Living with Lyme: A Teenager’s Perspective
By an Anonymous 15 year old Australian Lyme Patient
1. How would you feel if you were completely failed by your own health care system that should be helping you and keeping you safe, yet they do the complete opposite? This is exactly what has happened to roughly 2,000 Australians kids and adults, and more and more each year. Here in Australia, where we are supposed to have an amazing health care system, yet kids and adults are failed daily, the doctors turn a blind eye to patients suffering in immense pain.
Patients have tremendous fear that they are going to be ignored and left to suffer. People should not have to feel that way and especially in a world leading health care system. I speak from personal experiences of being completely failed by the health care system and sent home in an unconscious state because Australia’s health care has completely denied that Lyme disease is in Australia, even though it is recognised in every other country in the world.
2. In Australia, Lyme is not acknowledged despite it being recognised, tested for and treated worldwide. The lack of understanding and empathy is debilitating, along with a chronic illness patients continue to suffer from, day in and day out. People are dying and suffering physically and mentally by the incompetency and barriers to testing for, and treating Lyme disease in this country, due to the current stance.
Lyme in animals is recognised, yet people can’t access testing or treatment without travelling to another country and spending hundreds on thousands of out-of-pocket expenses. People who don’t have much money usually suffer immensely. No treatment is funded or valued because of an inadequate and defective government and health care, not to mention that as a society we are not educated to protect ourselves from such a debilitating and fatal disease, due to the current situation in our country. How can this be the case in 2022?
3. Lyme disease takes a massive and horrendous toll physically and mentally. Lyme disease can invade the brain and create all kinds of havoc. It damages nerve cells, triggers inflammation, releases neurotoxins, and disrupts the balance of the brain’s chemicals. This can result in psychological effects that can tear people apart and families alongside them.
The physical effects are sometimes paralyzing and can cause death. Lyme disease slowly deteriorates the body’s muscles and joints to the point of chronic damage.
Society doesn’t truly understand how severe the damage is to the body. Studies show that 5/10 people get chronic damage (by Lyme disease) that can’t usually be reversed after the damage is done – this means it is literally incurable. Without being recognised, there is no pathway way for education and prevention and therefore it is predicted that exposure to ticks and infection leading to Lyme will continue to increase, leading to ongoing suffering and possible deaths that our government and medical boards are turning a blind eye to.
4. All the points I have raised above strongly back my argument that Lyme needs to be recognised in Australia before more damage and fatalities are caused, just because of a inept health care system that won’t open their mind, educate and spend the money on research. Therefore innocent people have to suffer untreated, in agony, and basically fight for themselves. This needs to change now, before more lives are taken and destroyed by this horrific illness. This can all be changed if the government and health care step up and actually cared about their suffering patients. All I’m asking for is action, and action now!
You can help kids living with Lyme disease aged 3 – 17 by becoming involved in the LDAA’s Lyme Warrior Box program.