I have been using this forum for researching for a while, but this is my first post. Let me just start off by saying how much I appreciate this forum and everyone on here. This site has helped me through my darkest moments, giving me hope when I thought there was none.
I wanted to avoid this becoming a long essay, but I thought it would be helpful to give you guys some background information. So here it goes:
I am a 22 year old male living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I have always been an active, positive minded, outgoing person. I used to train at least 6 days a week. I am a professional photographer, I studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and later moved to Amsterdam to pursue my dream of becoming a renowned photographer and filmmaker. Back in 2013 I started a project in a nature reserve not far from here to take landscape photographs. I would go there at least twice a month to take photographs in the mornings. This reserve is known for their deer, I would always love to just sit on the hill with my camera and view them from afar. At this time I knew very little about
lyme disease and it's implications.
On the 1st of February, 2014, I noticed a very large purple rash on my underarm. I knew what a bulls-eye rash was supposed to look like (that's pretty much all i knew about
lyme at the time), and it didn't resemble it much. And although it had been a very warm winter, I thought it was a strange time for a tick bite. Even so, I went to visit my GP the next day to get it checked out. She told me it was just a swollen lymph node, nothing to worry about
(in hindsight, lymph nodes are usually by your armpit, not your underarm). It would go away in a couple of days she said. I took her word for it. It did disappear a couple of days later. Still at this time, I hadn't looked into Lyme disease much, didn't know what symptoms to look for, I didn't think much of it after.
6 weeks later, I started to get terrible joint pain in my upper back between my shoulder blades. I figured I had trained too hard at the gym, and it would subside within a couple of weeks. Weeks went by, and the pain had not only gotten worse, but my neck was starting to bother me as well. I went to my GP about
the joint pain, she said it must be my posture (to be fair, I do have terrible posture) that was the whole conversation and she sent me home with no answers. As I was very busy at the time, I just went on with daily living, pushing through the pain, even getting used to it. Still, at the time, I hadn't made the connection with the rash on my arm.
Half a year went by, at the time I was working as a part-time chef to earn some extra cash. Still suffering from pain in my back and a stiff neck, especially at work under stress. I started getting tingling sensations in my fingers, muscle spasms in the weirdest places and my head felt bloated on and off. Just very vague symptoms. A couple of months later I had lost sensation in my lips and my right cheek for about
5 minutes. This scared the **** out of me. By this time I had visited my GP multiple times for my joint pain, she kept insisting it was my posture which was beginning to drive me mad, I felt she wasn't taking me seriously. All she did was introduce me to a physiotherapist who suggested some ridiculous posture training and even said the tingling sensations and muscle spasms were all normal, even he had it he stated. After all this I started to lose hope of finding an answer, and just went on with life.
In May 2015, I went to a music festival with some friends. This is where things started to get really bad. I was watching a performance when all of a sudden I thought everyone was turning their heads at me, I was absolutely certain they were all talking about
me, laughing at me. I had never experienced anything like it my entire life. Somehow my perception of the world had shifted drastically in a matter of hours, I haven't been the same since. I had never dealt with anxiety or depression, ever. But since what happened at the festival, I would get panic attacks in the grocery store on a daily basis, I would freak out at work, everything I loved about
life just seemed to slip away, and I couldn't explain it. At this time, I started contemplating taking my own life. I just couldn't go on like this. I had to quit my job. I got psychiatric help, and have been in therapy ever since.
The psychiatrist told me it was a psychosis and an acute anxiety disorder. I was put on medication. Antipsychotics which didn't help me one bit, and Oxazepam which was the only thing that could alleviate the anxiety to some extent.
Almost half a year of therapy with no progress in sight (by this time I had become a hermit), I started to take matters into my own hands. As much as the psychiatrists tried to help, they never connected the physical symptoms to my psychiatric symptoms. I knew there had to be a connection.
That's when I started to really look into Lyme disease, and it all started to make perfect sense. I immediately insisted a Lyme test at my GP. She just shrugged and said, if it'll make you feel better, I guess it can't do any harm. Two weeks later the results came back. By this time I had researched the **** out of this disease, including some very helpful information from this forum. I've been drinking litres of organic green tea with lemon to detox just to be sure. The results were: ELISA positive, Western Blot IgM negative, IgG positive with the text "serology corresponds to an active or undergone infection with Borrelia Burgdorferi (translated from dutch). I thought, great! Finally I have a diagnosis, I can get treatment! I made an appointment with the Lyme clinic here in Amsterdam, I had to wait two months for my intake. I had hoped things would move quickly from this point on. I went to the clinic this week, and had the talk with the specialist there. He looked at the picture of the rash, listened to my symptoms, and told me he doubted I have lyme, kept talking about
the psychosis and anxiety, and how the pain in my back is probably psychological. I know that's not the case. He said he wanted to do an additional test. I thought perhaps for co-infections, so I asked what test? He said, the ELISA and WB again. I couldn't believe it, what for? The test was positive, and judging from my symptoms, the fact that I spent so much time at the nature reserve, I thought it would be indisputable. Now I have to wait until the end of January before my next appointment.
This got me so frustrated. The pain in my back, the muscle spasms, the exhaustion, I can handle that. But anxiety, the panic attacks and the depression, I can't keep going much longer.
Now here is my question for you guys: my mother lives in Malaysia, she knows a very good infectious disease specialist there personally who has the antibiotics I need. I am contemplating heading over there perhaps this week already. Would you guys recommend this, or should I wait it out with the Lyme clinic?
And another question: I have been taking Teasel root tincture as a substitute for the past three days. I felt I needed to do something. It's made me feel awful, muscle spasms everywhere, weird feeling in my head, even worse anxiety than usual and just a general feeling of exhaustion. Is it a good idea to take this without antibiotic treatment?
I'm so sorry for the long post guys. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
Post Edited (jschilthuizen) : 12/27/2015 2:38:04 PM (GMT-7)