Don’t take “no” for an answer

I presented with the classic bullseye rash, 15 cm across, where I’d been bitten by a tick. I worked in the outdoor industry and knew I had the symptons of Lyme disease. I became seriously ill. Previously I had been extremely fit and hadn’t seen a doctor in years. Now three different doctors told me I did not have Lyme disease and that I was imagining the symptons. I had to argue to get a blood sample sent away to the pathology lab in Hampshire. It took weeks. Then it took months waiting for the result. When the result finally came back positive my GP prescribed a low dose of antibiotic for one week. Again I had to argue. Finally my doctor phoned a consultant microbiologist who immediately doubled the dose and doubled the course. Then I had to argue again, to eventually be referred to consultants at the tropical and infectious disease unit at Liverpool Hospital. Lyme is a reportable infectious disease that is prevalent in the Lake District, yet doctors working here not only did not diagnose it; they ruled it out. I suffered neurological pain and chronic fatigue for about 18 months due to a bacterial infection which is treatable with antibiotics. And I knew I was bitten by a tick. And I told doctors what the problem was from day one.

Current Location: Kendal, Cumbria
Infected in: Grizedale Forest, Lake District, UK