For most of my life, I had been rather healthy. The only time I really had to worry about my health was when my weight shot up after the birth of my children. After having my youngest child, I weighed in at 270lbs. So, at my heaviest, I had high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and arthritic pain in my knees. My health nightmare began around 2007. I went on a camping trip with our church family for a week. It was beautiful and fun. I never saw the danger coming. A week or two after returning home, I noticed a huge, red, uniform in color rash on the inside of my left thigh. I was only slightly alarmed by it, because it wasn't painful and I hadn't noticed any other symptoms. I showed it to one of my daughters, thinking that she would find it interesting. I think I showed it to my mother and my husband, too, but that's about as far as it went. Then, the symptoms began. For an entire year, I noticed a lot of popping, grinding, aches, and pains in my joints. My knees really bothered me, but I thought it was due to the weight. Then, my neck would constantly pop and grind. I'd have massive migraines in my eyes that felt as if someone was shoving a knife in them. Light and loud noises began to bother me. Then, I ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome. I thought maybe I had a pinched nerve in my neck or back that may be causing the carpal tunnel. I went to a neurologist, only to find I had mild neuropathy in my legs. After carpal tunnel surgery, I thought my worries would lessen. To my dismay, four months later, I awoke to such horrendous pain in my back that all I could do is rock in the fetal position and cry. I went to the doctor who referred me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist did all the regular blood work, including the standard lyme test from the standard lab. Nothing remarkable came to light. Blood work was fine. The well respected and very kind rheumatologist diagnosed me as having fibromyalgia. I was happy to at least come home and give my husband a name to whatever fits my body was going through. Unfortunately, my symptoms did not entirely fit the criteria for just fibromyalgia. Several doctors later, my mom insisted that I consult a doctor that the women at her job were attending. This doctor educated me on the difference between labs and suggested that I get blood work analized at a lyme specific lab. To my suprise, my lab test came back very positive for lyme borreliosis. It took 3 years to get a diagnosis. Now, the lyme bacteria are throughout my body, and very difficult to treat. I am in an ongoing battle with these nasty organisms. When I was finally diagnosed with lymes, I did not celebrate at finally having a diagnosis for I knew that I was in for a long haul.