A Twist of Lyme by Andrea H. Caesar is subtitled Battling a Disease That “Doesn’t Exist.” That’s because, at the time the author contracted the tick-borne infection at age 11, most doctors didn’t recognize Lyme disease as being a real one. It was thought to be, by some doctors, anyway, psychosomatic — all in the sufferers’ minds. Caesar wasn’t diagnosed correctly, in fact, until she was 36 years old.
Barrelia burgdorferi, otherwise known as Lyme disease, can be tricky to diagnose correctly, even today. It has certain symptoms that many of the people who contract it experience, but it can affect different people differently, some more extremely than others. Caesar was one of the people in the “extreme” category, though she didn’t realize what was causing her debilitating symptoms at the time.
A Twist of Lyme presents Andrea Caesar’s personal experiences as she struggled through the agonizing physical and psychological symptoms of Lyme disease, an incurable ailment which still continues to afflict her today, though the medical treatment and medication she’s currently taking have helped her to cope with her illness somewhat better.
Andrea went from being a normal, healthy girl who, when she was 10, was into sports like kickball, to being at age 11 a young lady who was short of breath, and plagued by constant migraines and aching muscles. Still, as much as possible, even when Caesar started to lose the feeling in her shins, she tried to ignore the symptoms and lead as normal of a life as she could.
A Twist of Lyme is a very personal look at one person’s trials and tribulations facing this illness. As Dr. Joseph G. Jemsek, MD, FACP states, the author writes about what she experienced “in real-time in her blog format.”
Caesar’s true account about her experience with Lyme disease is not one of “challenge and triumph,” as Dr. Jemsek — the doctor who eventually was able to help her cope with the disease, to an extent — wrote in the Forward to A Twist of Lyme. Rather, it is more “a story of a disease.”
Among Caesar’s many symptoms, she experiences painful migraines, temporary loss of eyesight, confusion, Lyme Rage, and the feeling that she had a bad sunburn, even though she wasn’t sunburned.
The author relates how she become more and more debilitated, the disease that was supposedly in her mind actually affecting her mind, impairing her neurological functions.
As Caesar writes:
I have had episodes of central pain for a while now. For a long time I have complained of the sensation of a needle being stuck straight through my left thigh in the same place. I have complained of headaches that felt like a swimmer’s cap of needles, and now the sunburn, which I experienced again today. According to Dr. Jemsek, this indicates that the thalamus is in the middle of a storm.
There were a few bright moments among the bad ones, such as the birth of Caesar’s daughter, Anelya, who she often calls Mini. Mini, her friends, her dad, and Dr. Jemsek, among others, gave her the strength to carry on, despite the case of Lyme disease that was affecting her entire life.
If you have ever become infected with Lyme disease, or know others who have it, or you are just interested in reading about people who have lived through traumatic circumstances but have struggled and persevered despite the odds, you will thoroughly enjoy reading A Twist of Lyme by Andrea Caesar. You can get it at the link below, or other outlets where fine books are sold.
Written by: Douglas Cobb