I’m 40 now. And for three and a half years I’ve had Lyme disease. The disease itself is cureable, if correct treatment is given.
Now let that last bit sink in. “if correct treatment is given”. You might say correct treatment is obviously given – because I am living in one of the best and richest countries in the world, Norway.
You are mistaken. Grossly mistaken. I’ll tell you why.
According to the Norwegian Health Authorities, a three week long antibiotic treatment is enough to cure all effects of a Tick bite. This may be true, but this would apply if treatment is given straight after a Tick bite. In my case, treatment started two months after the Tick bite, and I still suffer the consequences.
Fast forward to this day, April 10th 2016.
For the last 5 months I have been a patient at St Luke Medical Center in Gdansk, Poland. Because the Norwegian Health Authorities have given up. There’s no question what’s my problem – all tests clearly states my diagnose; Neuro-borreliosis. All the experts, both in Norway and abroad agree. The problem is that I’m supposedly rid of the disease according to Norwegian experts. According to foreign experts and myself, I am certainly not.
In an act of desperation I went to Poland to get help. And for a while it seemed like the clinic had my best interests at heart. They had a plan. They told me they’d cure me. And for someone desperate, that is pure music to the ears. Only thing was that it would cost quite a bit of money. But hey; I’m gonna pay whatever it takes! I want my life back – to get off the painkillers, to go back to work, to live again.
I spent three weeks in Poland in January/February 2016. Intravenous treatment with a lot of different antibiotics. All was administered by nice personnel at the clinic – after they had assured themselves that I had paid. I spent around 4 to 5 hours at the clinic each day. One morning I made the grand error of not making payment before heading to the treatment rooms. Which of course was immediately discovered, and I wasn’t allowed to even sit down before I produced a receipt of the payment.
I felt uneasy. Of course I will pay – but what’s with the attitude that suddenly changed?
Upon completion of the three week treatment, I was given 12 different perscriptions for medicine to take home and continue my treatment. After leaving the clinic, all support ceased to exist.
I’d like to point out at this stage that I use a fairly big amount of painkiller patches and pills for breakthrough pains.
After 6-7 weeks on the pill treatment at home, something felt out of order. My pain levels soared without any apparent reason. I knew from previous experience it would be pointless to email the clinic in Poland to ask for their views, so I went online to try and find out what could be going on.
Yeah I know; It’s not the greatest idea of all to go online to self-diagnose yourself, but I am a levelheaded guy, not one to give myself all sorts of crazy shit just because I read it somewhere. So hang on, I’ll get to my findings….
There is something called ‘Interaction analysis’ online which basically tells you if two types of medicine can/should/should not be used at the same time. The analysis state the facts, not some random guy’s personal opinions.
What I discovered hit me like a train headed west.
Medicine A and Medicine B taken together – which the clinic says I am to do – knocks 90% effect off Medicine B. And worse; Medicine A taken together with the painkillers – which the clinic says I am to do – knocks 80-90% effect off the painkillers…
Just a reminder – pain, the extreme version of pain, is my main problem altogether.
So now I am dumbfounded, completely perplexed. Could this really be true? Could the clinic be so careless to give me medicines that destroy the effects of eachother? I wanted to know, so I sent an email to the clinic, stating my findings and ask for their advice. An autoresponder told me to wait for 5 days for a reply, which I duly did. Their reply astonished me. “Well, you’d better quit the painkillers then!”
Yeah, I could do that – if it wasn’t for the obvious fact that pain is the reason I am in treatment in the first place. Irony does not easily transcribe, so I resisted the urge to use it. My reply was simple. “I cannot come off the painkillers as that would make my situation untolerable.” The response was “Oh well, just stop taking Medicine B then. And if you want to know anything else, you’ll need to book an appointment. We won’t answer any more via email”. Did I mention I’m in Norway and the clinic is in Poland? It’s not like it’s a 30 minute drive to get there.
I’ve got a bad feeling about continuing the treatment. My feeling is that I am a desperate human who’d pay whatever they ask. For a while I did, but now I am seeing the other side of the story. This is a business. Of course they have helped people, that is the reason I went there in the first place. Imagine being rejected by the people that could help you at home – and then someone comes to you and says “We’ll help you!” – wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Well, I did. And now I’m having second thoughts.
I have a decision to make, and a pretty important one. On one hand I have the clinic in Poland, an ILADS qualified clinic offering to help at a premium. On the other hand I have the Norwegian Health Authorities who really cannot offer more than painrelief. They have no treatment on offer.
I’m not sure how this will end. But I’m not giving up just yet. The gloves are on, the fight has started a long time ago. This is round 4. And the bell is ringing.