Jul 28, 2015 4:16 PM

Nashua woman battles Lyme disease in NH, 2nd most-infected state


NASHUA - Lyme disease is often referred to by doctors as the “great imitator,” because its symptoms mirror so many other diseases.

Of the 300,000 people in the United States. who are diagnosed with Lyme disease, New Hampshire ranks second in the country for the most reported cases.

Jennifer Cardin-Smith, 23 of Nashua, finally feels healthy again.

“It was terrifying for me to go outside,” Cardin-Smith said. “It effects your entire being.”

Diagnosed with lime disease in 2012, Cardin-Smith was a bedridden college student, having to put her life on hold for a disease doctors couldn’t diagnose.

“It can stay quite or dormant as you said or somewhat dormant for months, even years,” said Dr. Bill Goodman of Catholic Medical Center in Manchester.

For Cardin-Smith, confusion among doctors didn't help.

“I had doctors tell me that there was nothing wrong with me," Cardin-Smith said. "That I was crazy. That I had MS, Lupus. It was very frustrating."

Doctors confirm Lyme disease cases have been on the rise during the past five years - primarily in children who spend their time playing outdoors, and families with dogs are more likely to become infected by diseased ticks.

Doctors told NH1 News, the best prevention is early detection so if you’re outside, check yourself.

“If it’s diagnosed in time, then it’s a very easy treatment plan and it’s about two weeks of oral antibiotics but that was not the case for me,” said Cardin-Smith.

Cardin-Smith will be living with Lyme disease for the rest of her life, but she said she is young and active and determined to send a message.


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