Loraine G – Belfast

In October, 2015 I was walking home from work, I took a short cut on an Embankment. I was so tired I went to bed for nap fully clothed. I later got up and changed into pj’s and at 4.00am felt something bite me, I was too tired to get up and fell back to sleep. Next morning I got ready for work, showered, only I saw a greyish, fat creature crawl on me as it tried to hide I picked it up, believing it got washed away. I went to work as normal, the following weeks were very difficult, sweating, feeling hot and cold, constant stabbing pains in my right hand accompanied with weakness, disorientation, fainting and brain fog problems creating sentences.

Symptoms worsened start getting pain and bleeding from rectum and some vaginal spotting, electric shock convulsions or jolts in bed at night, racing heart, muscle pain in legs, as if the muscle was twisting like cramps, preventing me walking properly. Constant sore feet and sensitivity to light, and noise. I went to GP several times first was when I had noticed the bulls eye rash couple of weeks following bite, I was given a cream to put on the two infected bites – no antibiotics.

Following another 3 weeks suffering, I went back to GP asked for antibiotics – none given, bloods taken and sent to Porton Down. Rang GP the following week for results GP advised there had been some exposure so GP called Porton Down Lab, ELISA test for lyme was negative. GP advised I hadn’t lyme and Porton Down advised him “only person in Northern Ireland, Co. Fermanagh was lyme positive”. After over 2 months exposure, I eventually got 2 weeks doxy, my family rang constantly on my behalf, I was too ill and felt like I was dying. When I arrived for my GP appointment her reaction was “you look awful”, which I felt.

Following a further consultation the GP advised me “I can’t blame everything on the tick bite”. Although everything is ! I have only just received a referral for infectious diseases in Northern Ireland and I am not hopeful about this due to the ignorance of UK’s medical profession over this disease and the failing ELISA test. I think the worst part of this illness is the medical profession don’t believe your ill, I felt the treatment I received from my own GP, was more an evaluation of my mental health, I was treated as if I was crazy – having some sort of audacity to suggest to them I have symptoms of Lymes and Co Infections and for their help! I got sick I had to leave my job, I was bed ridden for months, I lost so much weight I became the same weight I was 20 years ago and the irony is I don’t have the label so I can’t be sick – clinical diagnosis of malaise.