a lovely living

My husband has Lyme Disease and I hate it. Jack is (and has always been) a driven, motivated and ambitious man. Nothing could stop this guy until Lyme finally took over his body. A horrible disease passed on by ticks, has totally changed our lives. There aren’t many people that are aware of this, in part because he’s not looking to receive any sympathy, but also because he does not have a happy ending to talk about…yet.easterday12

Over the past decade, Jack has been dealing with ailments including vision problems, allergic reactions, dizzy spells, heart palpitations and migraines to name a few. He’s seen, optometrists, neurologists, allergists, nutritionists, chiropractors and migraine specialists all in addition to his GP. None of them ever mentioned Lyme. He’s also had numerous tests including CAT scans and MRI’s and we’ve spent countless dollars in an attempt to figure out what exactly was wrong with him.

As things were progressively getting worse over the past two years, we’ve had more and more people praying for him. Without a doubt I know that’s what led us down the path of starting to get answers. A good friend of mine mentioned Lyme to me in January as I was venting about what he’d been going through and how hard it was to handle as a family. Actually, she was throwing out a bunch of thoughts, but this one stuck with me even though I really had no clue what it was. During this same period of time, my Mother in law also came in contact with someone who was in the process of battling Lyme Disease. After we had both unknowingly brought this to Jack’s attention simultaneously, he started to research it a bit more. As he did, things began to piece together. He found a specialist only a few hours away from us and immediately got an appointment (in large part because they could hear the desperation in his voice). By this point, he was having trouble focusing, couldn’t concentrate and would find it necessary to lay down multiple times a day just to keep the stamina he needed to continue working.

As Jack drove to his appointment, we had a network of people praying that he would in fact have Lyme Disease (as crazy as that sounds). We were running out of options and honestly didn’t know where we were going to turn next. Of course it took nearly two weeks for the blood work to come back, but when it did he tested 100% positive for Lyme.

Hallelujah!! Right? So we thought…

The tests are only able to show that he has had the disease for 4+ years, no further back. From our best guess, and without ever having seen a bite, he’s most likely had it for at least a decade. That being said, the longer one has had the disease the more imbedded it is and the longer the antibiotics take to attack it. Oh and let me not forget to mention that as the disease is being attacked, my husband’s body suffers….tremendously.

This is the part where I do my best to stay strong…for him and for our kids. Yet, I sit here sobbing while I type and he lies in bed suffering from another Herx reaction as his body continues to fight. Each day is a battle for him. He does his best to push it aside and put on a good face for those he comes into contact with, but if you came into our home you’d see him sitting with an ice-pack on his head, curled up on the couch. It’s heartbreaking for my son who understands that his dad is sick, but not the gravity of it. He’s always asking questions and wondering when his dad will be able to do normal things like go out and kick the soccer ball around or go to the park to play. He asks, “will you be better when I’m 5? Or maybe 6?” It crushes us both.

We’ve been dealing with this with our family and some close friends, but I am reaching out to this blogging network and asking for your prayers. Prayers that my husband will stay strong as he battles Lyme. Prayers that I can continue to pull the slack and fulfill any and all duties that need taken care of. Prayers for our children, that there will be a day that they’ll have their dad back. We have the faith that he will heal, but when you’re in the thick of it day in and day out it can often be hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. And just as importantly, please, PLEASE check yourselves, your kids and your pets as the tick season kicks into high gear. From what I am hearing, ticks are to be abundant this year and as minuscule as they are, they can wreck havoc on ones’ life. Lyme is certainly an up and coming epidemic and I’m sure we’re only going to be hearing more and more about this terrible disease.

Thanks for reading and letting me vent. This little blog serves as great therapy for me.


  • Carrie Miller says:

    Our prayers to you guys. How terrible. So sorry for you and Jack!

    • marisa says:

      Thanks Carrie! We’ll get there!

    • Sherlyn Rockwood says:

      I found your blog by typing in “I hate Lyme disease” because I have it, and I hate it.
      I’m already exhausted by writing what I just wrote, and I’m not joking or trying to be funny. I’m used to having enough energy for the whole room. I have zilch!
      I’d like to write more, but I need to lay down. Seriously

      • marisa says:

        Oh Sherlyn, I’m so deeply sorry. We continue to battle the effects Lyme has had on my husband and although he is not healed, he is coping. The tick epidemic terrifies me as we saw more than our fair share during the spring/summer. I pray regularly that a cure is found and I’ll keep you in those prayers!

  • Lauren says:

    Prayers for him! I have a co-worker who I have seen battling this horrible disease…taking 27 pills a day, needing to use our sick day bank at school, trying to work half days to keep his job. It is horrible. Glad J finally has an answer, but it is certainly a long road ahead. Please let him know I will be thinking of and praying for him and your family.

    • marisa says:

      I can totally relate to your co-worker….if Jack wasn’t able to work from home I have no idea how he’s make it! It’s an awful thing! Thanks for your prayers!

  • Whitney says:

    Wow. Bless your hearts. I will pray for you, Jack, and your sweet children as you face this together.

  • Mystic says:

    I will be thinking of you and Jack and the kids constantly. You are an amazing family and it takes strength and love to pull together in times like these. I have no doubt you can do it and Jack will pull through! I will pray and continue to pray for you all. Feel better Jack! A whole lot of people believe in you!! Miss you Zerby fam.

    • marisa says:

      Thanks Mystic!! He’s got this….we just need to get there! So thankful for people like you! xo

  • Steph Gardella says:

    Marisa-Praying very hard for you guys!!! Stay positive. xoxo

  • Michelle says:

    I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers. Hope he gets better very very soon.

  • Tina Kunstbeck says:

    Prayers for you all!! Please let Jack know that he WILL fight this and to have faith that he will get better. He is so lucky to have such an amazing wife and family to support him as just being understanding and there for him right now is huge for him! It is such a lonely and horrible disease that sucks the life out of you in your darkest hours. Knowing that you have family that is there for you helps more than you think!! I am one of the lucky ones that found out early and am on the road to recovery. I had moments where I felt like I was never going to feel better, but I am proof that you can!! Continue to be the strong person you are for him and know that the power of prayer will carry him and your family through this horrible time!! God Bless!

    • marisa says:

      Thank you for these words, Tina! You are our light at the end of tunnel and we cannot wait to be there!!

  • Melissa says:


    I am so terribly sorry to read of Jack’s condition! A friend of ours contracted lyme’s disease too and I know it can wreak havoc on family life. Please let me know if you need any help with Jack, I would be happy to have him over or drive him home from school if you need a hand.


  • Maria says:

    So sorry. Praying.

  • Saskia says:

    Marisa- I am so so sorry you, Jack and the kids are going through this. My heart really breaks reading this- Since I have known Jack he has never ever shown any signs of weakness- just the opposite!!!! which just shows how strong and how driven of a man he is-and the fact that all I ever see is your kindness, patience, hard work and love- is just a small example of how lucky he and your kids are to have such an amazing wife and mother to help him through this. What a long journey- but so great you figured it out. My deepest thoughts and prayers go to you and Jack- I am sure this was so so hard for you to write and share-I am so grateful to you for doing so. Much love to you and the family and even though I’m far, I’m here if u need anything. Much love xoxo

  • John Whyte says:

    Marisa: I heard at Easter that Jack had this but had no idea of the degree to which he was fighting. Of course, I will pray for him and your family to have the strength to fight this disease and get well. Please share my love and prayers with the family.
    John Whyte

  • Ruth Harteis says:

    Dear Marissa, We believe with you of the power of prayer. We also know that the weight of any burden is lessened by sharing. Please know that your and your little family are in our thoughts and prayers. Much love from us to you.

  • Katie Malone says:

    Wishing Jack, you and your family the strength to get through, a hopeful speedy recovery and blessed life…thoughts and prayers throughout this process!

  • Greg Johnson says:


    Give Jack our love and let him know we will be praying for him. I am confident knowing the strength of both you and Jack that he will beat this. Remember out of every adversity comes the see of an equal or better benefit. GOD’s not done with Jack yet. He has so much talent and a heart for good that there will eventually be good come from this experience. Stay Harteis strong until the Jack we know is back.

    Love ya both,

    Greg & Lin

  • Becky says:

    Sending lots of love and even more prayers for you guys. xoxo

  • Ana High says:

    So sorry to hear!! Praying for you Zerbys!! Let us know if you need anything!! Xo

  • kimberly says:

    hi! long time no see :( i’m sorry to hear about jack. my aunt suffers from Lyme and actually just recently returned from a trip to India to seek a new treatment. I mention this because she knows a great deal about the disease and may have some outlets for you to contact for research.
    Prayers, hugs and kisses.

    • marisa says:

      Kimberly, thank you for this and I’m SO sorry for your Aunt, she must be suffering terribly as well. Jack is working through a treatment with a specialist so I think he wants to let it run it’s course, but I may reach out to you in the future once we see where this takes him. Thanks for letting me know! Hope your beautiful fam is doing well!!

  • Sarah says:

    Marisa, I am so sorry to hear that Jack (and the rest of you) are suffering. What an awful disease and so hard to deal with all its many manifestations. Jack has always seemed so strong and upbeat, and it’s a tribute to the positive attitude that you both share that you haven’t let this bring you down. (Venting and asking for prayers doesn’t count – it’s therapeutic/necessary.). We’re praying HARD for all of you and especially Jack. And even though we’re not in the same town anymore, if there is anything we can do, PLEASE let me know. Hugs to the Zerbys. Xo

    • marisa says:

      Thank you for these sweet words, Sarah! You surely know what it’s like to see a loved one suffer. It’s awful. We know he’ll get through it, we just can’t wait to get there! Love to your family as well!! xo

  • You are in my thoughts and prayers! I can’t even imagine how he feels— hugs to you both!!

  • Rebecca says:

    I am a firm believer that the Lord doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle. Praying for strength for your family!

  • Jennifer Wargo says:

    I check myself for ticks after every trail run and ask The Lord to keep his hand on Jack as well. There are so many causes for runs, I constantly look for one for Lyme and when I find one, every step will be dedicated to you all. I love you dear friend xo

  • Brenden Wyant says:

    So sorry Marisa. Please give Jack a hug for me.

  • Linda says:

    SHOCKED by this and of course we will be praying for Jack and you and the kids. Be strong. We love you all!!!! XOXOXOXO

  • Kim says:

    Marisa and family,
    While it is 2015, I hope this message finds you well. I lay in bed at a seaside hotel wondering why I battle lyme while my husband goes out to ride a bike 100 miles on hopes to find a cure for his diagnosis Parkinson’s??? Many believe he has Lyme . I have been battling Lyme for 4 years and only recently diagnosed. Was put through the ringer and left to think I was crazy with anxiety:(( no no no. Labs prove something is taking over my body. I pray all the time and I pray for you:) I left my prayer book at home but I leave you with this:
    Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
    all my blessings,
    Kim : Lyme is insidious and it challenges you in ways you’d never imagine

    • marisa says:

      Kim, thank you for your prayers and blessings and I send the same to you! I wish I had a more positive update, but it remains a major struggle for my husband (and essentially our family). He is seeing a different specialist at this time and has begun another round of antibiotics after taking time and attempting a more natural route. Lyme certainly does challenge you and I continue to pray for more understanding of this disease. Take care and know you aren’t alone in this struggle!

  • Karen Dunlap says:


    My husband struggles with lymes as well. We had a hugely successful catering company that we had to give up in 2015 (Mountainside Supper Club, LLC) because of Lymes. Every day is a new adventure…..some days he is just in strict pain, some days he can’t see, some days, his brain and central nervous system get so confused that it almost seems like he has dementia. Some days because of the pain and crushing depression and anxiety…..I have to “talk him off the ledge”

    We WERE successful people…..he was an executive chef with a major catering company, I was the executive pastry chef with the same company…….and then his mind became confused, he faltered……we didn’t recognize it then. We attributed it to stress, aging. Now we now that THEN that the bacteria began to take hold.

    Now, he can work part-time as a grill-cook for a former business partner of ours.

    In 2012, we catered FarmAid. We did $250,000 sales in our first year……and then the Lyme took hold. It all fell apart…..medical bills piled up, we had confusing arguments when he would rage uncontrollably……not physically…..just with no logic (i.e., I put a slight dent in the car and he said he wanted to divorce me……WTF?????)

    We’ve moved beyond this confusing irrational time, but the pain, the depression, the anger still remains. He is in pain, we are both cripplingly depressed……and we are both intensely angry at what this disease has robbed from us.

    NO ONE understands!!!….Unless this disease affects them personally, no family, no friends, society, the medical community…….NO ONE understands

    If I hear one more person say that my husband “looks good”, I swear I’m going to punch them in the head (or worse!).

    This disease has stolen our lives. I’m afraid sometimes that it will steal our lives, ultimately. If i didn’t admit that even fleetingly that murder/suicide had not entered my my mind , I would be lying…….but don’t worry, I’m truly too chicken-shit to go through with it.

    I’m discouraged, I’m weary, I’m alone. He needs me to be strong for him and I don’t know if I have anything left within me to give. Spiritually, I’m a healer, but with him….I’m tapped out. I’m drawing on my own limited strength to heal him…..I don’t know how much I have left.

    I know SOMEWHERE out there there is hope.

    Please help me to believe this is true.

    In desperate, spiritual need

    Karen Dunlap

  • Angie says:

    I just found your blog by typing “I hate Lyme disease”, and I realize your post is 5 years old so you may not even see this reply. Most days I try to just push through and put on a smile or crack a joke for my family’s sake. But I’m struggling today with anger and bitterness. I’m writing as my IV Lactated Ringer is running, helping me detox and hydrate. I’ve had Lyme, babesia, and bartonella for close to 25 years. My 21 year old son has had Lyme and bartonella for about 5 years. He’s been on oral abx for a year now, but we worked and researched for 4 years before finding an answer. I’m a Christian, and I struggle with keeping hope that God has a plan. I pray He will restore all the years my son has lost, as the Bible says in Job I believe, and give him a hope and a future. Sending prayers for your husband and your family.

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