Fiona – Sutherland

I used to garden, do DIY, hill walking with my dogs, loved outdoor life and worked very hard & long hours in a demanding operations position in the fishing industry. I was a hardy, robust little woman who never had a day off sick – ever!

Planting lettuces in May 2007 a tick must have attached behind my left knee. I found it next morning. Six weeks later I noticed an Erythema migrans rash spreading from behind that knee, the GP said it was only a reaction from the bite. Asking for blood tests, I was told, beforehand, that the result would be negative. The ELISA result was indeed negative, I was told I had nothing to worry about. I accepted this as a previous GP had told me that there was no Lyme disease on the west coast of Scotland.

No sudden onset symptoms other than initial EM rash, that I noticed, but an insidious feeling of growing very old very quickly. Too quickly. I had skin changes on my left leg, shooting pains, joint pains, cognitive problems, fatigue.

Two and a half years later in Nov 2009 I had deteriorated to the point where I was cognitively unable to judge my own health, my family had ganged up on me, forcing me to go back to the doctor with a swollen, discoloured lower left leg. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease by a different GP and given antibiotics.

A kindly and reassuring Infectious diseases consultant saw me but the dermatology consultant inexcusably rudely questioned my account of my symptoms and said if I ever had skin problems in the first place they had resolved! HE had misread my medical notes! I still have an unexplained skin/tissue problem.

I have not been seen by neurology, cardiology or any other specialist.

Denied access to a NHS rheumatologist in Nov 2012, therefore instead, three years after diagnosis, I had finally to insist, (twice!) upon a review (the first and only) of my Lyme disease by the Infectious diseases consultant. That specialist immediately prescribed a month of antibiotics which has lifted me out of my downward spiral, for now.

I no longer garden, work, DIY, hill walk with my dogs. Instead, l fight to get well, fight GPs and fight the NHS.

Current Location: Southwest Sutherland, Scotland
Infected in: Southwest Sutherland, Scotland