Lyme’s disease victim fighting for treatment

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

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.

Topics:  lymes disease

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