News

Eight years to find diagnosis - doctors get there too late

Lyme disease sufferer Leah Tedman and her husband Lincoln Tedman at the New Auckland nursing home, Gladstone.
Lyme disease sufferer Leah Tedman and her husband Lincoln Tedman at the New Auckland nursing home, Gladstone. Luka Kauzlaric

LYME disease has cost Leah Tedman her career, her quality of life and her chance of having children with husband Lincoln.

The courageous Gladstone couple have fought for eight years with numerous doctors to receive an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate course of treatment.

After living in a state of unendurable pain for the better half of a decade, the disease has ravaged her body and dismantled her life.

Mrs Tedman says the hardest part of living with lyme disease is the ignorance of health professionals and the Australian Government.

"People are dying and getting turned away from hospitals," she said. "The government needs to take its head out of the sand."

A representative from The Federal Australian Medical Association affirms a lack of knowledge on lyme disease.

"According to the health departments it does not exist in Australia."

In 2005 Mrs Tedman was newly married, living an active life and practising as a child protection lawyer, with dreams of starting a family.

Life as she knew it was interrupted when she came down with a splitting headache, a pain so severe it caused her to fall unconscious as she was leaving the gym.

"I was sleeping 20 hours a day and couldn't even walk from the bedroom to the kitchen," she said.

"I was rushed to hospital with a suspected brain tumour."

After consultations with seven neurologists and two cardiologists, the long and frustrating journey of misdiagnosis began.

"When they had run out of tests, some of them said I was most likely stressed," she said.

"We kept searching for answers but we were then told we were just seeking attention. I got a clear report from a psychiatrist thinking it would make the doctors listen, but I was then told I'd used my intelligence to manipulate the psychiatrist."

Symptoms of lyme disease include seizures, fainting, breathing difficulties, severe chest pains and blurred vision.

The disease is named the "Great Imitator" because the form it takes transpires differently in each new host.

The disease's bacteria, named borrelia, is shaped like a corkscrew and literally drills into every organ of the body, developing cysts.

We kept searching for answers but we were then told we were just seeking attention. I got a clear report from a psychiatrist thinking it would make the doctors listen, but I was then told I'd used my intelligence to manipulate the psychiatrist.

In Leah's case, it has damaged 11 out of 12 cranial nerves. If detected in its early stages, lyme disease is highly treatable with courses of antibiotics.

Late-stage lyme is near impossible to eradicate and remission is the only goal.

A representative from the Queensland Health Department said in a statement that to date there was no authoritative evidence of Lyme disease infections occurring in Australia.

"Australians travelling overseas in endemic regions can be infected with Lyme disease."

Mrs Tedman has never travelled outside of Australia, but has tested positive to the disease, twice.

Sufferers can contract the disease in a number of ways, most commonly through the bite of a tick.

Mrs Tedman does not recall being bitten by a tick.

Watching his wife suffer through the illness has been a difficult journey for Lincoln Tedman.

"It's taken the life we thought we would have away from us," he said.

Despite the hardship, Lincoln and Leah Tedman are thankful for the support of the staff at New Auckland Place and the wider community.

"The past eight years has been such a lonely journey for my husband and I," Leah said.

"To have such enormous support is beyond our wildest dreams. We are so grateful."

To donate funds towards research and for more information on Lyme Disease, visit karlmcmanusfoundation.org.au.

Topics:  editors picks lyme disease medicine



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

REVEALED: On the scene at Gladstone's drain body tragedy

WHAT TO DO NEXT: Police discuss the situation next a manhole at the scene where a body has been found in a stormwater drain.

An inside look at the stormwater drain body scene.

What police know about grim discovery in Gladstone drain

Gladstone Police are on the scene where a body has been found in a storm water drain.

Guide to what police do and don't know so far.

'Shocking': Stormwater drain tragedy leaves readers disturbed, upset

Gladstone Police are on the scene where a body has been found in a storm water drain.

Readers react to shocking news in Gladstone.

Local Partners

Better phone service for Gladstone's regional towns

Telstra: "This technology is delivering big benefits to these rural and regional communities”


Win a $1000

GROCERY GIFT CARD!
Learn More

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

JUST WHEN you thought you’d all of Bella Hadid’s supermodel figure — she gets her Cannes out on the red carpet of an AIDS gala dinner in France.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!