canada.gif (5144 bytes)Living the Lyme Life 

     To see what James Christie did to fight back against Lyme disease go to www.CycleForLyme.com

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    Living with Lyme

The last few years of my life have taught me that in order to understand how a person has come to be the way they are, you need to understand where life has taken them to until now.  From Lyme to MS to any form of misunderstood or misdiagnosed environmental diseases, a lot of people suffer personal debilitating diseases that as Canadians, we believe those people have access to good quality healthcare.  

I received my first dose of what I thought was a typical flu virus at 25 years of age while on vacation at Britt, Ontario, in August of 1989.  From that initial 3-day illness I simply never recovered. Although I would not say that the symptoms I first contracted were extreme, what I would say is that as the frequency increased, so did the intensity.  Within 6 to 8 months, flu-like symptoms, high fever, and constant sore-throats became a regular part of life. I would get sick two or three times a month, summer or winter.  My body was always fighting infection.

My original family doctor retired a few years prior to 1989, so by the winter of 1990, I ended up at a walk-in clinic in Toronto, Canada, near where I was living.  Time after time, round of antibiotic after antibiotic, I was always told it was just a bad flu virus or throat infection.  After numerous rounds of antibiotics, not only was I no better off, but I continued to get worse and unfortunately ended up accepting that this had become my way of life.

By the mid-90's I was constantly fighting a "bad bug" and was experiencing the same flu-like symptoms, as well as having throat infection after throat infection along with migrating muscle pain.  Since I had been raised on a farm as well as had been in the construction industry for over a decade, I had always been in better than average physical condition.  By the mid-90's, I had resigned myself to believe that construction had taken its toll on my body in the form of this constant illness.  Given that my doctor continually told me that it was just another "bad bug" I incorrectly began to blame myself for not taking proper care of my body.  

By the late 90's, I was suffering from chronic neck pain as well as various muscle and body pains. I would regularly get a nasty red rash on my tongue and began suffering from chest pain, regular migraines, confusion, and relentless non-stop fatigue.  It didn't matter if I slept 20 hours a day for 4 days straight, I was always exhausted and in constant pain.  By 2002, I was still being prescribed round after round of antibiotic.  The more antibiotics I took, the worse I felt a few days later.  It was like something inside me went wild shortly after every round of antibiotics was finished.  I could literally feel the pain travel through my body, going from my stomach to my chest, to my throat, to my sinuses, over, and over, and over again. When I described this feeling to my doctor, not only did he not listen, he mockingly laughed at me and told me that was absurd, reinforcing his position that I had mental problems.  By 2004, I was sick all the time and the best I had were a few days a month where I merely felt lousy and didn't suffer massive amounts of muscle pain and constant fatigue throughout my body. 

Without any doubt, the worst situation I have even found myself in was the result of my doctors misguided diagnosis of what was wrong with me.  Given that I felt so isolated from help from my doctor, I became even more withdrawn from life and constantly tried to hide what I was living.  Not until 2006, against my doctors orders, did I finally realize that not only was my doctor ignorant, he had been grossly incompetent concerning my health.  Against his orders, I took myself off the prescribed garbage that made me worse and empowered myself to find out what was really wrong.  As of August 2006, I was on my own to try and uncover what was so terribly wrong inside me.

Too be continued...........

 

 James Christie, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.