A successful international sales professional in the Software industry, I had everything going for me, a happy marriage, a great career, a loving family and a wonderful life. For me, my life was just picture-perfect.
One of my many passions is to travel and with my husband, we discovered far and exotic places that were breathtakingly beautiful and enchanting. We loved to eat out. Every weekend, we would travel miles to try out a new restaurant and relish in the many delights of international cuisine. I loved spending time with my family, taking my mum out for shopping, going to cinemas, reading contemporary literature and playing with the sunshine of my life, my little cat ‘Lucky.’ Everything was how it should be – perfect.
Little did I know that this was all about to change, my life was going to be turned upside down and that I would be fighting the biggest battle of my life – Lyme Disease. At the age of 36, I was diagnosed with having Lyme Disease, the deadly bacterial infection, Borrelia Burgdorferi and its many vicious co-infections after a tick bite in 2013 near my home in the UK.
Lyme Disease is an infection that is most commonly acquired through a tick bite and one that makes a person unbelievably sick through exposure to a variety of bacteria, viruses and parasitic microorganisms. There is still much to learn and understand about this tick-borne disease. What we do know however, is that these are very clever pathogens that have the ability to evade the immune system and are able to survive in the most unfavourable conditions. The goal of these pathogens is to rule and eventually destruct its host. Upon infection, these powerful microbes invade each and every single organ of its host, creating havoc and eventually rendering the person debilitated and devoid of all life.
Unable to stand, walk or even sit up, I was bedridden for almost 2 years struggling to cope with the 100+ terrifying neurological, muscular and arthritic symptoms. Every day brought with itself a new symptom and another challenge for me. My health was quickly spiraling downwards and I could not see a way out from this dreadful nightmare. I visited numerous doctors and consultants but they were baffled by my condition and were unable to offer an acceptable diagnosis. Determined to find an answer for my illness, I spent hours on the Internet and finally came to the conclusion that I may be suffering from Lyme Disease. To prove my self-diagnosis, my blood was sent overseas for testing of Borrelia Burgdorferi and other infections.
After positive blood tests from the USA and Germany, I began treatment for Lyme Disease at a private clinic located in the South-East of England in January 2014. Due to their conservative approach and lack of experience in treating this illness, I made little to no progress. By the end of 2014, I was still bed bound, in extreme pain and unable to carry out the smallest of tasks. I had lost my health, independence and the desire to live.
In a final attempt to save my life, I contacted a private clinic in the USA that is world renowned for treating tick-borne diseases. It is at this Clinic that I was correctly diagnosed with Lyme Borreliosis Complex – a condition so severe, which has greatly affected my Brain and Central Nervous System. Along with Borrelia Burgdorferi, I was also clinically diagnosed with many other bacterial and parasitical infections such as Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Chlamydia Pneumoniae, Protomyxzoa Rheumatica and Babesia. All of these infections were overlooked by the UK clinic and hence the failure of their treatment. My health at this point was so incredibly fragile that my doctor, a ‘Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD),’ refused to treat me straight away. We instead spent the next four months stabilising my nervous system with neurotropic and sleep medication before I could even begin treatment to attack these infections.
I am still in treatment today at the same Lyme Specialty Clinic in the USA. My doctor, a leading Infectious Diseases Consultant has extensive experience and knowledge in treating immune compromised illnesses. Together with his team, my Practitioner has saved the lives of thousands of people needlessly suffering from this dangerous disease. His Clinic is at the forefront in researching and developing proven treatment protocols for Chronic Lyme Disease. His passion and care for Lyme sufferers has meant that more and more people from around the world are now being successfully treated at his Clinic.
Since being under the care of this Specialty Clinic, I have come a long way and there has been many substantial improvements. Treatment is gruesome with heavy-duty antibiotics and strong parasitical medication. My neurological symptoms however, are still relentless after 15 months of treatment. The basal ganglia part of my brain and the spinal cord has been marred by these infections, which in turn has led to a kind of dystonia. Hugely disabled by this, I still lead a very poor and limited lifestyle. Unable to work, I am completely dependent on my husband and family to support and finance my treatment, medications and regular trips to the USA. It is not a situation that I had ever envisaged for myself. Having worked all of my life, I am now a burden on other people. I have no choice however, but to get well or live a life filled with pain and misery and yearn for the day that will take me and my sufferings away for ever.
In short, Chronic Lyme Disease is a curse and one that stays with you for the rest of your life. Treatment for this illness is difficult as well as expensive and often lasts for years in severe neurological cases. Progress is generally slow and any improvements are usually measured in months or years.
I am confident however, that with further and more aggressive treatment, I will get better and finally reclaim the life that I once had, no matter how long it takes. I still have many goals in my life that need to be fulfilled but the most important ones are to restore my independence and self confidence, which Lyme Disease has so ruthlessly snatched from me.
This blog details my journey, my struggles and my fight to get my life and health back caused by the ravages of Lyme Disease. It is a battle that has so far lasted three years and is still ongoing, but fails to reveal the name of the ultimate winner. It is a fight to survive and in the end only the fittest will be victorious.
My most important aim however, is to contribute towards creating a greater awareness of Lyme Disease and to show some of the incredible complexities that surrounds this destructive disease. At the same time, I would also like to provide my readers with an intimate view of how this disease dramatically breaks apart a person’s life and makes them question their raison d’etre at each step.
Peace and good health to all,