MOUNTAIN LIFE - Coast Mountains | Summer 2018

SUMMER 2018 MLCM 121 words :: Leslie Anthony Five hours a day for five days straight, Kelly Jensen sits in a room with an IV drip in her arm. She’ll suffer this routine each month for three months – just to see what happens. For the 38-year-old Squamish resident, the inconvenience of receiving intravenous immunoglobulin therapy is a gamble; it may help, it may not. But after five years battling Lyme disease with various combinations of antibiotics and other prescriptions, naturopathic supplements, and a range of treatments from vitamins to ozone to infrared, the prospect of relief is worth any experiment. “I’m fortunate, when I’m having treatments, mom will drive out to take care of the kids and help around the house. And my husband has been super-supportive; his job is flexible and allows him to be on call when I’m having a bad day and mom isn’t available.” In 2013, while pregnant, Jensen began to experience depressions and mental fugues that progressed after the birth of her son. Standard treatment for this didn’t help and other symptoms arrived: muscle twitches and spasms, tingling and numbness, exhaustion. Finally, at the urging of a friend, she underwent two different tests for Lyme disease, with the collective result being equivocal. Thus began her Kafkaesque journey, chasing symptoms through a labyrinthine world of doubting doctors, empathetic naturopaths, and a litany of hopeful treatments. Five years later, despite having moved from a 9.9 out of 10 on the symptoms list to a more manageable 4–7, she still experiences spasms, low energy, and the depression that accompanies loss of identity (she’d just finished her Masters and had to leave her job as a teacher when symptoms began; she hasn’t worked in four years). Like many Lyme patients, Jensen can enumerate in detail the onset of every symptom as well as each contact with medical professionals, administration of a test, new drug or other treatment. Every up, and every THE LYME BOMB WELL NESS Microscopic image of a large problem for outdoor enthusiasts. DAVID SCHARF