Feeling abnormally tired, with joint pain and burning muscles, Lucy Bulmer was admitted to hospital…
Valerie Barr tells her story of recovery from Lyme disease, which started when her friend contacted a Lyme disease support organisation and was told about Breakspear Medical.
Excerpt from Breakspear Medical Youtube Channel video: Valerie Barr | Recovering Lyme disease patient:
Huge relief with diagnosis of Lyme disease
I started to have severe headache, nausea, chest pains, sort of headache with a crushing feeling at the back of the head, like meningitis, sensitivity to light, pains in my joints and so on. And I went to my doctor, and they sent me to hospital, suspected heart attack, I stayed in there for a few days, and they sent me home, having inconclusive tests; couldn’t find anything wrong.
Two weeks later, my doctor said, “Well, let’s wait and see” but I insisted on going to a specialist. Four months later, I had been to a heart specialist, a neurologist, ear nose and throat specialist and a chest specialist, all of which had done many, many tests and couldn’t find anything wrong. The upshot was they thought I was hyperventilating and should go to physio.
And meanwhile, a friend of the family had googled some of my symptoms and come up with a theory of Lyme disease and decided to look more into it, contacted Lyme UK, who put me in touch with the contact at Breakspear; the Breakspear clinic, [is] a very short distance away from me, which is very lucky.
I was seen very quickly and the people in reception were very welcoming and [it was] a very comfortable place to sit etc. I was taken in and was talked to very kindly and gently. I was finding it difficult to talk so it was very crucial that I was given time to explain and I wasn’t expected to do great lengthy tests which I had been put through before.
I was examined within one of the rooms there and taken to the ward where I was giving a blood test, which was sent off, and I was also given antibiotics and food supplements to boost my immune system because that was fairly depleted.
The diagnosis & how it felt
Huge relief that I’d got a diagnosis at all and the testing that the Breakspear do is different to the other testing which I’d had. And it was Lyme disease. And it made absolute sense and it was a common sense approach and I really felt happy and relieved, although I was still very, very ill, to be under a blanket of comfort, if you like, because somebody had recognised what was wrong with me, and somebody was doing something about it. It was crucial. And I felt better in a strange sort of way because that was a relief and I’d gone months without it.
I’d never heard of [Lyme disease] before…well, that’s not quite true, I had heard of it but I wasn’t aware of what causes it, how you get it, etc. I was told that it could have lain dormant and we had been away to a country the year before where it is quite prevalent, so I could of picked it up there. I could have picked it up on the farm. You can just walk through long grass and pick up a tick that could bite you. So, I don’t know where I got it.
The successful treatment
To begin with, it was all antibiotics and that changed over so weeks to different types of antibiotics that were required. I gather there is a programme that the Breakspear think is a good way forward and that’s proved right for me. Together with different supplements, that changed as well, over time my symptoms, some were more prevalent and some weren’t it, so it ebbed and flowed, and I went back to the clinic every month, and was retested just to check the levels etc. I also had a profile done of my genetics and that was very helpful to see how my body reacted in different ways and to eliminate other things as well. So, it wasn’t just treating the Lyme, it was making sure nothing else was going on and it hadn’t triggered anything else. It was just the whole person was treated, rather just targeting one thing.
I went from oral antibiotics to intramuscular injections, still keeping with the supplements, which boosted my health and my energies, and I think that is crucial with, I think, with anything to give your body that boost, to help it to combat what’s going on inside.
Twice a week I went there for muscular injections and then now since the end of those, I am still taking supplements, but I haven’t been back for awhile now and I feel so much better, so much better, and I am gradually getting back into my lifestyle, which was very active before I contracted Lyme disease.
I’ve started riding horses and I’ve been skiing. I’m still building up my energies but they’re getting back to where they were.
#lymedisease Valerie Barr | Recovering Lyme disease patient