In 2013 my parents hiked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, a 7 day backpacking trek, they were both healthy and strong. At the end of the journey mom was sitting in the grass enjoying the accomplishment they had just achieved when she experienced an insect bite on her ankle which later became very itchy and red, no tick was seen but ticks are common on Vancouver island. She felt fluish for several weeks afterwards and saw her doctor for a lyme test which not uncommonly came back negative as these tests often do.Throughout the next year she began experiencing many infections and fatigue but was able to continue with life a usual. Later in the fall she developed extreme heart/lung fatigue while running and infections continued to plague her into the spring and the heart palpitations worsened. She developed shortness of breath, severe vertigo and nausea with one trip to emergency for extreme vomiting. Symptoms continued to worsen and she was forced to take several months off from her full time job. Episodically throughout the next year she would feel better and then worsen again. The ups and downs were hard emotionally and we were all very concerned for her health throughout this mysterious condition. Many specialist were consulted and tests completed along the way: ECG's,stress tests, echocardiogram, stress echocardiogram, barium sallow, blood tests, ultrasounds, angiogram, and a brain MRI. Medication was tried for acid reflux, antidepressants were tried twice as the only diagnosis arrived at by doctors was that she was depressed and stressed. It was recommended she see a psychiatrist and go for counselling. In the fall of 2016 she developed a very stiff neck with severe insomnia, brain fog and anxiety. In the spring of 2017 she was afflicted by 2 viruses. Her immune system was to suppressed by this point she did not recover from these illnesses and her heart began racing out of control at times, her blood pressure fluctuated and she was lightheaded and faint. Her fatigue worsened and she was unable to work any longer. This created a new financial stress as well. Finding no options in Canada for treatment she began looking further afield and found a promising clinic in Florida so they made plans to immediately travel to Florida and start the treatment process. Initially she was investigated thoroughly with multiple tests. These tests showed she was suffering with Lyme/ Chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorder, hypothyroid, parasite infestations, hormone deficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and neurotransmitter deficiency. It is an alternative, integrated, multidisciplinary approach for treatment and while being effective is also very costly. While mom was in treatment dad thought it prudent to be tested himself and lo and behold he too tested positive for lyme disease and began his own costly treatment program. Costs are soaring and currently sit around $75000.00 for this treatment and living costs . More costs lie ahead with supplements, treatments and follow up visits. This is a very stressful period of time for my parents and I am feeling a little helpless so I would like to do what I can to help mom recover some of the costs and move forward with her healing journey and life. She has made some promising progress with her treatment but it takes time and money so I wanted to set up this fund to help.
This lyme condition is a ruthless disease. It picks and chooses its victims and is spreading rapidly throughout North America reaching epidemic proportions. The medical community is not on board with diagnosing and treating it as yet and people are suffering years of physical, emotional, and financial trauma with little hope for help. Many of these victims are children. Its a very sad situation and it bothers me greatly to see my normally healthy vibrant mom dealing with the effects of this condition.