Four County Residents Share Their Experiences with Lyme Disease

Westchester is known for its green space, the deer that roam it—and also, unfortunately, the deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease. Here, four county residents share their experiences.



Michael Iver, 51, Scarsdale—In 2006, Iver went to the doctor for swelling in his right knee. A rheumatologist drained his knee and eventually realized that it was Lyme disease—probably 18 months after a tick bit Iver on his left foot. The pain he experienced was, he says, “the most searing pain that one can never imagine.” He was unable to walk for six months without the aid of a cane. Iver was placed on an antibiotic drip line for four weeks. Today, he has some minor aches and discomfort and some loss of lateral motion in his knee.

Joshua Diaz, 32, New Rochelle—Diaz never saw the “bull’s-eye” rash that is often associated with Lyme, but he experienced extreme lethargy, joint pain, and a consistently high body temperature. He was quickly diagnosed, took amoxicillin four times a day for a little over a month, and is fine today.

Joanna Cali, 51, North Salem—Joanna Cali probably was bitten by a tick about 20 years ago while gardening, but didn’t know it. After becoming bedridden, Cali underwent a variety of tests, including a spinal tap to rule out spinal meningitis. Finally, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. It felt, Cali says, “like the aftermath of food poisoning.” For 10 days, she received antibiotics intravenously. She has never had any relapses, even though she has had additional tick bites.

Pat Tenerella-Brody, 62, Yonkers—Tenerella-Brody doesn’t know when a tick bit her, but,  almost three decades ago, she began to feel exhausted, to have balance problems, and to have trouble thinking clearly. Her husband, a physician, urged her to get tested. Eventually, Lyme disease was diagnosed. She attributes a couple of miscarriages and bouts of depression to the disease. She received antibiotics intravenously for several months, feeling worse before she began feeling better. Two years later, she thought she was experiencing a relapse, but testing found that she actually had MS (which can sometimes masquerade as Lyme disease). As a preventive measure, Tenerella-Brody received treatment for Lyme every summer until 10 years ago.


 

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