Today we would like to thank Andrea Caesar!
Andrea was nominated and this article was written by Gale Dredge. Thank you Gale for nominating such a deserving person!
Andrea Caesar, author of “A Twist of Lyme: Battling a Disease That Doesn’t Exist” doesn’t know what life would be like without Lyme Borreliosis Complex. Life changed for the eleven year spunky child and visits to dozens of doctors over twenty-six years would all convey to Andrea that her issues must be due to fibromyalgia, CFS, and hormone imbalance.
As seen in so many Lyme patients, as she got older she began to have neuropathic symptoms and as she watched her relationship, career, and any sense of a normal life vanish, she became a shell of the person she once knew. Ironically, Andrea had changed career paths for a quieter life in the country near her parents where she began to manage the office of a Lyme Literate Naturopath for several years. “It was during this time that I saw innumerable people leave the office with Lyme diagnoses. While I had received false negative Western Blots in the past, Andrea was finally diagnosed with a urinalysis.
Treatment started and Andrea’s body completely broke down and she became mentally, emotionally, and physically broken, but she never gave up. Her brain could not handle treatment. At this point the LLND suggested that she needed to see one of the best in the world and she decided that she would make the trip to Washington, D.C. to be treated by infectious disease doctor Joseph G. Jemsek, FACP.
It was after her first appointment with Dr. Jemsek that Andrea realized there must be a greater purpose in her suffering from the severity of Lyme and its many confections. While sitting on her bed in the hotel room that night, a song came up on her playlist, and suddenly it was as if someone“flipped the switch.” She knew that raising awareness was her purpose and that night she wrote the first fifty pages of what she calls, “Twist”.
A Twist of Lyme: Battling a Disease That Doesn’t Exist, is Andrea’s memoir, written in blog format, that chronicles her 26 year struggle with Lyme prior to diagnosis and her first year of treatment, which included multiple surgeries and pulse treatment with a plethora of high-dose antibiotics administered both orally and via power line to the chest for ten months.
At times Andrea had a hard time writing at all, as she couldn’t see the screen, find the words she wanted to say, and just plain didn’t have the energy, but she did it because it was a way to serve the Lyme Community and provide insight in real time and in book format that she had not been able to find in her own search.
In the past year and a half since Twist was first published, Andrea has done over 100 interviews internationally, including National Geographic Weekend radio, CBS News, Fox News, and several national and local publications, blogs and radio shows, the latest being Costco Connection, reaching hundreds of thousands of American readers.
Caesar is ironically able to share her experience with sharp wit and a sense of humor, sometimes as a coping mechanism, that has helped find her way through treatment and through life while suffering from undiagnosed chronic illness. It’s her charisma and desire “to speak softly and gracefully to gain an ear that might not otherwise listen.” The book was released on November 1, 2013, and has been #1 on Amazon’s list of over 2,200 books on Lyme and was in the Top 50 for all books on Amazon using the keyword “disease”.
Andrea has had the good fortune to work for a company called Ava Anderson Non Toxic (by Andrea Caesar) which allows her to work from home, selling the country’s most extensive line of products without harmful chemicals. Ava Anderson offers skin, body, sun, makeup, baby, kids, mens, home, pet, auto, garden, bug spray, scents, toothpaste, essential oils, candles and even waterless auto care all without harmful chemicals. Caesar says “I feel this is another way to not only support my family, but to share a crucial health message both by educating my clients about the harmful chemicals that legally lurk in our everyday products, and by working with a team of over 1,000 people who are all equally passionate about creating chemical policy change in this country.”
Andrea Caesar in between Kim Anderson, President of Ava Anderson Non Toxic and Ava Anderson, CEO and Founder of Ava Anderson Non Toxic
Andrea is thankful for the opportunity to work from home doing something she believes in, that allows her to take a day off whenever she needs to, something that happened repeatedly during treatment. At the same time, her home is full of Ava Anderson’s products which are suited to her organic, non-toxic lifestyle, which plays an essential role in her recovery from Lyme.
In February of 2014 Andrea underwent a full hysterectomy, due to severe connective tissue disorder and repeated surgeries for endometriosis, one of which landed her in the hospital for several days, left her with a c-section, and produced a cyst the size of a large coconut. The ramifications were staggering and Andrea has spent the past year suffering from what was thought to be a Lyme setback, most of that time in a silent black room. Thankfully, Dr. Jemsek referred her to an endocrinologist in Virginia who had been a preceptor in his clinic and during the past couple of months she has bounced back and is thrilled to share that she is 95% better and back on the “awareness train”.
Andrea turned 40 just a few weeks ago and when asked how she stayed motivated to stay the course in treatment and continue to do interviews even while at her sickest she said, “I could get into an endless diatribe about the injustices we all as Lyme patients experience every day, but it all comes down to two things; helping those who need access to the incredible care I have received from Dr. Jemsek and quite simply, for the love of my daughter, who is my engine of motivation to do whatever I can manage on any given day – even if it means mustering up a smile and a hug.”
We have not heard the last of Andrea Caesar! She has several projects underway, a couple of them that will be very exciting and important for Lyme Disease Awareness on a global level. Keep your eyes and ears open and when you see her at her booth at ILADS this fall, be SURE to say hello! This is one Lyme patient and advocate with a huge heart who just loves to connect with other people who are making a difference in the world!
You can buy A Twist of Lyme: Battling a Disease That Does’t Exist on Amazon by clicking here.