By Pamela Weintraub
Katina Makris was living her dream when life derailed. A natural-medicine practitioner with a flourishing career, she had a passionate marriage, a young son she doted on, and a home she had lovingly restored in the New Hampshire woods. But slowly she began to slip.
First, in June 2000, there was an inkling of muscle pain and fatigue. A few months later, she experienced a crippling migraine, and her arms and legs felt numb. The symptoms only got worse. At night she was engulfed in drenching sweat. Her brain became sluggish and confused. The days were a blur of exhaustion and pain. Eventually, she required a wheelchair and was so sick she had to give up her practice.
Unable to care for her child, she hired an au pair. Between trips to doctors and naturopaths, she spent most of her time in bed. Her marriage crumbled, and divorce was followed by financial struggle and more years in bed.
Five years into this devastating slide, after visits to teaching hospitals and myriad other physicians and practitioners, Makris happened to consult a well-known nutritionist. “He took one look at me and said, ‘I think you have neurological Lyme disease,’” she recalls.