Jane B – Exeter

I live in Exeter, and was bitten while on Dartmoor in 1997. I found the tick attached to me the next day. I pulled it off and thought nothing more of it, having no knowledge of the danger of Lyme Disease. I became increasingly ill, experiencing excruciating headaches, numbness in my legs, odd tingling sensations, extreme fatigue, confusion, memory problems, anxiety, a stiff sore neck and back, frozen shoulder and many other symptoms, some of which have abated while others have continued or taken their place. I feel constantly deeply unwell. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia / chronic pain syndrome but after comparing notes with a friend in the US who has Lyme, I pushed for testing for Lyme on the NHS in 2010 . The Bristol-based specialist I was sent to doubted I had Lyme in spite of my classic symptoms. I was vindicated when my test results showed antibodies to Babesia. I suspect I also have Borreliosis although no result for that was forthcoming. My GP does not know how to treat me and knows of no-one to refer me to. My health has been terrible for 16 years and I have no help, either medically or financially – I lost my job through this illness and am also denied benefits. I have already lost my gallbladder, and now I am having problems with my heart. I cannot afford private testing or treatment and have to rely on trying to remain positive, which is hard to do. Living with this disease is hell, and I’m fortunate only in that I’m not bedridden with it. But my life has been horribly compromised by it. We need the NHS to wake up and start to treat us appropriately.

Current Location: Exeter, Devon, UK
Infected in: Dartmoor, Devon, UK