“Dealing with a life altering chronic pain and illness is like grieving for the death of someone close to you, except you are grieving for yourself and what you are unable to do now.”
Kate is about to embark on a very big and very far away chapter in her recovery. Hers will be an international migration for care, and across the Rockies and beyond there are a touching number of Lyme patients pulling for her, excited and hopeful for this chapter to bring her the most that it possibly can toward her recovery.
Kate Lamport, Helena MT
Kate grew up in the small town of Philipsburg, MT, always playing in the woods. Nether Kate nor her doctors are certain whether she contracted Lyme disease as a child or as an adult because, as for approximately 50% of Lyme disease patients, she did not see a typical rash. She also did not experience a distinct onset of symptoms, except that many began following the birth of her 3rd child and increased following the birth of her 4th child and a period of particular stress in 2011 (which perhaps further lowered her immune system).
For years she had experienced random illness and fatigue, but after this period of stress in 2011, she awoke with what at first seemed to be the start of the flu. This flu, however, did not include vomiting and quickly escalated to include pain in every joint and muscle that never went away. She has since undergone surgeries, procedures, supplements, medications, and alternative medicines in hopes of alleviating the pain. She found that “dealing with a life altering chronic pain and illness is like grieving for the death of someone close to you, except you are grieving for yourself and what you are unable to do now. “
She was initially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, until she found a new doctor that gave her hope, leaving her feeling empowered to keep looking for better answers. Through research and further testing, with the help of multiple doctors working together, additional possibilities were systematically eliminated from the pool of possibilities.
In January of 2014, her Labcorp western blot test came back equivocal. A Lyme Literate Physician (LLMD) would likely consider this indicative of Lyme, but sadly this was initially overlooked. In January of 2015 a friend suggested getting an Igenex Lyme test done, which came back positive. Her doctors didn’t think this was the cause of her illness, which they attributed to mold. Sixteen vials of blood later, it turned out that wasn’t the case. She decided to consult with an LLMD in a Lyme-endemic state and was confirmed as positive for Lyme disease. Her doctors began working with the LLMD to begin treatment.
Kate feels as though her body is failing her. She has a very weakened immune system, so she is frequently sick, but a common cold makes her body shut down. Her joints feel as though they will explode, her muscles ache as though she has the flu 24 hours a day, and her skin is so sensitive a hug feels like it’s tearing her skin. She has extreme fatigue, yet cannot sleep. Migraines, trembles, twitches, spasms, chills, low blood pressure, dizziness, trouble speaking, pain, fatigue, and neurological issues are all part of her daily life, but only begin to scratch the surface of what she endures. But she knows she is not alone in this battle.
Kate is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. Like far too many patients, she has been stripped of everything she loves. Despite daily pain and struggle, she keeps pushing for her kids and husband, but has been living a roller coaster life for the last 4 years. She has to remind herself that it’s a bad day, not a bad life. This is her mantra, because tomorrow she may wake up and feel okay, even if she goes to bed the night before praying not to wake up.
Kate plans to continue to raise awareness and help others fight for proper care. She considers herself fortunate to have had doctors that cared listened to her. Many patients are not so lucky while dealing with this illness, and she believes this shouldn’t be happening to people.