The Women's Journal

A Cautionary Tale Of Lyme

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By Heather Love

The summer of 2004, we had joined a local pool and had an easy summer planned. I had taken the summer off and was looking forward to the fall. Son and I spent every day outside and enjoying the area parks. One early fall morning, I looked down at my thigh and saw a bull’s eye rash. While I have never tested positive for Lyme, my life has changed profoundly.  

Between the summer of 2004 and the spring of 2005, I was on thirteen rounds of antibiotics. My health was drastically worse than before the rash but no one could find out why. I wasn’t testing positive for Lyme and the doctors decided to diagnose me for Fibromyalgia. It didn’t matter that my symptoms and my rash pointed to something related to the bull’s eye rash. Fifteen years later, we know that ticks carry several types of infections and we do not have testing or treatment options for all of them.  

Over the next fifteen years, our family purchased a restaurant, son started UD, and life moved forward. Every few years, my health would get worse and we would attempt to find a better solution. Each time, I would learn my new normal and we would adapt. Unfortunately, adapting stopped working. I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Disorder aka the suicide disease and autonomic system dysfunction on top of everything else.  

I left daily operations at the café and focused on managing my health. Managing my health, HA! I had managed inventory, kids, bratty little brothers, and a restaurant for over a decade but how do I manage my health? How do you even start? How do you wade thru all the information out there? How do you take control of your body and health? For me, it was changing the way I approached EVERYTHING that went into my body. 

Healthy drinks were a harder transition than healthy food. I cut out all caffeine and focused on drinking tonics and herbal remedies. I spent a few years trying to find the perfect solution for me, for example, I was drinking kombucha thinking it was helping my gut health. Now, I know that this isn’t the best for people that have co-infections in their guts. Lyme had changed my gut. Every time I drank kombucha I was feeding the bad stuff in my gut causing me to get sicker. Instead of coffee, soda, and kombucha, I drink a Turmeric latte, decaf coffee, water, and herbal teas. I love our café’s turmeric cider tea and it is incredibly healthy when combined with coconut milk.

I transitioned to cooking simple, earthy food. Gone are the days of traditional southern cooking and take out. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet peas, and dessert have been replaced with shredded chicken, sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts and pineapple for dessert. Food went from enjoyable food to necessary enjoyable fuel.  

Enjoyable fuel like pineapples. Pineapples are the only major food source of bromelain. The bromelain in pineapples reduce inflammation, swelling, bruising, and pain. Pineapple can be used as a recovery aid after a strenuous exercise. The simple act of adding fresh pineapple to my diet has reduced my daily inflammation. I eat half a pineapple a day because I consider it my medicine.

Don’t let a little tick destroy your life! Tick-borne disease knowledge and prevention is key for Lyme disease protection.  

Whereabouts Café Makes it Easier to Manage Your Health & Find Enjoyable Fuel to Feel Your Best

Whereabouts Café is located at 214 Peoples Plaza, Glasgow, Newark, Delaware. Purchased in 2007, the Love family (Marcus, Heather, and Marcus) has pushed the limits of their 49-seat sandwich café. Hopefully, they will be expanding over the summer. After the expansion, the café will be a 169-seat restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plans include a coffee roasting room, a stage, a full bar, and a community event room.