ABC 13 News Anchor Noreen Turyn has Lyme Disease. She takes us through her journey and the long road for others in The Lyme Controversy.
Halifax, VA - Turyn's series "The Lyme Controversy" generated an enormous amount of feedback. Some of our viewers who had been suffering for years, now report they're getting answers, and are on their way to recovery.
One of those stories of triumph is Sarah Epps. To see her today you would never know the battle she's fought.
Just months ago, playing soccer with her boys was out of the question; even watching them was an effort.
"I have taken the boys to their soccer games and had to crawl in the back seat to sleep simply because I could not sit up in the car to watch them," Epps said.
It started after a bite in 1999.
"It covered almost down to my elbow," she said.
Doctors told her it looked like a brown recluse spider bite and left it at that. But slowly symptoms crept up on her, symptoms such as pain throughout her muscles, constant fatigue, low grade fevers, sleep disruption. It went on for years.
"So you go to doctor after doctor and I was diagnosed eventually with Lupus, Fibromyalgia , which all seemed to fit- the aches the pains the symptoms... but it was never an answer for me," Epps said.
She struggled with trying to home school her boys and run a household. She gave up horseback riding, but she just couldn't accept what doctors were telling her.
"That basically I could take aspirin for the pain and rest."
She started doing her own research. She thought Lyme Disease sounded very similar, but two different doctors passed her off.
"And I could just tell I wasn't getting anywhere."
Finally she came across the concept of Lyme Literate Medical Doctors.
"And about that time your 3 part series came on and I was just amazed, It was like, that's my story and she knows what I've been through! She's telling my life story and my medical situation! So I was really pumped then, I knew this was the answer and I had to find someone to believe me."
Epps made her appointment and drove to Fairfax.
"I was in shock when she listened to me. Looked at my symptom log that I had kept for years and said, I know what's wrong with you, and I'm going to help you. I was stunned, I was just....oh I cried," she said.
And the Lyme test came back positive. She says no doctor had ever given her one. Now after four months of treatment, Sarah and her doctor are thrilled with how quickly she's improved.
"I think that I'm going to help somebody else just like you helped me. And there are people out there like us that are suffering and don't know why. And they need to be helped. It's crazy to think that something that can be fixed is not, and people need answers."
This story first aired April 24, 2008.