2020 has proven to be a very challenging year to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everything from our health to our national economy. As someone who suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease, it can be quite scary as many of my symptoms can mimic Coronavirus. I thought I would use this post to discuss some of the similarities between the two.
Lyme Disease and COVID-19 have a lot of things in common from headaches, low-grade fever to extreme fatigue and body aches. Both are great imitators in that COVID-19 mimics respiratory illnesses such as Influenza or Pneumonia while Lyme can mimic diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s Disease. Both can be considered “Long Haulers” in that symptoms can be debilitating and remain for long periods of time well after a person becomes ill. You might remember me sharing that I was infected with Lyme in 2003 but was not diagnosed until 2014. So for 11 years I had symptoms that went undiagnosed.
If you have Lyme Disease in the Chronic or Late Stage you could be at greater risk because your immune system is significantly decreased. It can be difficult to determine if your symptoms are COVID or Lyme at first, however one major difference is COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system pretty aggressively and includes a frequent cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, while Lyme does not usually (though it can if you have co-infections) present in the airways. If you suffer from any of the co-infections associated with Lyme Disease such as Babesia, you can experience problems breathing, such as shortness of breath and/or air hunger like I do.
If you experience any of the symptoms I mentioned (fever, fatigue, cough or shortness of breath), it is important for you to keep track of your symptoms and contact your Primary Care Physician immediately. If you experience these symptoms along with a bullseye rash, this is a sign of Lyme Disease and should be reported. Be sure to let your PCP know if you’ve been in heavily wooded areas, as ticks that cause Lyme Disease often hide in the brush and leaves. (Primarily Deer Ticks)
I share all of this with you because as you can probably imagine, some days I wake up with a little anxiety wondering if I have come in contact with COVID-19, then God reminds me that it’s my Lyme symptoms. Some days I have a shortness of breath, while other days I have the absolute worst migraine and body aches. I have to tell myself, “Windy, you’ve been feeling like this off and on for several years, you’re ok”! Sometimes for just a split second I get scared and wonder if I have done all the right things to protect myself. I choose to put my trust in God and do my best not to worry.
Please be safe out there, especially those of us who suffer from underlying illnesses. If you have any questions re: Lyme Disease or if you suspect you might have it, please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for stopping by!