Mom Shares the Scary Lyme Disease Symptom Doctors Almost Missed

lyme disease
Natalie Renee/Facebook

Now that tick season is officially upon us, parents everywhere are keeping an eye out for telltale Lyme disease symptoms, like the typical "bulls-eye rash." But as one mom recently discovered, this all-too-common condition can come with some very uncommon symptoms -- and even medical professionals are sometimes stumped. Now she's sharing her story so that other parents know what to look for ... and the details are horrifying.

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Natalie Walsh wasn't overly worried when her 7-year-old daughter woke up at 5 a.m. with a headache. Walsh is both a mother of three and a nurse, so she's pretty much seen it all -- but she'd never seen anything like what happened next.

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By 10:30 a.m., Natasha was unable to walk. She'd developed a fever of almost 104 and nothing Walsh gave her could make it go down. The pain in Natasha's head was worse on one side, so Walsh did an examination and found a "quarter size lump" -- which, by 4 p.m., had transformed into what she describes in a Facebook post as "the ugliest wound" she's ever seen.

lyme disease symptom
Natalie Renee/Facebook

Walsh took Natasha to the doctor, where she was diagnosed with a spider bite, treated, and sent home. But her ordeal was far from over. Within hours, Walsh wrote, the wound had developed a white and red ring around it and her fever was raging. Natasha "screamed in pain nonstop" and was unable to move her head or walk. She was dizzy and confused, her knees were swollen and in pain. "I never saw anything like this in 13 years of nursing," Walsh writes.

Walsh took Natasha to the hospital, where a team of doctors (including a neurologist, dermatologist, and infectious disease specialist) tried to figure out what was going on. "Everyone scratched their heads just like me," Walsh recalls in her post. "Everyone wanted a picture of the bite because it was definitely not something they had seen before."

Finally, after countless exams and doses of medication that didn't seem to help, Natasha was diagnosed with Lyme disease. The wound on her head, it turned out, was likely a variation on the more commonly seen bulls-eye rash, not a spider bite. Yikes!

Thankfully, once she was correctly diagnosed, Natasha began responding to the proper treatment and soon seemed back to her usual talkative self.

"I wanted to share so maybe we could help maybe prevent this from happening to anyone else. Lyme disease is on the rise and the type Natasha has attacked her nervous system. I just ask to please take precautions to prevent ticks with your children and yourself," Walsh writes in her post.

More from CafeMom: Lyme Disease: How Much Do You Know? (TRIVIA)

Such an absolutely terrifying story -- especially because Walsh says she never even saw a tick on Natasha. If she had, the doctor likely would have tested the girl for Lyme right away. But because that possibility was overlooked, it was up to Walsh to be persistent and make sure that every option was explored. And it's a good thing she did!

Though what happened to Walsh is frightening to think about, it's an important reminder for all of us that Lyme disease can manifest in many ways, and sometimes even medical professionals don't have all the answers. Perhaps Walsh is more aware of that than the average parent because she's a medical professional herself, but even those of us who aren't need to remember that we know our kids best -- and if our gut tells us something is seriously wrong, we shouldn't give up until we have all the answers and help we need.

Here's hoping Natasha makes a speedy recovery!

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