My daughter Billie and I discussed on a Go Fund Me page to assist her with funds towards her medical bills. It goes against the grain for her - to be in a position where she needs to ask for help and her dad and I help as much as we can. I did a lot of research into Lymes disease and found, that as it is not recognized in Australia, there is no financial assistance available, no Medicare rebate, and very expensive bills and medication. This is why raising funds, was suggested as the best option. Billie has provided information below relating to her debilitating health issues, and how they are affecting her physically, mentally and financially. It is a long read, but she wants people to have a real understanding as to why she is asking. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
Hi-ya friends, family and maybe strangers!
Heads up - this is a bit long, and I thank you with all my heart for taking the time to read it (or some of it).
My name is Billie. I’m 27 years old and full of love for life and adventure, and I have a dream to battle through everything that comes my way so I can share the magic I see in this world with others through teaching and helping.
At the start of this year I was diagnosed with Chromic Lyme Disease. After years of trying to work out what was wrong and then months of trying to tackle it on my own, I am so nervous to admit I need help.
I’d never heard of this disease before, and it will blow you mind how f**ked up it can get. It’s spread by tick bites that allow 3 types of bacteria to enter your body and start attacking your immune system, then opening up other systems to infections - pretty much Lyme Disease aims to mess with anything and everything it can. It affects everyone differently, ranging from a rash, to heart failure, respiratory issues, neurological issues, long term muscle and bone issues, and sometimes can lead to death through health complications or suicide. What makes it harder is that it’s an ‘invisible’ illness you can’t see and only I can feel.
Most days I feel like I have a combination of the flu and a heavy hangover, and usually by lunchtime I’m so wiped out I just want to curl up in bed away from everyone and everything. This is extra hard for me as I have a job that I absolutely love, and I’m not the type of person who takes lying down easily. Some of the symptoms I feel on a regular are fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain, feeling of being overwhelmed, and well the list goes on.
What makes it even worse is that, crazily, the Australian Medical System doesn’t believe Lyme Disease to be in Australia. (Like our ticks are some kind of super ticks that would never in this life be able to bring Lyme onto these lands?) So doctors aren’t allowed to prescribe me anything as Lyme is not recognised in their profession, and diagnosing or prescribing anything for it can be detrimental to their career. I was lucky enough to be put in contact with a doctor, naturopath and health centre who are doing their very best to support people like me and I’ve managed to receive some government support for mental health support, which helps a bit. However it’s only $500 a fortnight and money gets deducted for any extra hours I work, plus I have to go in a get it reviewed every three months.
Despite the help I am thankfully getting, this disease is still taking a big toll on my finances and both my mental and physical health and I’ve reached a point where I’ve had to admit I need help. Currently I’m only able to work just under 20 hours per week, and my medications cost between $300 - $500 per month on their own, then I have the added costs of paying off a $1500 medical bill, eating well, travel to Melbourne for appointments, regular counselling sessions, and everyday expenses. And as we all know, when it rains it pours, and a few other unexpected costs have chosen now to show up: I dislocated and fractured my elbow, I need $600 worth of dental work, my car started to fall apart, and I got an unexpected $900 bill. It’s all become too much and at the end of this month I would really love to take some time off to just be the little bit of me I have left right now.
I’m not looking for sympathy or pity, and I don’t ever want to be a burden on anyone, I’ve just reached a point where I’ve realised I need to put my pride aside and ask for help so I can rest and recuperate for a little while.
If you can only give me a suggestion, idea or offer to take me out for coffee when I am feeling up to it then I will be so appreciative for any kind of support and understanding.
If you can only offer me a “you’ve got this Chica“, it will mean the world to me on the days I kinda feel like I don’t.
Thank you so, so much for reading. I hope you enjoy your night, wherever you are, knowing I hope to be there to shout you a drink in a few months or two, if not sooner.
For a better understand you could watch UNREST at www.unrest.film
From both my mum and I
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