The lyme disease is being described as:
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
What most people don’t know is that many patients are not reacting to antibiotics as expected or after first improvement or even disease disappearing entirely they have reoccurring episodes for many years.
My brother was 20 yo when he got infected with lyme disease. Back then he was a happy student full of life energy with many hopes, plans and ideas for the future.
When he was first diagnosed with lyme disease based on the typical rush he also got his cerebro-spinal fluid tested. Doctors confirmed that the prions got into his central nervous system.
What it meant for ill person?
The lyme disease is causing often unbearable headaches, constant feeling of being tyred and problems with concentration and general sadness.
Because of the constant exhaustion and problems with focusing patient’s abilities to perform well at work or school are dropping dramatically and patients start questioning their own value. Their self-confidence is picking down, they feel useless, powerless and have nothing to look forward to and it is a straight path to a deep depression.
Due to aggressive nature of my brother's case he had to be treated in a hospital for several weeks.
At first he responded well to the antibiotics and the level of infected cells in his blood dropped down.
After three weeks he was dismissed from the hospital, but still had to take medication to ensure the disease was not coming back.
Unfortunately the antibiotics caused a lot of harm to his digestive system and he developed symptoms of Crohn's disease.
His bowel basically stopped working. He couldn’t eat, what ever he tried to eat was coming back undigested and causing pain.
He was weakening everyday and he ended up back in a hospital with extreme dehydration being fed with liquids provided directly to his veins.
After few days of treatment, when he started to eat very simple meals based on white bread and rice he could go back home.
But the mix of heavy medication and digestive problems resulted in extreme damage to his body. He lost weight, his skin was pale, bones weak. He broke his own jaw when playing with a 4 year old nephew by accidentally hitting it with his own knee when squatting. Something that normally wouldn’t cause any harm to anyone.
He was back to hospital, underwent a surgery and he had his both jaws literally screwed together to prevent any movement. That meant he could eat only things that could fit in a plastic straw he could squeeze between the two rows of his teeth.
It took another 4 weeks and further weight loss before we got the screws removed and could open his mouth, talk and eat like everyone else.
It was 8 or 9 months from the first doctors appointment related to the rush we noticed on his chest.
At this point he dropped off university, because it was impossible for him to keep up with the material, not to mention make up for the time he spent at various hospitals.
After basically loosing the whole year in every aspect of his life you would expect him to be frustrated or angry or feel anything. But the thing with depression (the one caused by lyme disease and every other one) is that these people don’t care. They are washed out of any emotions, they don’t have any will or power to fight this thing.
It was devastating to watch the light and joy in his eyes going away.
And that’s the worst part.
As soon as his blood result from final check up came back and they confirmed that the prions are gone and he is officially cured he was released from any doctor’s supervision.
The treatments end on curing the core lyme disease syndromes. The treatment doesn’t extend to curing major side effects like depression. And in many countries psychotherapy is not covered by public health insurance because depression is still being underestimated as a disease.
It is a terrible illness that affects not only the patient, but his entire family.
Imagine the parents who are desperate to drug their child out of this endless sadness, the siblings who try to get through to the ill person over and over again and it doesn’t help. Being there for them is important, but it’s not enough. It’s not enough to just say it will get better, let us help you.
Curing depression requires a comprehensive and extended psychotherapy which is very expensive. Most people can’t afford to pay for doctor’s appointments and medication. Especially that for the therapy to be effective it must be longterm planed action. It can’t end after few visits or meetings when the first signs of improvement can be noticed.
It is only the beginning and the most important thing is to ensure that the person who experienced depression won’t slip right back into the overwhelming sadness which sucks the will to live out of them.
And this is what I am hoping to achieve. I want to make sure that my brother will receive the best possible treatment and I can’t afford to pay for it, nither can my parents. And this is heartbreaking for everyone of us.
So I ‘m turning to all the good people out there who can contribute any about of money - every penny counts and nothing is too little - to help end my -now- 24 yo brothers nightmare.
He has already lost 4 years of his youth. Time that should be send on enjoying and exploring life. Times that no one can give him back.