Public health officials in Lansing have heard next to nothing of Lyme disease in Northwest Michigan, but the area is abuzz with stories of people battling the disease.
Lyme disease is truly nasty, confusing and complicated. And the politics surrounding this tick-borne disease are pretty much the same way. In fact, the intense medical controversy has kept state officials in the dark about proven cases in the area.
Dawn Brown, whose face flashed with pain through a recent interview, believes a tick at the Lake Ann Baptist Camp burrowed into her leg on a sunny day last May. An avid walker/runner and mother of three, she paid little attention to the scab on her leg while shaving over the weekend.
But three days later she felt as if a Mack truck had hit her.
I was fine in the morning, I did all my errands, got the kids to school. By noon I was on the couch and couldnt move. I called my husband and he sat on the couch, and I screamed in pain. Just him sitting on the couch made me hurt.
Her temperature climbed to 102. She sweated and shivered with chills. Over the next three weeks, her knees, ankles, wrists and elbows puffed up. Pain jumped from one joint to another. Unable to get a definitive diagnosis from area physicians, she surfed the Internet and found the Michigan Lyme Disease Association. She had all the symptoms of Lyme. Out of curiosity, she sent a note out to the neighborhood. Had anyone else been bit?