After recovering from a huge health scare that nearly killed me in 2013-2014, Luke and I decided to take a different path and moved from our childhood home of the SF Bay Area to the beautiful, serene, peaceful island of St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands. We had learned that life is precious and we were no longer satisfied living the "status quo" and being a part of the "rat race."
Our first 3 years on island were very good to us. Luke has become a very busy musician playing local venues all over island as well as now working full time at the Caribbean's only distributing craft beer brewery. I had started and was running a very successful cleaning and property care-taking business.
Last September Hurricane Maria, the second Cat 5 storm in two weeks hit the USVI; causing wide spread devastation on St. Croix. After the storm, Luke and I spent all of our time cleaning water logged buildings, mold abatement and generalized manual labor. We were without power for 57 days (and we were among some of the first to have utilities restored).
Starting around December 2017, I starting feeling more fatigued than normal. I developed strange muscle, joint, and nerve pains that seemed to roam around to different parts of my body. I began to have memory problems and difficulty concentrating (brain fog). This was all in addition to the chronic GI problems that I've had since the health problems in 2013-2014. After seeing several doctors on island, without any help, last May Luke and I took a trip to CA where I saw an Integrative Medical Doctor who recognized my symptoms as Lyme Disease and tested me for it. The test alone was $1300 and not covered by insurance. It came back positive for Borreliosis (Lyme Disease) and Babesiosis (a malarial-like protozoan parasite that attacks red blood cells). We learned that toxic mold exposure sends Lyme patients into a full-blown health crisis, and I had been rapidly getting sicker while still attempting to run my cleaning business.
I started treatment with a Lyme Specialist in CA the beginning of August 2018. I am currently taking two different antimalarial medications to kill the Babesia, a ton of supplements, and adhering to a special "GAPS diet" to help boost my immune system and improve the health of my gut prior to starting long-term (3-6 months) of IV antibiotic therapy.
The plan is to stay in CA for four-six weeks to determine a good IV antibiotic regime. Then place a PORT or PICC line (long term IV), in order to continue antibiotic therapy back home on St. Croix for the remaining months.
I have been unable to work since last May and most of the treatments for Lyme Disease are not covered by insurance. Although some of the medications have been covered thus far, our insurance calendar year starts over November 1, 2018. Meaning that all the money we've put towards our $5,000 deductible so far this year, will be for not. Just the testing to get diagnosed and the first round of medications has cost us over $5500. We need to cover our 2019 deductible($5,000), travel costs, lodging costs once in CA (closest family and friends are about a 1.5 hr commute from the clinic where I'll be receiving treatment), as well as medication costs that will be ongoing for at least the next year. Anything you are able to give would be a huge help.
For those of you who have already given your love, help, and donations during my last health crisis, THANK YOU! It is incredibly difficult for me to gather the courage to ask for help...again. We are looking at a long, complicated road to recovery, but we are determined to do it together!