My Story

Karen Franks at Avon Lea FarmsThe brief story? I’ve always valued hard work, education, and being kind to others. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with Bachelors degrees in English and Nursing, I embarked upon a challenging and rewarding career, steadily working my way up the corporate ladder. It was a sweet life filled with an abundance of job satisfaction, enhanced by the joy of knowing I was making a difference in people’s lives. Very little prevented me from being the Energizer Bunny …until 2003.

In April of 2003 my vibrant health grew dim when I took a significant fall, resulting in various symptoms and treatments. My symptom list seemed to grow constantly, requiring endless appointments with a diverse array of practitioners in my quest to find someone who could help me. For a span of about seven years, my diligent search for answers came up empty.

Finally in 2010, I met with an internal medicine doctor who looked outside the box and into the possibility that another cause could be contributing to my ill health. He suspected Lyme disease and had me tested. Although the ensuing result was positive, I remained skeptical because I still held the limited medical view that Lyme was hard to contract and easy to cure. Furthermore, the diagnosis of Lyme could only be accurate and if both a migrans rash and a tick were found.

As I began to do some research, I learned that there were two schools of thought about Lyme disease. That’s when I realized that Lyme can be easy to contract and hard to cure. As such, it also requires a knowledgeable practitioner who treats the patient until all symptoms are gone.

Dr. Jemsek and me at my September 2014 appointment where he tells me that after 9 months of IV treatment, I will get my PICC line out

My Lyme-literate doctor (LLMD), Dr. Jemsek, has been my angel. Thanks to him, I finally see my life turning around slowly. But I endured several very difficult years during which I was extremely sick. Through my own experience, I now know how challenging it can be to learn about these opposing viewpoints about curing Lyme — and how costly it is to treat. As I emerge on the other side of this ordeal, I want to do everything I can to educate patients and the medical community about Lyme disease. I want to prevent others from having to share my experience. I’m not there yet but I am hopeful. Without hope to hold on to, it is a dark journey. With hope, all things are possible–even health!

Please feel free to read my detailed story chronicling my diagnosis and treatment protocol to understand more about me. And if you have any questions along the way, I am just an email away.