My battle with Lyme Disease began in August of 2012. I was in the military at the time and one day I fell ill and could not get out of bed. I soon found I couldn’t do simple day to day chores – let alone carry on with my demanding duties in the Canadian Forces. I couldn’t recall being bitten by a tick. The doctors were unable to ascertain the cause of my illness and sent me for months of tests and referrals to various specialists, all to no avail.
My health continued to fail over the following months, with my heart function dropping to 37%, leaving me bedridden and unable to catch my breath, resulting in many late nights at the ER.
For a woman who was a certified military fitness trainer and crossfit addict, it was a shocking life change that left me despairing of ever figuring out what had caused this illness. Eventually, the doctors acquiesced to my repeated requests for a run of antibiotics, in case the illness was Lyme Disease. After 10 days of antibiotics in the winter of 2013, I began to recover quickly, leaving the doctors stumped as to why this was happening, but happy for me all the same.
I began heart rehabilitation but was unable to regain my previous level of fitness that my military duties required. In February of 2014, I decided to leave the CF and pursue my dream of opening a cupcake cafe. As I launched into the planning of what would become V's Cupcakes, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of purpose, a feeling that I had finally found my true calling. But it didn’t last.
I had long ago learned to 'power through' the bouts of nausea, dizziness, and heart palpitations in going about my daily routine, but one night I broke down and admitted to my family and myself that my health was once again failing, soon leaving me once more bedridden and unable to care for my 3 children.
Neither the civilian nor the military doctors I saw were able to ascertain the cause of my renewed illness or offer any form of treatment, despite casting a wide net with a battery of medical tests. At that point, a Naturopathic Doctor referred us to a lab in the US which tests specifically for Lyme Disease. The results came back strongly positive for Lyme.
Treatment for what some call "Chronic Lyme Disease" is unavailable in Canada, so I was forced to visit a Lyme specialist in New York State who specializes in treating chronic Lyme patients. Although it will be a long, uphill battle, I will beat this disease, surrounded by the love of my family and a circle of wonderfully supportive friends.
If you look at our webpage, the heart symbol over the V represents my heart, and how I persevered with my dream despite the lifelong limitations my heart has placed on me. As I continue to battle this disease I have set out to raise awareness for both the medical profession who refuses to accept the evidence and for those who are also suffering from this mysterious illness – you are not crazy and you are not alone! At some point, the ossified medical system will catch up with the evidence but for now we will do what we can to help each other.
All proceeds from this cause will go to those saddled with lifelong debt, loss of their homes and mounting medical bills – all from fighting a disease that is curable in the early stages with simple antibiotics.
A big THANK YOU to Joel Haslam and CTV Ottawa for sharing my story :
Last year we helped Paige Spencer. They are a brave family who have fought this disease for years. Please click this link for more info:
I want to thank all of you for the flood of encouragement I have received since our feature on CTV News. Your support has provided renewed inspiration to continue the fight against this disease, even when I'm exhausted from long days of baking. Although I often don't have time to respond, please know that fellow Lyme sufferers are always in my thoughts. I do try to offer encouragement but unfortunately I cannot provide answers (and certainly not medical advice) as this disease affects each person in different ways. The Canadian Lyme Disease Association (canlyme.com) is the 'go to' resource for all Lyme sufferers and contains most of the information we need.
I would also encourage all of you to find ways to make your own voice heard, so we can change the medical perceptions of this disease. Be strong Lyme Warriors! We're turning the tide, slowly...
Thank you again for your enduring support.
From my heart to yours,