I started back in August 2008 with severe pain in my left leg/foot and was given a diagnosis of sciatica, after visiting an orthopaedic consultant I was recommended to have a spine recompression operation but fortunately my pre-op checks showed up a potential heart defect and the anethetist postponed the op until I had been checked out by a cardiac specialist as he thought I might need a pacemaker. It turned out that I didn't need one and that there was nothing to prevent the intended op. My mri scan showed no real defect in my spine so they tried an epidural to ease my symptons which were becoming worse and making walking more difficult. After numerous scans and checks with no reason being found and with mobility very poor I ended up being admitted to hopsital then being transferred to a top neuro ward at a university hospital were a lumber puncture was done and it was discovered that I had contracted Lyme disease. It was now November and I was unable to walk at all because the disease had attacked the main nerves in my left leg and foot. The treatment was simple, a 2 week course of strong anti-biotics and I was clear of the disease but the rehabilitation is taking much longer and I am entering the New Year walking but with the aid of a stick.
Lyme Disease is still relatively uncommon in England but becoming more common especially in rural areas of the South of England where my family and I regularly walk. I had no recollection of any signs of a tick bite but encourage anyone we know that walk the same area we do to be aware, I consider myself lucky that my ecg scan was misread and my spine op postponed but I could have been spared many lost weeks of work and saved myself a lot of pain had I been investigated by the neuro consultant at the same time as I was seeing the orthopaedic consultant. So if anyone has unexplained symptoms and is a countryside visitor please ask your doctor to test you for Lymes or to just give you a course of Anti-biotics to be on the safe side. They won't do you any harm but could save you a lot of pain and nerve damage. My work is supporting disabled people with acquired brain injuries and, I came very close to being a service requirer not provider!