“My thoughts are with you all, from a fellow Lyme warrior to another. Keep on going because one day you’ll wake up and realise how far you’ve come and soon it will only be a faint memory of the past”
My name is Stefanie Rodden I am 26 years of age and living in Melbourne, Victoria. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease at the age of 21 and have been treating myself, with the assistance of medical professionals, since the age of 14.
What a long journey it has been to finally be at the point in my life where I can say, I live a normal healthy life. It feels absolutely tremendous, to wake up every morning and start my day feeling energised and ready to tackle the day ahead. It’s exciting, and I’m extremely grateful I can alsosay I’m in control of my body and the way I’m feeling.
Getting to this point in my life of being symptom free (Lyme disease free) has been a long, tough, emotionally draining and physically taxing journey. There is nothing better than feeling good in your own body!! From being in a wheelchair, to struggling to walk short distances, muscle pains, continuous cramping, aching limbs, extreme fatigue, mental confusion and fog, forgetfulness, tingling and numbness throughout the limbs, bugs crawling under the skin, not being able to go the bathroom, inability to digest foods and being covered in rashes is just a short list of the symptoms I had on a daily basis. There are numerous of other diagnosis’ that also co-exist with this debilitating disease.
I am sharing my story because I want to let everyone know that it is possible to recover, it is possible to live a normal life and it is possible to completely healthy. It’s unfortunate there is so much bad publicity and media behind the disease because it creates a lot of complexity about how and where to start when treating it. There is not one approach that heals everyone and unfortunately patients have to try multiple therapies to work out what is best for them.
I personally became my own doctor on many occasions and used my body as a pin-cushion for trial and error to see if different methods would help me. I spent my days researching a lot of different methods that others had tried and took a leap of faith trialling it on my body, not knowing what the consequences/ reactions would be. I embarked on many treatments around Australia, Germany and throughout the USA, where I had seen approximately 40 specialist doctors across all different countries. A lot of money was wasted and failed treatments and hopes of getting better were crushed along the way.
TREATMENTS PROTOCOLS STEPHANIE UNDERTOOK
– Byron White formulas
– Antibiotic IV’s
– High dose vitamin C IV’s
– Hydrogen peroxide IV’s
– Glutathione IV
– Colloidal silver IV’s
– Ozone IV, ozone vaginal, rectal and ozone water
– Hyperbaric chamber therapy (100 hours within a week)
– Daily colonics
– Daily vitamin injections
– Phosphatidylcholine IV’s and injections
– Bee venom injections
– Russian light therapy
– MMS protocol
– Colour therapy
– Homeopathic tinctures protocols
– Ayurvedic protocol and therapies
– Extended juice fasting retreats
– Water fasting
– Infar red sauna
– Supplements and medications taken daily
I have had many encounters with doctors where they didn’t believe me. As early as 15, when I was on an exchange to New Zealand and the host family chose to disregard my food reactions, physical symptoms, and feelings, and I ended up leaving four weeks early as I simply didn’t want to be there where people chose to ignore what was going on inside me and blow it off as tiredness.
I saw many specialist doctors in Melbourne that blew me off and thought of me as a hypochondriac. At age 16, a doctor sent me away with a referral to a psychologist, and after seeing her once she sent me home and said there was no reason to come back as I was mentally fine.
The amount of times I had been dismissed about my symptoms, and where doctors were oblivious to what was happening, would happen regularly. This was the reasoning behind moving to the US and overseas in order to find answers and seek the correct medical attention.
To this day I maintain myself by doing regular exercise, saunas, meditation, supplements and having a general positive attitude. Having a great network of family and friends who are understanding is also a benefit as it’s hard when people don’t understand the reason for your daily routines or why you don’t over indulge and live a normal 20 year old lifestyle.
WHAT STEPHANIE WOULD LIKE FOR LYME PATIENTS
I would love a wide variety of treatments to be offered in Australia where doctors are not prosecuted or frowned upon by trialling unconventional treatments on patients. Education to the public needs to be further highlighted as it needs to be an illness that is recognised within society as there are too many people struggling behind the scenes and do not have the proper knowledge of what to do next as there are not enough treatments being offered here.
WHAT ADVICE STEPHANIE HAS FOR OTHERS
It wasn’t just my personal battle; it impacted greatly on my family, as they were my caretakers not only through their physical support but mentally and emotionally. My fight was their fight. It would be devastating and painful to see someone go through an ‘unknown mystery Illness’ and see them suffer day in day out not knowing what was wrong with them. On many instances doctors would refer me to psychologists and tell my parents I had mental problems, stating the symptoms I had were ‘all in my head’. This is a very common scenario that you see play out between doctors and patients with Lyme disease.
It’s exhausting and trying just thinking back to all the years I spent in trying to find ‘the cure’ and regimes/ treatment I had to embark on to make myself better. I only wish and hope that you find the strength within yourself and courage to keep striving forward as you can get through this. Stick to what feels right for you, keep trying and fighting and don’t give up. No matter what, rest assure there are people out there who have healed.
I personally, stepped away from the community as I wanted nothing to tie me back to the long journey of this disease, it has taken me a while to want to tell my story as it’s not one I like to remember. The pain, suffering and discomfort of it all leaves a bitter and unpleasant feeling in my stomach.
My thoughts are with you all, from a fellow Lyme warrior to another. Keep on going because one day you’ll wake up and realise how far you’ve come and soon it will only be a faint memory of the past.