions. I can’t be too sad, and I can’t be too happy. Emotions trigger flare ups, and so I have to live in a state of almost feeling nothing. This sometimes just makes me feel very low.
• Digestive issues. I continue to work on my diet and what is the best way to ease digestive symptoms. As I mentioned, the vomiting has improved. However, I have an almost constant feeling of “fullness” and depending on the Lyme cycle (or the moon cycle; or my hormone cycle) my digestive symptoms also vary up and down. However, I do feel progress is happening here, and I have a plan for further improvement.
• Allergic reactions. In the last year, I’ve had an increase in true allergic reactions, something I had never really experienced before. I now have to avoid things like wine, dairy, and all seafood. Something called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome can be very common in those with Lyme Disease.
• Fatigue. There are some days when I just can’t. And so I don’t if I can help it.
• Brain issues. For a while this seemed to improve, but I’ve found it’s something that comes and goes. My brain just tires very quickly. Just last night I tried to watch a movie that I had seen before, and about 45 minutes into the movie, the old anxious feeling came on. It’s just too much work for my brain to focus that long. This week I’ve also struggled with word recall, as well as the old familiar dyslexia-like issue that Lyme brought on (when I write, I will write words and letters backwards).
• My spine. It seems that my Lyme particularly likes the discs and bones in my back and neck. For years, I’ve had issues with my low back (which I chalked up to being a nurse), but now I realize how much damage Lyme has done. I have to always be conscious of how I move, as my back tends to always be close to “going out” and sometimes does, landing me flat for a while and crawling to the bathroom.
• Multiple little things. Things like swelling that comes and goes, shooting pains, vision that improves and then worsens, numbness, brain fog, swollen lymph nodes (these can also be quite tender), fine motor tremors (especially my hands), rib pain, headaches and migraines (although improved!), and temperature dysregulation (I often am not sure if the room is hot or cold, or if the water in the shower is hot or cold; it will feel sometimes like it’s both hot and cold at the same time, or I really just can’t tell what the temperature is at all). I also don’t tolerate exercise and something as simple as going to the batting cages with my boys will take a couple days of recovery for the muscles, tendons, and joints.
• Feeling hopeless. This is something that is very new for me since Lyme. As a perfectionist, Type-A, super-planner, I felt there was nothing that I could not do if I set my mind to it. Now, I no longer have control of anything. I make plans? Ha, they’re cancelled. Want to plan a vacation? Yep, plan on a flare, and enjoy waking at 2am and puking at every hotel along the way. I prided myself on being dependable, on being a hard worker. That was WHO I AM. And now I’m not. I can’t even depend on me, let alone anyone else can. Hard worker? Again I’m lol, because I couldn’t even stand in the sun for 30 minutes this weekend without having to go home and crash in bed for a couple hours while wondering why my left side was going numb. Again. This is one of the hardest things about having Lyme Disease for me. I feel I have lost my identity. I don’t know who I am anymore, and there are days when I lose sight of any goal, any plan, or any future.
But there is no quitting with this disease. There are days when I really just want to chuck it all. I would love to have a night where I can just hop in bed and sleep without having to wire up my Rife machine, or not have to take dozens of supplements or herbs throughout the day, or to be able to spend money on something fun instead of out of pocket treatments that insurance doesn’t cover. I mean, I would be happy with just having a glass of wine and a piece of pizza (real cheese and gluten!!) and be able to watch a movie with my hubby.
See, this is all bigger than me. I have my boys watching me, learning from me. One of the lessons that I’ve passed on especially to my oldest son is that we fight for what is worth it. We don’t quit. For years when he struggled with something that his younger brother could pick up in 5 seconds, I told him of his value, and that he could do anything that he set his mind to. And he does. He never quits. So how would that look to him if his mom quit? His mom who has struggled for 2 years with something that he has struggled with for his entire life? (More coming soon on the connection between autism and Lyme Disease, which he contracted at birth from me)
And so, we carry on! I will be seeing a new naturopath later this month that I hope can help with some of the fine tuning and help my body to “clean up” and recover from the damage that Lyme has done to it. I continue to adjust and refine what I am doing and try to listen to my body for what it really needs; it’s a constant dance! But as I look back over the last couple of years, I can definitely see that I have made progress in the right direction. So we keep moving forward.
If you are suspecting that you may have Lyme Disease (see symptoms below), please reach out and get help. There ARE doctors out there who are well versed in Lyme and who will take your symptoms seriously. There is HOPE!
To find a Lyme Literate medical doctor (LLMD) or naturopath (LLND) in your area, please visit this website:
My symptoms of Lyme Disease:
• Profuse vomiting
• Sweats and chills
• Internal shaking
• Low grade fever (never over 100F)
• Abdominal pain
• Panic attacks
• Air hunger
• Bruises and rashes
• Feeling of apprehension/doom
• Came in waves/felt crazy
• Frothy spit
• Flares lasted 1-2 weeks
• Extreme fatigue
• Muscle weakness
• Abdominal pain/IBS
• Memory loss/difficulty finding words
• Numbness/tingling in extremities (left side esp.)
• “Wandering” symptoms
• Light/sound sensitivity
• Dizziness/vertigo/passing out
• Sleep disturbances/insomnia
• Heart palpitations/chest pressure
• Became “clumsy”
• New mild dyslexia
• Handwriting changed
• Visual difficulties/needed glasses/inability to focus
• Thyroid disturbances, adrenal fatigue
• Raynaud’s phenomenon
• Hair loss
• Ringing in the ears
• Joint and muscle pain (spinal pain) – migrating
Symptoms of Lyme Disease per CDC website:
Early signs and symptoms (3-30 days after bite):
• Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes
• Erythema migrans (bulls-eye) rash
Later signs and symptoms (days to months after bite):
• Severe headaches and neck stiffness
• Additional EM (bulls-eye) rashes on other areas of the body
• Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
• Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of face)
• Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints or bones
• Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat
• Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
• Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
• Nerve pain
• Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
• Problems with short term memory