The Faces of Lyme

Listen to powerful stories of people living with Lyme disease.

Learn from real patients in various places of treatment about dealing with pain and emotional issues, the affect on daily life, impact on friends and family, various treatment options and their advice for anyone who is living with lyme.

Some stories are uplifting and some hit you hard with the real-life struggle that is lyme, but all are meant to share information. To help you identify with others going through the same thing and to help you along your journey.

These stories are from real people who are patients at Institute for Specialized Medicine. Each person gave their consent to be on camera for use online. No financial gain or incentive was given.

The Faces of Lyme: Cherie
“You can always heal” Underlying Lyme disease can be triggered by a traumatic event. Things like whiplash, extreme physical exertion, surgery, car accidents, and dental procedures can cause lyme to flare up. When Cherie had arthroscopic knee surgery, her symptoms went into overdrive. She had to quit her job, needed help with daily activities, and […]
The Faces of Lyme: Christina
Two years after receiving breast implants, Christina started experiencing neck pain. Her symptoms continued to increase until she was taking pain killers and anti-nausea medication every day for eight months. Clinically, her Lyme and other infections were under control, but she was still not feeling well. This is when she decided to have her breasts […]
The Faces of Lyme: Cynthia
“So crazy that there is something out there that can rob people of their personality” Cynthia blamed herself for feeling miserable. She thought she was carrying something negative in her heart. She worked on her mind, spirit, and body connection, but was not getting any better. Depression and anxiety were unbearable, so much so that […]
The Faces of Lyme: Danielle
“You don’t lose, you learn” Going full-throttle through life was how Danielle lived life. Giving 100% as a mom and professional jiu jitsu athlete, she pushed her body to the limit. Initially, fighting against the disease only lead her to fall twice as hard. Not until she embraced the disease did she begin to recover, […]
The Faces of Lyme: David
“Seek help right away” Imagine you can’t watch TV, or carry on a conversation; you are in so much pain you have to stay in bed in a dark room. Immobile. Not getting treated right away led David to develop semi-catastrophic lyme (severe symptoms coming in quick succession). Within the first year he was stuck […]
The Faces of Lyme: Dee
“Seek treatment immediately” As a competitive mountain biker, Dee was in the bushes for years. He has been bitten several times, but never knew that getting bit would be a life-changing event. He never knew the severity of lyme until it happened to him. Dee talks about his symptoms as it relates to his performance […]
The Faces of Lyme: Gwen
Gwen’s story will sound familiar to many. She had seen so many doctors that she didn’t want to see another one. She was tired of not being heard and told “she just has to live with.” Through the encouragement of her friend, she came to IFSMED. After going undiagnosed for 15 years, it took her […]
The Faces of Lyme: Mason
“If anyone told you this would be easy…they’d by lying” Go getter, high energy, on-the-go these are the words Mason uses to describe himself. After moving to San Diego, he noticed these characteristics fading away. He attributed it to starting a new job in a new city, but after 2-3 months of extreme fatigue, he […]
The Faces of Lyme: Max
"Be open-minded with treatment" Around 10 years old, Max noticed he didn't feel well at a baseball tournament. Several tests later he did not have a diagnosis so he kept playing. It all came to a head when the stress (stress can cause lyme to flare up) of playing in another tournament resulted in major stomach issues. Since then Max has always struggled to gain weight from gastrointestinal issues associated with Lyme. He talks about what helps his stomach issues and identifies the one thing that helps him feel better every day.
The Faces of Lyme: Megan & Cristi
A powerful story of a mother and daughter both living with Lyme disease for 11 years before a proper diagnosis.
The Faces of Lyme: Nicole
“Talk to other people. Don’t be afraid.” After 4 years of being symptom free, Nicole had a relapse that sent her back into treatment. She discusses what she believes sent her into her relapse and what she is going to do moving forward to prevent a relapse again. Nicole bounced from doctor to doctor for […]
The Faces of Lyme: Peggy
Get an unfiltered look into Peggy's life as she struggles with Lyme. Peggy discusses her battle with brain fog and debilitating fatigue and her journey to an almost fully recovered lifestyle. She discusses two important supplements that help maintain her health while living with lyme.
The Faces of Lyme: Penny
“Getting better all the time” Penny’s story is an example of Lyme manifesting as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her RA diagnosis came first from her primary care doctor who referred her to our clinic. Upon further investigation it was revealed that her RA was a manifestation of underlying Lyme disease. Doctor Shikhman explains RA and its heterogeneous […]
The Faces of Lyme: Penny
Penny’s Lyme diagnosis was further complicated with menopause; making an accurate diagnosis more difficult to sift out the real issues. Once her diagnosis was confirmed, she struggled with accepting the length of her treatment protocol. She just wanted to feel better now! One year later, feeling “back to normal” she says her best advice is […]
The Faces of Lyme: Renel
“Family support is extremely important” Renel’s severe mood swings drove her to get checked out by a hormone specialist who revealed her autoimmune levels were elevated. She opens up about how important family support is and how she explained her diagnosis to her children. She admits the toll the disease took on her marriage, family, […]