Pamela Dodd is an organizational psychologist with a long-time interest in personal and group effectiveness. She’s worked in a wide range of organizations from small businesses to non-profits to hospitals and large corporations. She has also published articles in the leadership and training and development arenas, as well as a best selling time management book.
Up until six years ago, Pam considered health and fitness hobbies. Then she was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease (and a few other related infections) – always a good news/bad news experience. Since then she, along with many others with Lyme, has tried to get the word out about this complex illness.
“One cold winter day in 1983 I put my left hand into a glove and couldn’t move my thumb. Just like that. One minute I had a fully functional hand. The next I didn’t.
Soon pains shot down my arm, my wrist dropped, and my fingers became numb and tingly. A neurosurgeon said it was a pinched nerve in my neck and wanted to operate. I said no thanks. That didn’t seem the right diagnosis to me.
A neurologist put me in the hospital for a week of tests, thinking I had a tumor on my spine. In the end all he could say was that I had brachial plexitis, a general term for inflammation of the nerves in the shoulder. A description, not a diagnosis.
The neurologist prescribed a high dose of the steroid Prednisone every other day. I was in the final semester of a graduate program; every other day my brain was fried. When I learned how dangerous steroids were, I stopped treatment and decided I’d rather be disabled.
For 23 years I had limited use my left hand. As a result, the muscles in my left arm atrophied. For all those years I thought the cause might be a virus. Turns out I wasn’t too far off.
Then I found a doctor who tested me for Lyme. The Lyme Borrelia bacterium is a potent neurotoxin. No doctor I saw ever mentioned or tested me for Lyme or any other infectious disease.
In October 2005, I began Lyme treatment. Since then I’ve regained partial use of my hand. Other long-term symptoms (brain fog, lack of verbal fluency) are also improving. Some long term issues remain (chronic sinusitis, finger, back, and hip stiffness).
I don’t let my health problems define me, but I also have a respectful regard for this brilliant organism that can cause so much trouble.”
After spending over 23 years in mid to senior management in corporate America, Steve Robichaud has been running his own company for over 7 years specializing in helping small to mid-size companies generate leads and clients using the internet, specifically through search engine marketing.
Up until two years ago, Steve (like Pam) considered health and fitness hobbies. Then his older daughter, Alyson, was diagnosed with Lyme disease. After his experiences, he wants to help others going down the same path get the answers they need easier and faster.
“In February 2007, we received a call from our daughter Alyson. She said she wasn’t feeling well but that it felt unlike anything she had ever experienced before. Little did we know the journey we were about to begin.
“It took over 6 months, with visits to various doctors, including an infectious disease specialist, neurologist and headache specialist, before we were finally able to find a Lyme literate doctor who confirmed our suspicions when he ordered the appropriate tests and verified she had Lyme disease. No parent should ever have to experience the feeling of helplessness we felt as our daughter was getting sicker and no doctor seemed to be able to help.
If it wasn’t for the support and encouragement of two friends (one of them being Pam) who had Lyme disease and had gone through similar frustrations to discover the truth, we may have not had the resolve to push until we found the right diagnosis. In the last year and a half, we’ve made significant progress against this terrible disease, but we still have some distance to go.
We are eternally grateful for the help we received from Pam and our friend Sean and realize that there is nothing we could ever do to pay them back appropriately for what they did for us. The only way is for us to pay it forward – to help others.”
Helping Others with Lyme
Chronic Lyme knows no boundaries. People of all ages from all walks of life have it – old, young, husbands, wives, and children.
Through our experiences we understand how frustrating, and at times depressing, it is to be chronically ill with something that is not only difficult to treat but also difficult to find the appropriate diagnosis for.
Our hope is that we can help you or someone you love who has chronic Lyme move through the healing process towards a state of wellness and well-being by sharing with you the best available knowledge and resources on this debilitating (and often misunderstood) disease.