Born a Fighter with Lyme Disease & Chronic Illness
Since I was 2 weeks old I started a life of mysterious illnesses, the unimaginable, unexplainable, and was told for 26 years my illnesses and hospitalizations were of a psychiatric cause. Despite 5 back surgeries, random spinal fluid leaks, debilitating pain, and eventually neurological and cognitive impairments; time and time again I was told, “this was all in my head, I was causing this to myself from all the stress I was under.”
Finally in August 2017 I received my diagnoses of Chronic Lyme Disease Complex and various co-infections that came along for the ride. Believe it or not, this was a relief. Finally being able to put a name to this mysterious “almost, but not MS, not Lupus, not RA” disease. However, daily I found myself fighting to be taken seriously in the Western medical community. I lost all my independence, ability to speak, was having seizures every 3 minutes, and debilitating pain kept me in bed for months.
To What Measure
After almost losing my life at the age of 27, the love of my life (@Lymedrogo on Instagram) of ten years and I decided we needed to sell everything we could, and fundraise to afford treatment elsewhere. He took me out of the state of New Hampshire where there are very poor resources, despite the growing Lyme Disease epidemic. He took me to Arizona to Envita Medical Center where they specialize in Lyme Disease and Cancer research and development, and they saved my life with an intense treatment protocol of antibiotics, various other vitamins, and homeopathic remedies. However, I continue to require a wheelchair for mobility, assistance with my activities of daily living, experience severe tremors and losing consciousness, memory deficits, poor autonomic regulation (blood pressures, oxygen saturation, and heart rate), and severe joint pain. I also lost close to 60 lbs and required nutrition through my port in my chest (TPN) for over two months for ten hours a day.
Healing is a Journey
We are currently in Cabo, Mexico at Stemaid starting a new treatment protocol. On my 8th day of treatment I walked with a walker for the first time in 8 months! Chronic illness can take a toll on one’s mind, body, and spirit. However, I refuse to allow my disabilities define me — as we ALL have more ABILITIES than disabilities!! I feel strongly, as an Occupational Therapist myself that I have a calling in this world to be raw, honest, open, and transparent about my story and my experiences in hopes to help others out there suffering in silence. It’s a journey, a long one. But we will all get there, not alone, but together, hand-in-hand. I choose to fight every single day, I choose to take it one moment at a time (not one day at a time!) There are no good or bad days, they are just moments in time that too pass. I choose to live. I repeat to myself often these words: “The brightest of stars shine only on the darkest of nights.”