My name is Laura and I am finally humbling myself to ask for help in order to pay for a three month stay at an inpatient healthcare facility that is not covered by insurance but that I so desperately need!
I’m battling both Bipolar Disorder as well as Lyme Disease and its co-infections (Bartonella, Babesiosis, Campylobacter and Yersinia Enterocolitica) that have crossed the blood-brain barrier and have wreaked havoc on my cognitive function and memory. Those combinations of infections have further caused anemia, acute alopecia, loss of the muscle mass in my left leg and use of my left calf muscle, cervical and lumbar radiculopathy among numerous other physiological and psychological manifestations.
For those that knew the “healthy” me whether through work, Renewable Energy Conferences, WRISE, church, AA or ACA, they would probably describe me as organized, outgoing, energetic, creative, patient, positive or enthusiastic. I am not that person anymore. I feel the most vulnerable and the loneliest I have ever felt. These illnesses have attacked me physically, mentally, socially and even financially.
PHYSICALLY: I am tired. I endure several 3-hour IV treatments per week, physical therapy and doctor visits. I ingest all kinds of medications and supplements. And yet there are days where I cannot do anything, not even shower, but stay in bed and make it my goal to attempt to sleep.
MENTALLY: I have been fragmented and disorganized. I’ve had four psychotic breaks in the last five years, the first three taking me out of work for nearly two to three months. Sadly, the mental health medications that I need to take are contra-indicated with the medications that I need to take for the bacterial infections. To make matters even that much worse, the Babesia infection itself causes severe and intense paranoia and while being treated for this infection, the paranoia can get worse before it gets better.
SOCIALLY: I have retreated from many social groups and been more of an introvert, had no energy for any of the things I love, creatively stunted in many respects, lacked patience and my enthusiasm and zest for life has waned, many times I admit, bringing me to a deep, dark place where I haven’t even “wanted to be here”.
FINANCIALLY: Eighteen months ago, I had no choice but to go on leave from a career that I loved. I cannot work. As a single mom with a son in college, it has been extremely difficult to even attempt to stay afloat financially.
WHEN DID I GET SICK?
I’m not even quite sure when I began getting sick. People have asked, how long did it take you to get diagnosed and the answer is either 10 months of intense and invasive testing or, the better part of 40 years of my life. I grew up on the East Coast, a land rich with ticks and we camped a lot on the weekends, and we would line up for a “tick check” to have my dad pull any ticks off of us after the weekend. Is this when it started? I don’t know. Then, at age 16, I lived in Colombia SA for the year, a huge area very widely known for mosquitoes that carry Bartonella which cause lots of psychological issues. Is this when it all started? I don’t know. I had been diagnosed with Mono as a freshman in high school, I was treated with antibiotics, come to find out, many kids with Lyme Disease wayback when were often misdiagnosed with Mono. Is this when it all started? I don’t know. The fact is that I am sick, and I’ve accepted this to be the case.
WHAT’S THE PLAN?
I’ve found the Hawaiian Naturopathic Retreat Center, a place that is a 90-day residential treatment program that combines the Gerson Cancer Treatment method (used for cancer and illnesses like mine) with many other types of mind/body/spiritual healing protocol. The cost is $65,000. I need this exact kind of inpatient program designed to protect my vulnerable state of mind while treating the disease and infections tearing my body apart. I can’t let myself be further fractured in order to heal.
I’m a mom whose son graduates college this year. I not only want to be there, he needs me to be there. Not a shadow this crippled version of me, but ME. It is the realization that I might possibly miss something so important that it seemed best to go now and get about the business of getting the treatment I need and leave the rest up to God.
I want to live again! I want to make a difference in this world. I am exhausted simply trying to “survive”; trying to be the patient and the advocate, all while pretending to be “okay”. No more false smiles when I have none to give. I want to feel like a part of the world around me, to see in living color instead of hues so pale and dreary. I have battled through much shame, guilt, fear, disbelief and a mountain of losses this last year.
It’s scary to put this all out there in the universe but at least I have the diagnosis to explain why it has been so hard these last few years. If my story helps one person get help, if it helps one person feel a little less alone and ashamed then it is worth it. I know God uses these situations for his Glory, he does, and His Will.
Why Bartonella is the New Lyme Disease TOUCHED BY LYME: A close look at six Lyme-related infections Lyme is ‘All in Your Head’ – A Wake-up Call to Mental Health Professionals Listen to 049 LYME NINJA talks about healing from chronic Lyme disease from Lyme Voice Radio, Discussing your Lyme Disease Journey with Aaron & Sarah Sanchez in Podcasts. Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center Gerson Therapy Spoon Theory
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