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Story 69

© Illustration by Life in Lyme Light.

How has Lyme Disease affected your life? What inspires you?

I was bitten by a tick in Peachtree City, Georgia, February of 2015. I thought nothing of it. I pulled it off my upper thigh and flushed it down the sink. A few weeks after the bite, I started to have burning pain in my leg and multiple symptoms quickly followed. Fast forward 10-11 months, I have pain all over my body, I’m exhausted, dropping everything and I can barely walk.

During my journey I saw multiple doctors and specialists, had 6 MRIs and was diagnosed with a torn muscle, a torn meniscus, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, possible Rheumatoid arthritis and possible Multiple Sclerosis. Desperate for answers, I finally saw a holistic doctor who diagnosed me with Lyme and co-infections (Babesia & Bartonella) after seeing it pop up in a bioenergetic test. I began treatment and started to get better.

A local Lyme friend suggested I see her LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) in Florida, but since the holistic approach was working I was sticking with it. A few months later, I was bitten again by 2 ticks (2 at the same time on the same ankle) and that’s when everything started to spiral out of control.

Some days I couldn’t walk at all, raise my arms or use my hands. My husband had to literally carry me and feed me at times. My stomach swelled to look like I was 5 months pregnant. I began having tremors and I started having intensely sharp headaches. The worst part … I was slowly starting to lose my mind.

I would feed my dogs and then 5 minutes later feed them again. I’d get lost driving in familiar places. I’d forget full conversations I’d had just moments before and I was beginning to forget family and friend’s names as well as the spelling of words. I was constantly exhausted, in pain and in a state of confusion. It was the most frightening time of my life. At this point, my family and I agreed that it was time to go to Florida for intense treatment.

I’ve been in treatment now for 4 years. Even with a few relapses here and there, (I got bit a 4th time and actually got the bullseye in 2017), I am still so much better than I was. I still have pain most days, but I can walk without a limp and live a relatively normal life all things considered. It’s been a very long and incredibly expensive experience and without the support of my family, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

I continue to have to follow a strict diet, detox on a regular basis and pay close attention to all of my symptoms. I have to medicate as needed and at one point I was having to take 67 pills a day just to maintain. It was awful and I hated it but, it’s what I had to do. Luckily I don’t take anywhere close to that now. There is light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

May is Lyme disease awareness month and each year I try to do something that can really help our cause. There are so many of us suffering and this year I want to raise money to help with Lyme research as well as funding for those in need of treatment. I do not plan to keep any of the funds for myself as I have been blessed to have angels that have taken care of my finances for me.

Please help me raise money so that we can make a positive difference in the Lyme community. Unfortunately, we are left to fight to be treated and taken seriously and way too many people end up with no quality of life. I want to help fight for those who are too ill to fight for themselves. Had I not started treatment, I would be in a wheelchair right now and that is terrifying.

Please feel free to share this campaign. There is strength in numbers and I am confident that together we can make a tremendous difference. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Much love to you and God bless you all!

Click here to support Ryan’s May awareness fundraiser for the nonprofit organization, Lyme Warrior.

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One Comment

  1. Terri

    Thank you Ryan for your story, your fight, your encouragement and for raising $$ and awareness! We are stronger together!
    Terri aka ❤️

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