Tips to Properly Diagnose a Mysterious Chronic Illness

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Playing How Lyme Disease Turned Into a Chronic Illness for up and Coming Musician

The Doctors welcome Dana, who shares how trying to diagnose and manage a chronic illness can be life-altering.

She was on the cusp of her music career taking off when a mysterious illness took over her life and she did not even get a diagnosis until 1 of her organs had failed.

Dana says her issues started with a crushing headache and neck ache. A few days later, she discovered a tick bite on her shoulder and was given 3 weeks of antibiotics to combat Lyme disease and was told she would be fine. But, 3 months later, "All hell broke loose," she says. She then developed swelling and pain in her breast, but no one could determine why. This spiraled into Dana dealing with anxiety, depression, tremors, and even suicidal thoughts. 

"My entire brain and body was not my own," she recalls, explaining she went to dozens of top doctors but the cause of her health issues could not be determined.

After seeing internist Dr. Steven Phillips, he tested her for other possible infections and it was determined Dana was dealing with Bartonella, which required her to take antibiotics and antimicrobials. It took nearly a year from the time of being diagnosed, but thankfully Dana recovered.

She shares tips she learned during her health ordeal on how to properly get treated for a chronic illness. Dana suggests:

- Trust your instincts if you are being told something about your health that does not feel right

- Do not assume a certain amount of medications means you are cured of your chronic illness

- Bring an advocate with you to appointments to ask questions and take notes

- Ask for the root cause of why you are experiencing a chronic illness

- Ask for an infectious disease panel

In the video below, Dr. Phillips explains how chronic illnesses might reactivate latent infections with COVID long haulers and discusses his own chronic illness battle following a spider bite. 

Watch: Dierks Bentley's Mission to Help Musicians Pay Their Medical Bills

Watch: Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman Shares How to Help Musicians during the Pandemic

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