First of all, I want to extend a sincere Thank You to anyone who is reading this! As some of you may know, I have been battling Chronic Lyme Disease (and its coinfections) for several years. Since late 2013, I've been paying for treatment out-of-pocket, as I became too sick to continue working and insurance (which I no longer have) does not cover the costs of an LLMD (Lyme Literate MD), treatment, or medically necessary testing. I have set a fundraising goal of $2,000 in order to pay for ongoing visits and treatments.
A little bit about my journey:
I was raised in California but relocated to Colorado in 1998, where I spent 13 years as a Police Officer; the last 9 of which I spent as a Detective. I love the outdoors and took full advantage of all Colorado has to offer. Sadly, it was most likely here that I contracted Lyme Disease.
I don't recall call the exact date of infection as I never got the classic "bullseye" rash associated with Lyme Disease; according to ilads.org, less than 50% of sufferers ever get the classic bulls-eye rash. I started becoming ill in late 2010, but I kept working despite episodes of intense physical pain, neuropathy, extreme chronic fatigue, gallbladder issues (eventually having it removed), unexplained chest pain, highly irregular blood tests, sky-high blood pressure, abnormal liver enzymes, food allergies, anxiety, disintegrating joints, cognitive dissonance, memory loss, brain fog, high CRP (cardiac-related), rapid unexplained weight gain, constant flu-like symptoms and more. My symptoms were very severe and seemingly out of the blue. I caught every little illness that came around and recovered at a MUCH slower rate than those around me. My constant illness caused both my personal and professional life to suffer greatly.
Seeking answers, I went from general MDs to specialists to immunologists to holistic MDs to psychiatrists and psychologists, but received vague and/or no diagnosis that could explain the issues I was having. The various doctors were only treating my symptoms, unable to figure out what the root cause could be. From "it's psychosomatic" to "I have no clue," there was never an answer that solved anything. By 2013, just getting out of bed was becoming increasingly difficult and my quality of life began to suffer. But finally, after seeing close to a dozen doctors, I received a clinical diagnosis of Lyme Disease in late 2013. I remember crying with relief: finally, an answer!! The clinical diagnosis was later confirmed through testing.
After my diagnosis, I decided that I needed to make my health my number one priority. I made the very difficult decision to leave my job, returned to California, and began aggressive treatment with an LLMD. Early in 2014, I had a Hickman catheter (central line) placed and began a series of IV treatments, including Glutathione, several different antibiotics, and IGG for my immune system (or lack thereof). Because of the severity of my illness I've been unable to work and was forced to utilize my personal savings, which has since been completely depleted. Because of this, I am no longer able to see my LLMD, continue treatment, get necessary medical tests, or afford medication.
My goal in starting this fundraiser is to be able to continue my visits to my LLMD and to receive the continuing care that I require. Though I'm improving, I'm still not well enough to return to work and I currently have no source of income. The cost of each appointment with my LLMD is $85 per every 15 minutes, which is actually considered reasonable for a Lyme Literate MD! And that doesn't include medications, testing, or treatment. Even if I had insurance, none of these things would be covered. I want to stress this point: an LLMD and a regular doctor (or even an Immune Specialist) are NOT the same thing. LLMDs study Lyme in a way that no other doctor does and are well-known within the Lyme community as the only doctors who will treat chronic (long-term) Lyme cases like mine. LLMDs are absolutely essential for me to get better! And I want nothing more than to get better...
I'm currently taking several prescription medications, which treat a variety of associated conditions. I am also in need of multiple, vital supplements (some prescription, some available online or in stores) that I can no longer afford. The total cost of these medications/supplements well exceeds $500 a month. With your help, I will be able to obtain the necessary medications and continue to improve!
I am so very lucky to be with my loving and supportive boyfriend. Because of him, I do not have the added burden of housing expenses. My parents are very kind and help me financially when they are able. For them, and the love and support I've received from my friends, I am forever grateful. That being said, they have their own expenses and cannot afford to support me as well, which is understandable. I have done what I can to help myself, including selling my belongings. But even those funds have been exhausted. I applied for Disability but was denied; as a Police Officer, my employer did not pay into social security--this means I do not qualify for Disability. This gofundme is my very last resort, so any donation I receive will do a great deal to help me out!
I miss my career very much and look forward to one day being able to return to work. Most likely, I will be unable to return to police work. But I consider myself lucky, as I got to work at my dream job for 13 wonderful years. How many people get to say that?!
I may smile, keep my heart in gratitude, and occasionally not look sick but inside, my body is waging war on itself. Lyme and its associated coinfections can result in being bedridden for days or even weeks, which can be very isolating and lonely. I must say, though, throughout this nightmare I have had love and support and am eternally grateful for that.
Throughout my life and career, I’ve always made it a priority to help those in need. Please know that when I’m able, I will pay your generosity forward. If you find it in your heart to donate even just a few dollars, or just share this link, my thanks will be many. With your help, I will have a chance to get healthy and, one day, to give back.
Thank you for your time!
Sincerely, and with love and gratitude,
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