Humans of Kilcock – Susan O’Brien

It’s a scary thought to think that it only took one bite from a Tick to change my life forever.

“Six years ago I didn’t know that my life was about to turn upside down forever. I had just moved to Rathcoffey from Kilcock so I was very busy. I decided to take a break from unpacking and went out for a bike ride with my son Scott. I felt fine apart from feeling very tired but I just put it down to the stress of moving. We stopped at Donadea Forest entrance and sat on the wall to take a break. Scott was looking at me saying I was a funny colour. I just laughed at him. When we got home I was starting to feel worse. By then I had a bad headache, was feeling so tired and had a pins and needles feeling all up along my left side. We put it down to stress and I headed to bed early.

When I woke the next morning I immediately shouted for Scott, I thought I was having a stroke because the left side of my face didn’t feel right. I went to Connolly hospital and they said is was a virus and to go home and rest. Two weeks went by and by now I lost all feeling in my left leg and I continued to have pins and needles from my hip upwards.

I was taken back into hospital and this time I was kept. Doctors tested me for so many things. I had my first lumbar puncture done as they thought it was MS but they later found out it wasn’t. I was sent home. Still unwell.

I was told I was on a waiting list to see a neurologist ( 6 years on and I’m still waiting for that appointment). My family took me to a private neurologist and after asking about my lifestyle before been sick, he looked at my history and had a look at all my tests. It was this doctor that told me to get tested for Lyme Disease.

I got tested by my GP and three weeks later, just before Christmas, I was told my test for Lyme Disease came back as a strong positive and that I would have to have a second lumbar puncture.

After Christmas I attended St James Hospital, where any treatment I received, failed to work. I was getting worse and there was nothing I could do about it. I then found my Lyme Disease doctor in The Mater Private. Every 4-5 weeks I would replace with pain and muscle spasms so bad it was bruising my body all over.

Following treatment to my new doctor for seven months he gave me the advice to look into treatment abroad. By now I had so many health problems like hearing loss in both ears, fatigue, breathing problems, stomach problems, just to name a few. By this stage I was depending on leg braces on both my legs due to the loss of feeling on my left leg.

With help of everyone and the amazing community of Kilcock I was able to attend the St Georg Kilinic in Germany for two weeks of intensive treatment. It was so hard, to a point where I begged my mam to bring me home. My mam (Mary O’Brien) wasn’t gonna let me give up, she really was my rock.

After my treatment I was doing so well until two weeks ago. I had a very bad relapse and I ended up in Connolly Hospital once again. I was placed on pain medication (morphine) and once they saw the medication working they sent me home.

I’m in pain every day but with the right pain medication I can get it under control and then manage it. With my back been a big problem now, I have to use a wheelchair but my manual one isn’t going to work for me.

On top of everything now I’m not able to stand for long or walk far. So now I’m fighting to get help to get a power wheelchair. Life with Lyme Disease is so hard and I’ve lost so much because of it. On the bright side its shown me how to be stronger and to never give up. I’m alive, I’m here and get to be with my son, family and friends.

It’s a scary thought to think that it only took one bite from a Tick to change my life forever”

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