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InFocus Magazine – Ticking Time Bomb

Campers stand at the edge of the water at sunset watching the stars come out, with the CanLyme logo floating in the foreground.
One tiny insect makes a giant impact on some people’s lives and health, and creates a medical controversy

One afternoon back in 2011, Amber Robinson noticed something strange about her left hand.

“It felt weird all of a sudden,” says the 44-year-old Courtenay woman. “The padded area on my palm, just underneath my thumb, started to spasm. It was sort of like an internal tremor or like aliens were inside my hand.”

Since that day, Robinson’s hand symptoms have persisted and worsened. “Not long after, I started to lose my grip. I’ve also experienced nerve pain, and my hand will occasionally go into a claw—it will spasm really strongly and my entire hand will clench. When that happens, I have to use my right hand to pry my left hand open.”

What Robinson didn’t know at the time was that her bizarre hand symptoms were just the beginning—the beginning of her journey into the terrifying and lonely world of Lyme disease.

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