I have had Lymes disease since October 2015. Many people don't know what Lymes disease is, some have never even heard of it and others question its presents in Australia, but I promise you it's here and unfortunately there are many going undiagnosed because there's little awareness and acknowledgement.
My story is one of many and even though I can only ask for help for myself at this time I hope this will increase its awareness in Australia.
Lymes disease is transmitted through a tick bite, I got mine while 4WDing with my dad; I was on leave from work and only realised something was wrong when I went back and could no longer get through a day of work on my feet. I was extremely fatigued and had achy joints to the point of keeping me up at night.
To cut a very very long story short after seeing many GPs, an infectious disease specialist, a rheumatologist, a physiotherapist, going through hundreds of tests and thousands of dollars my doctor was at a loss and said all he could do was manage the symptoms. For a 24yr old to hear that the only future the doctors could give was one of managed pain, house bound for the most part, never getting back to the job she loved and most likely not being able to carry baby, it was heart breaking.
For those of you who don't know what the symptoms of Lymes disease are here are just some:
Joint pain and swelling
Flu like symptoms
Unexplained weight gain/or loss
Depression and anxiety.........and there are so much more.
I am humongously blessed to have an incredible family and wonderful friends who have been my rock through this long hard journey, they have held my hand through all the bad news from test results and have gone out of their way to make me smile when things have seemed too hard and insurmountable, and they have never given up on me or of finding answers!
And because of that unwillingness to give up on finding answers that I finally got mine!
An old family friend who is a doctor heard I was sick and of my symptoms, she knew of a doctor who had treated patients with Lymes disease and she thought that my symptoms fit. She referred me to this doctor and after 1 appointment and blood test he had diagnosed me and was on to treating me with numerous antibiotics and supplements.
The relief over a diagnosis at last was amazing, and the treatment even though it made me quite sick started to work, I was very slowly improving and was feeling very positive; but unfortunately 3 months in I hit a wall and went down hill again suddenly, it was found that on top of the Lymes I had contracted 2 co infections with it. After trying different medications, mixes of medications and most recently weekly injections of antibiotics very little progress has been made since then. My doctor has now said that the next step he would recommend for me is overseas treatment in a clinic in Cyprus that has seen very positive results.
I've been sick and out of work with this disease for almost 2 years and have no hope of getting there alone. Im only 24, I want to have my life back or even just be able to start it.
5 months after getting sick I met the man I one day want to marry. He has never seen or experienced me well, he has taken tireless care of me from day one and through everything since then. He has been there to hold my hand and be my shoulder, he has truely loved me through better or worse, in sickness and I would love for one day through health.
I want to be me again, full of life and always having a smile on my face and my biggest wish is for him to experience that.
This treatment in Cyprus is hope of a full and healthy future for me, my partner and my family
I'm hoping to get to Cyprus in November/December, my doctor would prefer the sooner the better, any help you can give would be greatly appreciated and would make to world of difference in my family and my life!
Thank you for anything you can do and give.
- Juliana Bahr-Thomson
- Ashley Sullivan
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