My name is Lisa. I’d like to first and foremost thank you for offering such a generous gift to someone. You will truly make a difference in someone’s life.
I am a 49 year old woman who was diagnosed with Lyme disease in August 2019 by a doctor in Bloomsburg, Pa. After following his treatment plan and recommendations from August through December 2019, and feeling minimal improvement, I began exploring other avenues. As I was researching other treatment protocols, and about Lyme disease in general, not only was I gaining some good information, but I was also getting confusing information as well. I started to question everything. Was I thinking clearly? Was I just getting older and feeling the effects of aging (but my 82 year old father was able to move with less pain than me. That didn’t make sense to me). Was I misdiagnosed? Was something else invading my body and causing my crippling pain, impaired cognition, and incredible fatigue? Did I waste my hard earned money on fees and prescriptions which totaled well over $3,000. Did I waste my day’s off from work traveling back and forth to Bloomsburg?
And this is only the hardship from August-December. My battle began months prior.
In October of 2018, I began seeing my primary physician because of a new onset of pain and fatigue. I was sent for blood work including Lyme testing. All tests came back normal. When the pain increased to the point that I couldn’t get out of bed and walk to the bathroom without help, I returned to my doctor. After several more rounds of blood work and more appointments, I was told I may have fibromyalgia, and instructed to learn coping strategies. I’m going to spare you, the reader, my rage about that !
I persevered. I requested a referral to somewhere…anywhere.
I was referred to an infectious disease doctor who only seemed to be concerned about whether I had a bullseye rash. Knowing from my own research that a bullseye rash was only one of many indicators of Lyme, my frustration increased, and I began to distrust “the process “. I felt as though my words were falling on deaf ears. My anxiety was increasing and I began to feel emotionally exhausted and depressed on top of the already existing physical pain. This was frightening.
My journey has been a roller coaster over the past two years. I absolutely do understand and recognize that many struggle much longer in the pre-diagnosis timeframe…so I know I’m not alone. While I was taking the time to reassess my treatment plan this past January, I learned about Turnpaugh Health and Wellness Center through my friend Patty who works there. I took her recommendation and called to set up an appointment. My evaluation was scheduled with Dr. Brow. He spent a full hour with me. He explained everything so clearly. We discussed not only my physical pain, but my sleep, my diet, my support system, my work, my thoughts and feelings. For the first time I felt treated like a whole person….all of me! Everything that has been affected by my physical, emotional and cognitive issues were addressed. He listened. He spoke clearly. He explained how all of these areas of ones life affect their health. When I came back for my follow up appointment he thoroughly explained every single piece of the lab work. No doctor had ever explained lab work in such detail. Things were starting to make sense. I wasn’t as confused as I had been. I didn’t feel crazy anymore. But most importantly I was NOT dismissed. My symptoms were not dismissed and thrown into a “collect-all diagnosis”. I was not sent on my way and told to learn coping skills for pain.
I was made to feel important and worthy of a quality life. My hope returned, and I had faith and trust in Dr. Brow and the team (dietician and counselor).
Then came COVID-19. Despite the fact that I feel the work that I do as a Licensed Massage Therapist is “essential” work, the government felt differently. I was no longer able to go to work, my income was significantly reduced, and life changed.
I expressed my gratitude to Patty for the recommendation, and expressed to her that due to financial reasons I would not be able to continue.
This does not mean that I surrender to my pain, it just means my journey takes a turn. A turn to where…I’m not sure.
I recently received this information and I can only hope and pray that my journey will return me to Turnpaugh Health and Wellness Center.
I thank you for the care I have received thus far, and I thank you for taking the time to read this.
. Photo is of Dr. John Brow who graciously agreed to give his time to help Lisa on her health journey.