This is my amazing and beautiful partner’s and my story.
I was attracted to Bri the moment I laid eyes on her because, in addition to being the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, she had this infectious and gregarious nature that lit up the room and made everything around her brighter and, seemingly, in greater contrast. Upon talking to her, I knew that my immediate assumptions about her were going to be confirmed. She proved to be wise well beyond her years, kind and giving with one of the most generous spirits I have ever known, and effacing and warm to everyone around her. She gives of herself fully to anyone that needs help and pours her entire heart and soul into the act of helping and doing for those in need. She, almost immediately, became my best friend and my partner in everything. I can’t imagine my life without her in it and I hope I never have to. She is the love of my life and deserving of every good thing the universe has to offer. Sadly, life doesn’t always work out that way.
For more than 12 years she has had little bouts of “mystery illness” symptoms as we have come to call them.
Over the past 4 years, however, she started deteriorating faster and, before our eyes, she lost the ability to walk to the shower, cook, clean, work, or do any activity (even the most mundane) that forced her to be out of bed. When she does push herself too far (which is often since she still thinks she is wonder woman) she is immediately bed ridden for up to three days with nausea and excruciating pain.
After a great deal of time, research and money that was very generously donated to help her, we have found a doctor who has symptomatically diagnosed her with Lyme disease and two co-infections (Bartonella and Mycoplasma). As we have watched her decline daily she is now noticeably weaker, and seems to lose more cognitive function, from hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills loss to the ability to speak articulately. She has a condition common amongst sufferers of Lyme disease called “brain fog’ wherein her short term memory is virtually non-existent and it is often difficult for her to formulate even the most rudimentary thoughts into speech or action. So her doctor has started her on a treatment regimen to combat these infections even though we are still trying to fix her very painful leaky gut syndrome. Unfortunately, these treatments are very expensive and we have only been able to afford one month so far and are spent financially Her pain, sadly, is going to get worse before it gets better during the treatment process so stopping and starting treatments is extremely hard on her and reduces the efficaciousness of the treatments.
Unfortunately, our health care system is a sick joke and none of the aforementioned treatment protocols are covered by insurance. The CDC and Medical world completely deny that Chronic Lyme even exists and because of this we are still having to ask for help.
As Bri continues to research and meet scores of people in the exact same position she’s in (it is staggering the number of individuals in exactly the same boat she has found), I’ve seen her heartbroken not only about her own situation but by the multitude of people that are basically dying because the medical world will not help them and most don’t have the money for the treatments and everyday healthy lifestyle changes (diet in particular) that are vital to even begin to heal.
We will update this account of our journey as often as possible (at least as often as things change) and we ask that you share this story with anyone who will listen. This disease, given that large swaths of the medical community don’t even acknowledge it, has a lot of misconceptions and hurdles. The battles that one must fight are arduous…the internal battle to figure out what is actually going on with your body, the battle with Doctor after Doctor that are telling you there is nothing wrong when you know it’s not normal to feel the way you do day in and day out, and the battle with your own psyche trying to convince yourself that you’re not crazy and there is really something wrong with you.! I have watched Bri struggle with this immensely (which her symptoms have exacerbated) but I believe in how strong she is and am determined to help get her back to a state where she no longer has to act like she’s okay and put on a fake smile and push herself past the point of exhaustion just so she can have some semblance of normalcy.
Our dear friend Scott Rohr of Twisted Groove (http://www.twistedgroove.com/)
has also created an amazing shirt to help us raise funds. These shirts are beautiful handmade tiedyes on quality t-shirts and Scott has graciously agreed to split the proceeds with us. The shirts are $25 each and $15 of each shirt goes to Bri's fund. To order a shirt, contact us at [email redacted] with your gender, size, and preferred color scheme (up to 4 colors) and we will get Scott to make it for you asap.
We have also set up an online auction with some really cool and eclectic items to bid on at https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/online-auction-for-bri-s-medical-costs-3148. If you would like to bid on an item, simply click on the "Bid Now" button, enter your personal and payment information and place the bid. If, at the end of the auction (2 weeks from now), you are the high bidder, you will automatically be notified that you won the item, your payment method will be charged, and we will contact you as to how to get you your item (or you can contact us via the email or address listed below).
If you would like to help us directly or don’t have the ability to use this site (no cc for example), you can reach us at 3035 18th Avenue South #4, Minneapolis, MN 55407. You can also email us at [email redacted].
If you are unable to donate money and would still like to help, we welcome all types of assistance! Whether it’s is a sweet note of encouragement, help to the grocery store, coming over and helping with dishes during her massive food prep days (which are impressive to watch), cleaning a room, stopping by to give her a warm hug or giving her an hour outside of the house with something healing (music, tea, or flowers (wink)) I know she and I would both welcome and greatly appreciate it. Saying we are forever, and eternally grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel towards all of you! Thank you for reading through this! If nothing else please share this story so that people are aware of the battle that so many like Bri are waging daily!
If you would like to Learn or understand more about these issues please consider watching the follow documentaries:
Under Our Skin
Under Our Skin 2: Emergence (http://www.underourskin.com/)
Our Battle Ongoing: Lyme disease in Australia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5uFkZnY7hI)
Disappearing From Society - A Look into Life with Chronic Illness (https://vimeo.com/218887760)
If you would like to come over and watch them, we have them all and would love to watch them with you!
Thank you all again, we can’t say it enough! Please don’t be nervous to reach out and ask any questions! If it takes a little time to get a response back we apologize in advance and ask for your respect and patience as we navigate through this battle as well!
Love and Peace to you all!
Christopher and Bri