Living with Lyme – is there hope?


SARASOTA – Lyme disease is a complicated diagnosis. You also have to deal with the symptoms and the skeptics, but among all the dark clouds, there is hope.

Here’s a glimpse into my daily routine:

Every morning my alarm clock goes off so I can take my antibiotics, one of which is a compounded herb made specifically for my body and has to be refrigerated. It’s a regimen I pulse two weeks on and two weeks off. So far it’s been working, but some days are harder than others.

I fuel my body by eating clean. I can’t have gluten and I limit my dairy and sugar intake, because they cause inflammation, making my symptoms worse. And because of my sensitive stomach, the seven antibiotics I was first prescribed didn’t work. I tried herbs, but they weren’t strong enough. What works for me? A combo of the two.

To make sure it is working, I get my blood checked every few weeks. My glass is half full, because it’s gotten me to a treatment that helps.

It can be overwhelming and scary, but that’s what support groups are for. It helps having people who understand what you’re going through.

“Each day can be different,” says Carol Fisch. “I can have a good day; I don’t know that that’s going to happen.”

Like Fisch, I’ve learned to enjoy the good days. Like Amy Hanneken, I take extra caution when people around me are sick.

“From what my doctors have testified in court is that Lyme disease is also taking out people’s immune systems and leaving them in immune deficiency,” says Hanneken.

A Lyme diagnosis is overwhelming, but I like to think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, because look how far I’ve come.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you need a good support system, because most people don’t understand, but your support system will try. I have good days and I have bad days, but they keep me strong. The one thing that keeps me going even through the days that seem the most dark, is hope.

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Nicole Sommavilla
Multimedia journalist Nicole Sommavilla is a recent graduate from Ithaca College. Nicole was born and raised in Westchester, New York before she made the move to Florida. Being new to area, she loves meeting people and exploring the Suncoast. In her free time Nicole enjoys working out, being with her friends and family, and exploring the natural lands that surround her. Nicole has always loved writing and storytelling, which is how she discovered her passion for news. If you have a story idea or a news tip, feel free to email her at You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook for updates!