I made it home…finally!

Back in November last year (2015), it was finally time to head back the UK after a long 8 months in California having intensive medical treatment for this Chronic and life alliterating  illness; Lyme Disease. Packing was a mission to say the least, with approximately 20 kg of Medication and IV supplies! There were spreadsheets, to-do lists, medical letters covering me ‘fit to fly’ and forms to clear me through customs for over staying my US Visa requirements and to explain why I had this ginormous stash of meds! With so much medicine to packing it was like a strategic game of real life Tetris, removal of excess packaging, twisting, turning, unpacking and repacking until it all fit in and my luggage was within the weight limit! Two large suitcases, a smaller carry on case, a backpack full to the brim and of course a handbag with everything in it but the kitchen sink, I flew home.

 

It was a difficult travel schedule back to home turf with the physical pain, and lack of sleep, but the endorphins were flowing just knowing I was on route home and I powered through. I felt such a sense of relief that I was going to be in the same time zone as my family and close friends again, i just faced the travel as another moment of mind over matter. Unfortunately nausea got the better of me during the plane journey home and I was ‘at one’ with the porcelain bowl on multiple occasions. Let me tell you being sick in an aeroplane toilet cubicle is awkward! There is barely enough room to turn around in there let alone lean over! I was trying to casually prop my self up holding on to the wall, for obvious reasons not wanting to touch the toilet and accidently hit the flush button, I literally thought my head was going to be sucked into oblivion! Needless to say I survived both the toilet flush and the plane ride and landed safely, a little dishevelled but in one piece!

The final 2 months of my California stay, I started back up with a full regime of IV antibiotics; Ceftriaxone, Metronidazole and Azithromycin. This ‘triple threat’ combination of medicines were given to me in a pulsing regime of 5 days on 2 days off. These are three particular antibiotics commonly used to treat Lyme and Co-infections. Herxing was really tough at times, but over-all  I was able to see some much needed improvements in this last stretch.

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Meds, meds & more meds!

 

Although of course I am so happy to be home in England, I would be lying if I said that being so far away from the clinic was easy. Not having access to the specialists treatments makes everything that much harder and recovery that bit longer. I also now miss greatly the special friends that I have made through the clinic and at the various places I found welcoming homes to rest my head. I have certainly made some friends for life through this ordeal (both human & hound!) and for that I am forever grateful. I continue to have regular Skype appointments with my Doctor from a distance and medicine is shipped over and continued to be paid for out of pocket. I am now totalling spends of over £65,000 since getting sick with Lyme and the payout is showing no signs of stopping just yet. The financial burden scares me like crazy and does make me worry about my future. I am 31 and now have no savings left, let alone a house or a job! I at least have shed loads of determination!

It frustrates me that I can’t access even the basic antibiotic treatment from the UK via the NHS that I require in order to heal. I have also realised that the chances of getting empathy and understanding from the medical system here anytime soon also remains slim. Patients should NOT be forced to travel great distances or spend extortionate amounts of money on fighting this disease. I think access to medical treatment is a human right, especially when the country is capable and could provide the majority of the basic medication should they wish to educate themselves more on this crippling disease and change the treatment guidelines. I still don’t understand that when it is so obvious that this disease is causing havoc in my entire body that they still persevere to deny or accept a diagnosis of Lyme Disease. I have positive laboratory results for Lyme (Borrelia Burgdoferi) from the US and it is like they think I am enjoying this journey from hell! I am literally fighting for my health and fighting a medical system who are covering up what could potentially be an epidemic. I believe there are significant numbers of people who have been potenitally misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. From recent research, it even suggests that Lyme could be the root cause of illness’ such as ME, MS and even Alzheimer’s. I feel like there is almost a conspiracy to cover up this up as they know deep down the problem is far bigger than anything they understand or can maybe afford to treat. It is without a doubt that the treatment guidelines in the UK need drastically reassessing because as long as patients in the UK are being denied treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease than this country is essentially playing Russian Roulette with human lives.

Thankyou for reading my update on Lyme life and I please ask if you wouldn’t mind taking a few minutes to click the following link and sign the current UK Government and Parliament Lyme petition, it would be appreciated by all who suffer from Lyme in the UK.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/113475Please Click Here.

This petition is to request the development of more accurate NHS Lyme tests and effective treatment protocols. This needs to get a minimum of 10,000 signatures in order for the government to respond and consider this for debate at Parliament. Two minutes of your time could literally save many years of someones life.

Remember… Little Tick, Big Problem! Prevention is better than cure.

Much Love and Happy New Year, may your 2016 be health, happy and full of adventure. Cx

 

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Time to say Goodbye…UK bound!

So the time has come for me to head back across the pond to the UK and continue my fight to beat this disease on home turf!

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I am really excited at returning home to all my favourite people. At the same time I am also feeling anxious too. Whilst being in California, I have been able to have that sense of security through the knowledgeable Lyme doctors in a specialised medical environment. The intravenous antibiotics and other supportive IVs that I have had there have without a doubt been key to my medicine protocol and I feel like I have had the best start to my journey of recovery.

I often get asked, ‘So, are you better now?’ I can’t tell you how more than anything I wish I could say yes, but no I am not better and still very much harbouring a considerable infection
load. What I can say is that I am not as sick as I was three and half months ago, and I am making some great progress.

The H.Pylori infection seems to have gone, and the sheer relief from not having the upper stomachs pain is huge. I took two high dose antibiotics for two weeks for this particular infection and I am now pulsing a herbal Byron White formula to ensure this is rid completely from my system. My appetite has increased, and consequently I have managed to gain a bit of weight, or more ‘meat on my bones’ as my dad would say!
I have also noticed a great reduction in the amount of nausea that I get. My stomach is still problematic due to the Lyme bacteria, but for the majority of the time I feel more able to control this with anti-emetics and with the restriction of gluten, sugar and dairy from my diet.

I am taking home a huge supply of medication, both natural and pharmaceutical. Most of these are less readily available in Europe so I feel much more at ease knowing I can take all these back to the UK with me. I laughed as I had to purchase another suitcase, just for medicine, if only I had been on some huge shopping spree instead!

Once back home I will continue to communicate with my specialist doctor through email and Skype consultations. It is important that I keep up with taking all these oral medicines especially as I will not have access to the additional IV treatments I have been having. If I was a millionaire I would fly my doctor over to the UK to set up a clinic here. It’s so nice to be able to trust someone with your life and know they are doing there best to support you back to health. I have laughed and cried through my time at the clinic and I can say that I felt so cared for by every member of staff that work there.

I have had some more blood tests done and I will wait to receive these results back home. This is to check for some additional infections as well as possible adrenal and vitamin deficiencies.

Thanks to all my new American buddies who have made my stay so much easier. You have been there for me all times of the day and night, and have generally been so hospitable and kind. The next time I update you I will be back in the UK, so I will be back blogging once the jet lag wears off!

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