I was sixteen years old when my life changed overnight. I was a healthy, intelligent, and bright teenager who suddenly lost my mobility, unable to walk, think or make decisions independently. Weeks turned into months, and my condition worsened, taking its toll on my family's work life and finances, now having to care for me full time.
I spent the next five years in and out of the hospital, receiving a multitude of tests, scans, treatments, MRIs, X Rays, ECGs, blood tests, and drug trials in an attempt to find the root cause of the condition. Doctors could see the physical damage unfolding, but they could not find the underlying cause of my symptoms.
"Having a serious health condition that is undiagnosed makes you feel like a walking question mark. There is no closure. How can you find treatment for a problem no one else can see? "
In mid-2017, we found a facility in Germany that dealt with specialized testing for diseases. I had a full range done, and my results came back positive for Lyme Disease. My markers were high, and it showed my immune system was being suppressed by this disease.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which can be transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick.
The tick becomes infected after feeding on infected deer, birds, or mice. Many people with Lyme disease have no memory of a tick bite. During the initial three to 30 day period after getting infected with this bacteria, you may notice something amiss, or you may not.
Symptoms can range from the more obvious to the more subtle to none at all. You may develop a fever, headache, chills, and swollen lymph nodes. You may feel fatigued or have muscle and joint aches. You may develop the characteristic "bull's eye" rash, which in medical terms is called erythema migrans (EM). Or you may not.
Eight years without correct treatment, I now had Chronic late-stage Lyme Disease and Neuroborreliosis (LNB), where the disease starts affecting the nervous system.
During this period, I was aged 21, my menstrual cycle stopped completely, and I no longer had periods. I developed a gallbladder infection which a scan revealed that I had gallstones, a hiatus hernia, and was also diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I became underweight and severely weak; daily, I experienced severe headaches and neck stiffness, painful inflammation in my eyes.
I lost my distance vision, facial palsy, nerve pain, shooting pains, numbness, arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints, intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones, heart palpitations, night sweats, and vomiting. I couldn't list the full extent of the disfigurement, but my family would tell you that it was horrific.
The following two years, we spent traveling across the country to private clinics. The drives were long, sometimes 6-7 hours for an hour appointment. None of the treatments worked, and I was deemed treatment-resistant or incurable. After eight years, I decided that I would stop seeking further treatment and accept my condition.
I began to question why I was born and why I wanted to end my life? Why was I existing, and what was the meaning of my life. I was raised in a non-religious home, and no one had explained to me that there was any meaning to life, so I had no reason to question it until now.
I looked at the train station across the road from me, and in my mind, with tears down my face, I cried out, "God, if you exist, where are you?!?" "I want to walk in front of the train!"
I was standing on the side of the street, and turned to my left, and saw two missionary evangelists kneeling down talking to an older man; as I turned to look, one of them spotted me.
He walked up to me and placed his hand on my shoulder, and said to me, "I know what you are going through;" at that moment, I felt his hand fill my whole body with intense peace.
I looked into this man's eyes and said, "What is that in your eyes?" I could barely get my words out. "That's the Lord Jesus," he replied. "What are you doing tonight at 7 pm?" he asked. "Nothing, why?" "We are having a healing night in our church tonight; you should come."
I went to the church that night and was told that I could have a relationship with Jesus Christ and that he had a plan for my life. It was then that the Lord began to reveal his love for me, and I gave my life to him.
I was baptised one month later and began to read the Bible and attend the meetings. I vowed to him that I would turn away from my old life; as I prayed to him, he spoke to me and told me he was going to deliver me and heal me. I trusted in what I had heard and never gave up on trusting that I would be free from the disease.
When I attended church, others would come up to me and lay hands on me and pray for healing. Months passed, and I saw my symptoms disappearing without treatment; in early 2019, I was completely delivered from the disease.
I am now 26 years old, and my organs are functioning normally. I am independent and have my own house. I love animals and enjoy walking in nature. I am re-building a life I never thought possible because of the restoration of God.
If he can do it for me, he can do it for you too!
Amy McLeod: United Kingdom