Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A dizzy mind & a heavy head

This picture represents my state of mind quite well. I didn't know if I should write about this, but I end I figured: it's part of me, so it's part of my blog.
In the beginning of September I got stung by a horsefly and some days afterwards I had a lot of pain in my right foot, where the thing bit me, but also in my ankle and I barely was able to walk.
I went from doctor to neurologist, who told me I "probably have borreliosis or Lyme disease". I have never heard of this before and I started researching. It is usually given by a tick bite or a horsefly bite and a rather aggressive illness.

The problem about lyme disease is the following: it is a very complex bacteria and it is not well researched yet. Doctors all over the world are still fighting over the treatment of lyme disease and patients all over the world are suffering due to that. Also, there is no "final cure" for it. Only various antibiotics, which you have to carefully combine and adjust to the individual's case. Of course, if you know you suffer from it after a tick bite or horsefly sting and you take the right dosis of antibiotics right away, you will be completely healthy again. But if you find it out too late or, like me, get the wrong dosis of antibiotics, it might turn into "chronic lyme disease". I got really scared when I read about it and I felt left out by the medical care system, because the doctors at Vienna's biggest hospital told me "You can take those antibiotics for two weeks. If you are not cured by then, we can't help you."

I was going crazy feeling left out and not being taken seriously. I found a forum which focused on Austrian doctors who specialized on the treatment of lyme disease. Fortunately enough, I found a doctor who gave me an appointment one week after my first antibiotic treatment ended. My boyfriend drove me there - she is living 2 hours away from Vienna - and was relieved as well that I finally got taken seriously.

The doctor took one hour to examine and talk to me. She made a four weeks treatment plan including three different antibiotics and various supplements to save my liver, my kidney and my stomache. I'm currently in my second week and I do feel better.
If you'd see a glance of my filofax, where I noted down all my medicaments and when to take them, you'd think I am crazy. I am not. This radical treatment is necessary, because this bacteria is severe and can do severe damage to your joints, your heart and in later stages even your brain. I try to be optimistic and focus on a positive outcome in a few weeks. If the symptoms will reoccur then, I have to take antibiotics again. It's a back and forth fight against the lyme bacteria.
The negative side of taking so many antibiotics is feeling really dizzy and tired all the time. Plus, you are not allowed to go outside and play in the sun, because your skin would have a terrible reaction and you would turn all red like a tomatoe. So although it's sunny and lovely outside in Vienna, I have to stay indoors. :(

Adding to that, the biggest exam in my bachelor's degree is coming up in October and I try my best to study for it. The medication is really making me think more slowly and makes it harder to study the way I usually do. I still try to keep up with the studying and try to pass the exam, it's one of the only things which make me feel normal at the moment.

I've also been thinking about changing the direction of my blog and pinning it down to one or two main things which I love, but this is a process in the makings and I will try to keep you updated on that.

I hope you guys enjoy the late Autumn sun & don't let yourself be biten by a tick or worse, stung by a horsefly!

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