Episode 1: Cindy Kennedy – My Lyme Story

Cindy Kennedy

Cindy Kennedy, FNP, and host of Living With Lyme, shares her own journey of living with Lyme disease and what she has learned along the way.

Transcript of Episode 1: Cindy Kennedy – My Lyme Story

Doug Foresta: Welcome to Living With Lyme, the podcast where we educate, advocate and collaborate about Lyme disease, hear from experts as they share reliable information about how to live with Lyme disease. Now, here’s your host, nurse practitioner, Cindy Kennedy.

Cindy Kennedy: Hi, everyone. My name is Cindy Kennedy and I’d like to welcome you all to Living With Lyme. I’d like to tell you a little bit more about my story, but first, I’m here with producer Doug Foresta. Hi, Doug.

Doug Foresta: Hi, Cindy. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

Cindy Kennedy: It’s great to have you here. You’ve done a wonderful job for me.

Doug Foresta: Thank you.

Cindy Kennedy: And I’m excited to bring this information out to people or people who have loved ones that are affected by Lyme.

Doug Foresta: Well, we were talking about all the different amazing guests that we’re going to have on this program and people you’ll see coming up. We’ve got some great guests. But you also made a good point that I completely overlooked, which is your own story; that we need to hear from you about your own story of Lyme. How did you come to this journey? I know that that’s what you’re going to share with us today, correct?

Cindy Kennedy: Yeah, I’d like to. I’d like to tell people. I mean my closest friends and my family know what I’ve been through, but it is probably a rare occasion on any given day that I don’t talk to someone who has either had Lyme or has been affected by Lyme through a story or a loved one or their next-door neighbor.

Doug Foresta: Yeah. Maybe you can share with us a little bit. Would you mind to share with us a little of how this all started, how you came to where you are?

Cindy Kennedy: Sure, I’d love that. My story is basically not too much different than many others. I was a mom, a wife. I’m a nurse practitioner. I work in a busy OB-GYN office. Back in 2011, I felt much more tired than I expected and I thought maybe it was stress. I was busy. I was actually pretty productive. My first daughter was getting married and I thought, “Well, it’s stress. That’s what’s making me tired.” In the fall of 2011 after the wedding, something just didn’t feel right. Nothing really I could put my finger on, nothing real specific. I had gone to a conference in Texas and I was on the plane ride home, and all of a sudden, I experienced an unusual amount of anxiety. I felt very antsy, I felt like I couldn’t keep my feet still, and I just didn’t know what to think about it.
I knew what it was because I have experienced anxiety. I think everybody in the world has. So I just tried to keep calm and I didn’t jump out of the plane or anything like that. The next several months, I just was experiencing poor sleep. I kept feeling like I was waking constantly. I’ve never had anything like this before. I mean, everybody wakes up here or there either to noise, or they have to go to the bathroom, or whatever, but this was really, really exasperating. So I was just becoming more and more tired, and I just didn’t feel well, and I just became totally rundown and exhausted.
So I went to my primary care and, of course, all the blood work was drawn and she sent me to a sleep neurologist so I could have a sleep study. The sleep study was actually very impressive. I was waking some 30 times in an hour. The sleep neurologist said to me, “Gee, I’ve never seen this before. See you later. Hope you feel better,” and that was a lovely strike one.

Doug Foresta: So they didn’t have any diagnosis for you there. They just said, “You’re waking up 30 times in an hour. Boy, that’s strange. Good luck”?

Cindy Kennedy: Just about that.

Doug Foresta: Wow.

Cindy Kennedy: Just about that. So now I’m off and I don’t know what next to do. I was dragging myself to work. I was sleeping in my car at lunchtime and then dragging myself back home to just lay on the couch at night. My husband and I laugh all the time because when I just couldn’t move another muscle, I would bring up my hand and I would pretend I was waving a flag and I would just say white flag, white flag. Everybody would back off. They knew that mom had to either sleep or just be by herself. It was really, really difficult. I really didn’t know where to turn.
The funny thing about this, I didn’t look sick. That’s one thing about Lyme is. That’s what we call ourselves, people affected with Lyme. We don’t really look sick. So there becomes a real problem because people are looking at you and they just don’t get it.

Doug Foresta: Right. There is this gap between how you look and how you feel inside. Like if you were missing an arm, people would-

Cindy Kennedy: You got it.

Doug Foresta: -go, “Oh my god, Cindy. I’m so sorry.”

Cindy Kennedy: Right, right. If you’re dragging a limb or your face is beat up or whatever, you call attention to that. But because there’s no outward symptoms, it’s all internal. You’re feeling this all inside yourself and I was just not willing to give up. I wasn’t willing to quit and I wasn’t willing to take on the persona of a sick person. So onward, ho. This doctor, I went to this other doctor, a nutritionist, and this particular guy, I really thought might be the one. He said, “You’re going to feel 90% better when you see me back in a month.” Unfortunately, he failed and so here we are-

Doug Foresta: On what basis did he make a claim?

Cindy Kennedy: My fatigue was so bad. I mean, my husband had to drive me everywhere. I would sleep three minutes into the car ride.

Doug Foresta: Boy.

Cindy Kennedy: And most providers weren’t necessarily in Western Mass. I had to drive out towards Boston or the South Shore and it was hard to come by, because this wasn’t what I was usually made of. I was usually a lot of vim and vigor and I could handle a lot, and I find myself just … I was disgusted. I was sad. It was just so hard. People would look at me. I would have friends, they didn’t know what to say to me, so they just pulled away.

Doug Foresta: I’m sure in a way it sounds like you almost became like a different person. You weren’t the Cindy that everyone knew and was familiar with.

Cindy Kennedy: Right, right. It was becoming a shell, a shell of a person. Luckily I could function. I could function and keep up someone at the pace. But at this point, I got to do something else. I ended up seeing a rheumatologist. This was probably the worst care I’ve ever received. I had a ton of blood work again and basically he didn’t call me back, but he had his nurse call me back and she was embarrassed to tell me what he had to say. It was, “You’ll be fine. Just exercise 30 minutes a day.”

Doug Foresta: Wow, just exercise 30 minutes a day. That’s incredible.

Cindy Kennedy: Well, it is incredible because exercise, I could barely get out of bed. I could barely get myself to work or home. It was …

Doug Foresta: You’re a healthcare provider, like that’s the crazy part. You’re treated like this and you’re a part of the system.

Cindy Kennedy: Yup, yup. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know what else to do. So I stepped up into the batter’s box again and I saw an integrative health doctor. She was up in the Northampton area and-

Doug Foresta: Mm-hmm (affirmative), which, by the way, just so that we clarify for people that are listening to this in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Northampton, Massachusetts, home of Smith College. It’s the western part of the state of Massachusetts.

Cindy Kennedy: Exactly, exactly. I have to say she got the closest to the correct diagnosis. At this point now, we’re in to 2013. She ran very non-traditional tests. She ran a nagalase enzyme. It was horrifically high. She ran a human transforming growth factor beta 1. Of course, I had no idea what these were because we don’t use these since our standard care. But this shows cellular regeneration. So with injured cells, you’re going to find this level. Well, this level was astronomically high. I remember calling her and saying, “You know, I am just not on my game. I have terrible brain fog and at times I’m confused. I couldn’t figure out how to get a certain route that I’ve traveled all the time.” My question was answered by a question and she said, “Are you sure you don’t have Lyme?” I was like, “Isn’t that your job?”
Then what happened was it was pretty sad. She ended up leaving very quickly her practice because she had a death in the family and she just packed up and left. Now I was in limbo. Now, what was I going to do at this point? This was sad. At this point, we were into the summer of about 2013 and I began to feel horribly flu-like every single day. I had sore throats and it was never consistent. It would be, “Oh, my throat feels awful and then two hours later it didn’t.” My glands in my neck felt swollen and then the crazy thing is my wrists. My wrists were super, super painful. My hand started to swell. My fingers were sausages and I knew right then and there I better take my rings off and I could not get them back on. I barely could get them over my first knuckle.

Doug Foresta: Oh my gosh.

Cindy Kennedy: At that point, it had dawned on me that a few years prior I had two episodes of having wrist pain. I woke up each of these two days and while making my bed, I was like, “Wow, my wrists are killing me.” I look like crippled almost. But as the way wore on, it went away and it dissipated. I didn’t know what it was. I just figured, “Jesus, I’m getting a little older.” It must be something like that.
At that point in my life, I didn’t feel ill. But at this point, it was completely obvious that there is something seriously wrong. Something seriously wrong. So I started again with this new primary care and every time my husband and I would go to a new provider, we would look at each other at the end of the appointment and we say, “This is the one. This is the one that’s going to help.” At this point, disappointment always followed. I didn’t get the help I needed. I was glad because I talked to other people who have Lyme and they say that they’ve been told, “This is all in your head and you should probably get yourself an appointment with a therapist.”

Doug Foresta: Therapist.

Cindy Kennedy: I knew. I had physical symptoms at that point, with those hands. They were crazy. So I ended up getting x-rays and then I ran into a horrible bout of vertigo and had to go through some vestibular retraining to see if they could figure out which ear, which side it came from. I basically failed the physical therapy. Here goes another story of “I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has ever failed this.” So off to the ears, nose and throat doctor and an MRI and … Luckily, everything was clear and he had said to me, “Geez, I was concerned that you really had MS. This was really a difficult task.” Well, the vertigo went away but the symptoms did not go away. I just continue to feel horrible and there was really still no answer.
At the fall at this point, I remember being wrapped in a blanket. I had it covering my head and I was just holding it and I felt ill enough to say, “Bring me to a hospital, and just drag me or do something so I don’t feel this.” So I called the primary care and I was able to get her on the phone and I said to her, “I am infected. I am infected.” Her answer to me was, “Oh, well, what are you infected with?” My answer to her was very colorful. It was colorful. So she put me on three weeks of doxycycline. She said, “This is all I can offer you,” and I said, “Oh, just …” I remember, I remember looking out the window and going, “Bring it on.”
You get so sick and you’re desperate. If someone said, “If I poke you in the eye with these needles …”

Doug Foresta: It’ll make it better.

Cindy Kennedy: … poke me in the eye.

Doug Foresta: Bring it on, right.

Cindy Kennedy: Bring it on, poke me in the eye. So I was thrilled. Maybe this is going to be it. Maybe this will be wonderful. She made an appointment with me to see another rheumatologist while I was taking the doxycycline. I had just finished it and I went to this new rheumatologist and I said to him, “I’m 75% better.” I really felt better. He looked at me and he said, “Well, I don’t know why.” I’m like, “You don’t know why?” You think at this point this is a big clue. No. If I’m taking care of someone and I treat them and they are getting better, isn’t that something to go with? Isn’t that something you would say, “That’s a big clue”?

Doug Foresta: Right.

Cindy Kennedy: But that was ignored, because when you look back at those early lab tests and standard lab tests that they do and they just send out to a regular lab, I didn’t create an antibody. Those tests now we know are way less than 50% accurate. You cannot always pick this up. So, with that, I didn’t have Lyme. So I said, “Well, what do you think this is?” He says, “You have fibromyalgia.” I said, “Fibro, my ass. I don’t have fibromyalgia.”Sure you do. It hurts here. It hurts here. It hurts here. That’s what it is.” Well, if you know anything about Lyme, fibromyalgia is a symptoms of Lyme because it’s fibro and pain. So fibrous tissue, your muscles, your tendons, yes, you do have pain.
So now I left the office with this prescription for non-steroidal and, of course, that was terrible. It upset my stomach. I couldn’t take it. I was getting terrible, terrible headaches. Just the worst headaches; pressure. I always felt foggy all the time. So I would go to work. I’d have my arsenal of things. I’d have supplements. I’d have Advil and I’d have my Tylenol and I’d be trying to drink water and, “Okay, what can I take next? How long has it been? Oh, here’s something. I have some migraine medicine. Maybe that will work for me.” And so this is day in and day out and day in and day out.
I got a little bit of a reprieve and that was during a very busy time in our lives. We had sold the house and was building a house. I held tight for a while. At that point, one of my friends is an endocrinologist and I was telling her what was going on. She says, “I have somebody I want to talk to.” She came back to me and said, “You know, there is something out there, a medication that’s made at a compounding pharmacy called LDN, and that’s low dose naltrexone. It is the sister, cousin, whichever way you want to look at it, of suboxone, which suboxone is used to help people …

Doug Foresta: Opioid addictions, right?

Cindy Kennedy: It is, yes, to get off of, but this is low dose. This is itty-bitty dosing. It’s made through compounding simply because the pharma companies don’t want any part of it. It is such a small amount and it’s not going to bring them any money. So that’s where the compounding pharmacies come into play. So I gave it a try and it did help with those aches and pains, but unfortunately, it didn’t allow me to sleep. I was having such trouble with sleep. Everybody was trying desperately. “Why don’t you try this? Here’s this kind of medication. Here’s that kind of medication.” Nothing helped. It made me feel worse.
So I had to stop that and shortly thereafter, I started having really bad bladder symptoms. I thought it was a bladder infection, so I checked myself out and treated myself because that’s what really good nurse practitioners do. They take care of them self. But it kept coming back. So at this point, I saw a urologist and I was explaining to him what the sensation was, I was walking around feeling like I had rocks in my bladder. He looked at me right in my eye and he said, “You know what, you need more testing for Lyme.” I said, “I do?”
He explained, there’s injury to different cells in your body. It can be brain cells. It can be heart cells. It can be your bladder. Certainly, people know the obvious, joints and muscles. So I left there and said, “If this is really a destructive force, what else is it doing?” I spent time on the Internet. I talked to anybody I could. The Lyme actually disrupts your immune system. As your immune system is getting more and more injured, it’s on high alert. So what happens is it forces your body to produce other antibodies and there goes what’s called autoimmune disease. So somewhere around this time or just previous, I had double vision. It was diagnosed as myasthenia gravis, which, fortunately enough stayed ocular. It never spread to any other parts of my body, and the treatment for this is prednisone.
You fast forward, well, come to find out prednisone is a fuel for Lyme. So it’s like plus minus. You do a little good and then you cause a lot of bad. So what was I going to do now? So, at this point, I continued on looking for what help can I get. Where can I go? I decided that I’d go back to the same integrative practice that I went to previously. I was ready to go yesterday, but it took months to get in. They’re backlogged. They deal with so many different things other than this type of infection, chronic illnesses, allergies, etcetera.
So I waited my turn. I showed up with all my data. I was so organized. It was in all chronological order. I explained everything. Things were highlighted. This particular doctor said, “It’s infectious. At this point, I can tell you that this is an infection and we need to find out what type it is.” If you get bit by a tick, it will, 50% at the time at least, cause Lyme disease, but it’s not just Lyme that these ticks carry. They can carry other co-infections. Some of them are called Babesia, Bartonella, Rocky Mountain-

Doug Foresta: I didn’t realize that. We don’t really hear about that very much.

Cindy Kennedy: Absolutely. Absolutely, and so if you are just treated for Lyme, you may not get sick … I’m sorry.

Doug Foresta: Just say it again, Cindy.

Cindy Kennedy: If you’re just treated for Lyme, you may not get better because they haven’t addressed these co-infections and there are different medications for the different types of co-infections. So here goes another set of blood drives. This went out to a specialty lab in California. It took a while for the results to come back and yes, in fact, by some additional testing, which they do, not just antibody testing, but some other specifics that look at your white blood cells and certain markers, it looked like, yeah, this was definitely Lyme. Then I was having more symptoms that related to the infection Babesia.
It was winter time at this point. What are we up to? 2015. I could typically walk up a slow incline, a slow incline, and I was having troubles. I was short of breath and my husband is like, “What is the matter with you? Come on,” and I really couldn’t do it. I couldn’t walk up the cellar stairs. I’d walk up the stairs, I’d sit on the top stair, catch my breath, and then continue on. I was an invalid. I felt like this is crazy. So the doctor started me on one antibiotic and then he added a second and he added a third. This is some of the protocols they use. So here I am taking three antibiotics at a time. I’m suffering still; maybe a little glimpse that I feel a little better. Still plugging along, still trying to be the mom, the wife, trying to do my household stuff and I’m still going to work.
During the summertime, I started having really severe die-off reaction.

Doug Foresta: Can you explain that that is?

Cindy Kennedy: It’s called a Herxheimer reaction. When you are in the process of killing off the Lyme, and it releases its inner toxins, it causes your body to produce a cascade of inflammation. So not only do your symptoms become worse, you are exasperated with either nausea or pain or severe headache. I remember one day it was so bad that my husband had to actually lift me out of bed and hold me because I was so weak to walk me to the couch.
Now, very interesting, my doctor at the integrative practice said, “Okay, here is your regimen. These are things that you can take when you are feeling at your worse.” I did that. The very next day, it was like my body was able to just get rid of … You really have to work at detoxing when you are sick and treating the Lyme. I actually had like a day that I was like, “I feel like a million dollars.” So the doctor said, “Okay, just stop your treatment for now. Let your body rest and then we’ll start it up a little later.” Every time I did that, I was back at square one. This horrible reaction, everything was terrible, and I was like, “If this is the treatment, it’s almost worse than the infection.”

Doug Foresta: Yeah.

Cindy Kennedy: So I got to the point where I could not, even if I stopped a little bit, I couldn’t feel well. I decided I would research a little more and I did find a Lyme-only specialist in New York. I traveled the distance and I showed up again with my highlighted labs and paperwork and he said, “Okay, well, obviously, the protocol that you were on didn’t work for you so we need to start over. We need to try a different protocol.” So he started me on a single antibiotic and then he started me on … which, even though I had the symptoms of shortness of breath, etcetera, and the headaches that go along with Babesia, there wasn’t a specific treatment from my previous doctor. So he said, “Let’s try that.” I basically was in love with this medicine because it really started to make a different. I felt like I turned the corner.

Doug Foresta: Incredible.

Cindy Kennedy: It was incredible. Some of the fatigue lifted. Some of the fogginess lifted. Some of the awful joint and nerve pain that was just going down my legs, that felt a bit better. At this point, we were plugging through. We had a big vacation. Everybody looked at me and said, “How are you going to even do this?” I said, “Well, I’m going.” I went on the vacation and I did okay. I really did. I was proud of myself. Of course, I had to take this cargo load of medication with me with all my supplements and letters saying that this liquid is not going to cause …

Doug Foresta: That could explode on the plane.

Cindy Kennedy: … Explode, exactly, those TSA agents. They look at you like you’re definitely, definitely going to hijack this plane. I know you are. So at that point, I came home and we were going through the holidays. What I thought was really something that was going to come to an end actually started to get worse. I started with a lot of just brain fog and I was having short-term memory issues. I was damned to believe that, “Oh, it’s just ’cause you’re getting older. Now you’re in your 50s, you’re definitely going to not remember things.” It just wasn’t the same. I had a period of time where I was confused. Now, was it the lack of sleep? Was it the Lyme? I mean, Lyme really does a number on your brain. You can end up doing crazy things.
Like, one time, I opened a file cabinet, looking for something, and instead of shutting the drawers in between looking into the next drawer, I just kept opening all the drawers until the whole thing just about fell on top of me.

Doug Foresta: Oh, man.

Cindy Kennedy: I would say things, it didn’t go through my brain appropriately so things would come out of my mouth that, really, I was like, “Wow, I said that?” Or do silly things that didn’t mean much to me, but probably to somebody else it meant something different. So I spoke to the Lyme doctor and he said, “You know, the problem with Lyme in the brain is that all of your oral medications do not go through the blood-brain barrier. It’s very selective. The only way to do that is we really need to do these medications intravenously.”
All right, so now what do I have to do? So anyways, into the hospital and indwelling IV … it’s called a PIC line. It goes into a vein in your arm and it threads up the main vessel and dumps right into your heart. So I had that done. Now, I’m doing IV medications whether I’m here, at home, or I’m at work or I’m going to a friend’s house. I kept on schedule. I did everything I could do. The insurance company at this point okayed. They had allowed me to have nursing care at home. They allowed me to have all my supplies and they paid for my antibiotics. I ended up getting a letter on Day 29 from my insurance company saying that they will no longer cover my antibiotics because at this point, it’s experimental. Okay, spinal slap in the forehead. Yesterday, it was a treatment, on day 28-

Doug Foresta: But tomorrow it’ll be experimental.

Cindy Kennedy: But on day 29 it’s experimental. So we appealed it. I tried to get the help from the IV company who provided all the medication and the resources I need. It was a no go. It wasn’t. Luckily enough, last year, there was a law that was passed in Massachusetts that said that if the insurance company is under the guidelines of Massachusetts, that they can no longer deny antibiotic coverage. But, of course, that went by the wayside too late, dollar late, a day short; a dollar late … no …

Doug Foresta: A day late and a dollar short.

Cindy Kennedy: That’s it. So I ended up having to stop the antibiotics shortly thereafter because I was having a really serious side effect. I had a really horrible allergic reaction that happened only 2% of the time. It’s called serum sickness. The antibiotic, your body then sees it as a danger and makes antibodies-

Doug Foresta: It actually attacks the antibiotics.

Cindy Kennedy: It does, and it lines the vessels, your blood vessels, your veins, and the pain was astronomical in my legs. I really couldn’t walk and I basically lost … I can’t even tell you the two days that I was the sickest and I ended up having to go to the hospital. My daughter who’s a nurse just said, “Come on, mom.” So while I was changing and getting some clothes on, I looked down at my legs and I saw the rash, which I hadn’t seen before and I knew, “Oh my god, this is serum sickness.” So back to the hospital. Here we go. IV steroids, pain medication, IV fluids. Luckily, I still had my PIC line in, so-
Doug Foresta: They could do it right through there.
Cindy Kennedy: … I could do it all that way. Home, on more oral steroids and then, of course, what happens with that, it flares the Lyme. Now, I feel fed up. I can’t do this anymore. I cannot take anymore antibiotics. There has to be another way. So I spoke with a naturopath and I tried different supplements, things that would enhance my immune system, because at one point, it’s really going to be up to your body to fight this and keep this at bay. It’s you cannot be treated with antibiotics forever. In fact, antibiotics worked a bit against you because the Lyme actually changes. It morphs into different …

Doug Foresta: It wants to survive like any other.

Cindy Kennedy: It is. It penetrates things. It forms cyst formation. It actually goes into a colony called a biofilm, and the symptoms for people are never the same. You can talk to 10 people who’ve been diagnosed with Lyme. Everybody starts off differently. Lyme is a big impersonator. It takes on many shapes and many forms, and that’s why it’s missed so often because it doesn’t … It’s not the same pattern. If you have something that shows up equally for one person to the next like a cancer, leukemia, etcetera.

Doug Foresta: Diabetes, it’s fairly similar pattern.
Cindy Kennedy: Exactly. Exactly. So as I was trying to recover from this, I ended up needing surgery. Anyways, and at that point, needing surgery meant a chance that this could be worse. But, again, here we go, plus-minus risk benefit. I go ahead and do it. A week later, I formed a big abscess. That had to be surgically removed and now this abscess caused a systemic type of infection. I became probably the illest I have ever been. In fact, this is the second time that I felt like I was going to die and then when I didn’t, I wished I had.

Doug Foresta: Boy.

Cindy Kennedy: That was rough. My daughter was getting married; my second daughter was getting married soon and I had to get there. I had to. The nausea was so striking. It was so striking that I could barely eat. I could sip liquids but I could barely eat. I felt so desperate. I was just desperate. The pain, the bladder symptoms came back. I had to go home with a catheter. That was always a treat. Now I know what my patients complain about. That is just no fun. The pain, my whole life pelvic area was just on fire.
The good heart of people that were trying to take care of me just couldn’t make a difference. So I just, again, I dealt with a holistic nutritionist who will actually be a speaker for me and she helped me the most. She put me back to the basics. You’re going to eat foods the way it came out of nature. You are going to balance out your gut because it’s ruined from all your antibiotics, from everything that you’ve been through and you’ve depleted your system. So at this point, here we go. We’re going to do everything the right way, and I did improve.
I had lost so much weight. I was weak, I was tired. At this point I couldn’t work for a little bit of time, and I then slowly got a little bit stronger. I went to my daughter’s wedding. I had a great time. No one had any clue that I had been sick like that. They said, “Wow, you look good.” I was like, “Thank you. Thank you. That’s so awesome.” So at this point we’re going to go a whole year ahead and I am at the point where I’m about 80 to 90% better. I have times where I know I’m not doing well and things will cause a little bit of a flare. Mostly stress, mostly if I’m not sleeping well, and those things will … I’ll feel it coming on. I’m thrilled that I have no more headaches like that. I knew something was wrong back then because I am not a headache person. That doesn’t fit my motto kind of thing.
I’m now off antibiotics. I am working with very simple supplements. I have learned that things that are on the Internet that say, “Gosh, we’re going to cure you.” If it sounds too good to be true …

Doug Foresta: It’s too good to be true.

Cindy Kennedy: … it’s too good to be true.

Doug Foresta: Yeah.

Cindy Kennedy: So back to the simple things, and I’ve been able to exercise a little bit. I’m gaining some strength back, and I working my job as a nurse practitioner about three days a week. At this point, I can actually say that I’m living with Lyme.

Doug Foresta: I think one of the really important things about your story is for people to understand that, yes, you are a healthcare practitioner, but perhaps even more importantly, or maybe they’re equally important, that you know what it’s like. I know everyone’s journey is different but you know that, too. I think it’s so important to start off this podcast with your journey and your story that we can get to know you and I’ve gotten to know you. I didn’t know any of these, because you’re so bubbly and you’re so energetic. I’m listening to your story and I was going, “I would have never imagined.” I have the same thought, but you look so great. It’s just human nature that we say that.

Cindy Kennedy: I thank you for that. I have met some incredible other people that have either suffered for a long time. I’ve met some people who were fortunate enough to get a bull’s eye or know there was a tick. The DM tick that bit me never even introduced himself.

Doug Foresta: Was elusive. Right, exactly. It was an elusive tick.

Cindy Kennedy: So with that, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge. I’m happy to say that networking has been wonderful. I’m also happy to say that I’m glad that I didn’t know what I was going to be up against when I started this journey because if that crystal ball was available and it didn’t go out too far into the future, it would have been a very, very desperate time I don’t know if I could have gotten through.

Doug Foresta: Well, you’re going to help a lot of people with this podcast. We have some great guests on, so I thank you so much. Thanks for sharing your story.

Cindy Kennedy: Doug, it’s a pleasure, and thank you for being here with me.

Doug Foresta: Thank you.

You’ve been listening to Living With Lyme. We’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsors: Ochoa Salon and Spa, with over 30 years in the beauty industry. Ochoa Salon and Spa has achieved excellence through innovation. Experience their continued commitment to exceeding your expectations with two locations at East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and South Hadley, Massachusetts. Visit them at OchoaForHair.com; Western Massachusetts Realtor Tom Morrissette has been helping people buy and sell their homes for 27 years. When you think real estate, think Tom Morrissette. Experience counts. Visit him at laerrealty.com; and Bazin Chiropractic Office, helping people live a healthy life through proper spinal alignment. Visit Dr. Bazin in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
Thank you for listening to Living With Lyme. If you’ve enjoyed the episode, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. To learn more about Cindy Kennedy and Living With Lyme, visit LivingWithLyme.us. Thank you so much and we’ll be back soon with a new episode.