Lyme’s dis­ease vic­tim fight­ing for treat­ment here in Aus­tralia

Isis Town and Country - - News -

A MERE shadow of her for­mer self, Ali­son Veitch has bat­tled a crip­pling dis­ease for seven years and wants her story made pub­lic.

In 2009, when liv­ing in Townsville, the ac­tive mother of two was struck down by a mys­tery ill­ness, and it wasn’t un­til two years later she was di­ag­nosed with Lyme’s dis­ease.

Mrs Veitch said she wasn’t aware of a bite and she had never been over­seas.

“I was tested for ev­ery­thing, and one doc­tor tested me for Lyme’s and it came back pos­i­tive,” she said.

“I then started a lot of an­tibi­otics guided by my doc­tor, only to fall even sicker. I ended up in Royal Bris­bane taken off all med­i­ca­tion and told it was all in my head.

“I spent the next year slowly go­ing down­hill, be­com­ing close to death. My weight dropped to 42kg from a healthy 65kg over this time.”

Ev­ery six months she makes the long trip to Bris­bane to see a doc­tor about her heart. He has seen Mrs Veitch’s weight loss.

“It makes me an­gry. Doc­tors in In­fec­tious Dis­eases say there is no Lyme’s in Aus­tralia,” she said.

“I was told by In­fec­tious Dis­eases I needed a strong anti-de­pres­sant, and my own GP laughed.

“I am now re­ceiv­ing boxes of In­dian ayurvedic medicine guided by an In­dian doc­tor. It all seems to be help­ing me get through each day.”

Be­fore her ill­ness, she was a work­ing, proud and an en­er­getic mum.

“I feel I have also let my chil­dren down, as they are con­fused as to why I can­not get treat­ment,” she said.

“It wor­ries me. Many of us are treat­ing our­selves but no one is win­ning. I have been spo­ken down to by doc­tors.”

As an­other year passes, she fears she has be­come a bur­den on her fam­ily as she tries dif­fer­ent treat­ments.

“I have tried Lyme doc­tor, natur­opath, now In­dian medicine. I have lost my in­de­pen­dence, re­ly­ing to­tally on my hus­band’s wage. Af­ter work­ing all my life, that is hard to take,” she said.

Mrs Veitch said she wanted her night­mare to end and to have her ill­ness ac­cepted and be given treat­ment.

“I want Lyme’s dis­ease to be ac­knowl­edged here in Aus­tralia and treat­ment to be given. They are treat­ing Zika virus,” she said.

PHOTO: JODIE DIXON

LYME’S DIS­EASE: Ali­son Veitch was di­ag­nosed with Lyme dis­ease but has had hos­pi­tal work­ers tell her it’s all in her head.

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