As a nurse, Natalie Walsh, wasn't too concerned when her little girl woke up with a headache. The 7-year-old didn't have a fever, and although one side was tender, the West Virginia mom didn't see anything when she examined her.
However, in just a few hours, Natasha's condition drastically declined. The little girl plummeted from an otherwise healthy child to not being able to walk with a 104-degree fever.
"I rechecked her head because she kept complaining and found a quarter-size lump on the right side of her head that by 4 p.m. had become the ugliest looking wound I have ever seen," Natalie wrote on Facebook.
Natalie took her daughter to a doctor, and she was told that it was a spider bite before sending them home. "Within hours, the wound looked even worse had a white and red ring around it the fever was unstoppable. She screamed in pain nonstop because she was unable to move her head, neck, or even walk," Natalie wrote. "She was dizzy, confused, her knees were swollen and painful, and I drove her to [the hospital] a mess scared to death because I never saw anything like this in 13 years of nursing."
A team of doctors, including a neurologist, dermatologist, and infectious disease specialist, saw the child in an attempt to figure out what was going on. "Everyone scratched their heads just like me," Natalie wrote. "Everyone wanted a picture of the bite because it was definitely not something they had seen before."
Despite the antibiotic medicines and fluids, Natasha's condition was only deteriorating until she finally got a proper diagnosis. "While it was not a typical presentation of a bullseye bite and her symptoms were a little off, she has Lyme Disease," she wrote. "She got her first does of cefuroxime late last night and thank god this morning is the first time in days I've seen her walk by herself eat, drink, and is talking my ear off again about everything."
Natalie said that they are optimistic that Natasha will make a full recovery and hopes that her daughter's story will teach other parents about other symptoms to look out for - and not just the traditional red rash:
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. I never saw a tick on Natasha so even if you don't see one, check their skin for bites and know this is something in our local area ... Hoping she beats all of it soon and we never have to deal with this "monster" (Natasha's name for this) again!