Lifestyle

Bad experiences stop lyme disease sufferers seeking help

Lyme disease sufferer Leah Tedman.
Lyme disease sufferer Leah Tedman.

LEAH Tedman says all that lyme disease sufferers want is to feel safe and accepted when they require medical help - a reasonable demand for anyone with health concerns.

"A violent alcoholic is treated with more respect than a lyme patient by some of our emergency room doctors," she said.

"Most lyme patients have had so many bad experiences with hospital doctors that they will risk dying at home rather than seek help."

For Mrs Tedman, it is a painstaking process to get doctors to take her seriously, leaving her distrustful of medical professionals.

"The only thing harder than living with lyme disease is living with the controversy that surrounds it," she said.

Eight years ago, a sudden fainting spell as she left the gym caused little concern for Mrs Tedman.

Persistent fatigue, aching and pain has since become so bad, it has caused her to give up her career as a child protection lawyer and her active life.

Lyme disease centres around a bacteria named borrelia, shaped like a corkscrew, that drills into every organ of the body, developing cysts.

In Mrs Tedman's case, it has damaged 12 out of 13 cranial nerves.

She has had to deal with medical professionals telling her the condition is all in head, even dismissing psychological assessments that prove otherwise.

Leah Tedman, who suffers from lyme disease, with her husband Lincoln Tedman, is grateful for the support she has received from the Gladstone community.
Leah Tedman, who suffers from lyme disease, with her husband Lincoln Tedman, is grateful for the support she has received from the Gladstone community. Luka Kauzlaric

There are at least four confirmed cases of lyme disease in the wider Gladstone region.

Believed to be contracted through the bite of a tick, it has since been proven the disease can be carried a number of ways.

Nevertheless, no treatment is readily available in Australia, a frustrating and isolating reality for sufferers of the disease.

"With early intervention lyme is very treatable," Mrs Tedman said.

"If we arm our doctors with knowledge to identify and treat lyme before it becomes chronic, people can stay healthy and keep working and get on with their lives.

"At the moment it takes an average of six and a half years for a person in Australia to be diagnosed.

The only thing harder than living with lyme disease is living with the controversy that surrounds it

"By that stage the disease has spread throughout the body and the person's life has been irreparably devastated."

May has been Lyme Awareness Month and Mrs Tedman, along with her strong supporters at New Auckland Place, have raised $4500.

Two barbecues at Kin Kora, a craft sale, bake sale, raffle and awareness stall are bridging the divide between sufferers and the rest of the world.

"The support from the community has been overwhelming," she said.

"We were so pleased to see the support from local GPs and allied medical professionals such as nurses, chiropractors and ambulance officers this year, some making donations and taking brochures back to their clinics.

"We are hearing more and more stories of doctors coming on board, recognising symptoms and giving early treatment, and that is saving people's lives."

Topics:  doctors, hospitals, lyme disease, medicine




UPDATE: 'Haulage crane' to lift rolled semi-trailer in Gladstone region

A Semi-trailer has rolled over on the Dawson Hwy.

A SEMI-TRAILER “carrying metal and wood” has rolled over.

Gladstone drink drivers named and shamed

Police reveal the names of drink drivers caught on Gladstone roads.

Police reveal the names of drink drivers caught on Gladstone roads

Local business loses to out-of-town company in 'buy local' test

UNDER DISCUSSION: Agnes Water will get five new signs outlining the rules of surfing, especially for backpackers.

THE LOCAL business charged nearly double what the other company did.

Latest deals and offers

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

Joe Jonas' 'tough' pals

Joe Jonas' pals are 'tough' with his potential partners

The Bachelor wash up: bacon, plank offs and that white rose

Richie Strahan, second from left, with bachelorettes Eliza, Faith, Noni and Janey in a scene from episode one of the fourth season of The Bachelor.

RICHIE Strahan meets some beautiful, and colourful, bachelorettes.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles