Community rallies around victim of Lyme disease

Excerpted from  North County News ( Posted: 04/07/2011 ) 

When Matt O’Reilly pulled a tick off his back in the fall of 2008, he knew to look for signs that it was an infected tick that could give him Lyme disease. But he never got the telltale red bull’s-eye or rash around the bite area. He never felt aches in his joints.

The former golf professional at Hayfields County Club and gifted athlete, who was so healthy that he’s never even had a cavity, felt just fine.

For a while.

But then he started having strange symptoms.

“I felt like I was tripping on my tongue,” said O’Reilly, 40, who graduated from Hereford High School in 1989. His slurred speech was so slight that it took half a year for his wife, Michelle, or his family or friends to notice.

In April 2009, the muscles in his arms started twitching. Then, one day while holding his two children and swinging them in the air, he felt the strength in his wrists give out.

Since then, he has been on a physical, emotional and financial roller coaster. He was told he might have multiple sclerosis. Maybe lupus. Maybe ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was checked for a possible brain tumor. He was told it was simply stress.

Finally, a blood test in June 2009 proved he had Lyme disease.

“This disease can manifest itself in 100 different ways,” he said. “At first, I felt whatever was happening to me was not in the realm of Lyme disease, but now I know better. I feel like I keep falling further and further down the rabbit hole.”

 For the complete article:

~ by Rob on April 20, 2011.

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