In August of 2011 my son in law, Art P., who was 49 at the time was put on permanent disability. He was diagnosed in one clinic in Santa Barbara as having “Primary lateral sclerosis.” The symptoms were heavy slurred speech, difficulty walking, and shaking really bad; with severe depression as well.
Art went to Palo Alto, Stanford University. They told him that he did not have P.L.S. yet could not find a diagnosis. He consequently was put on permanent disability. He had been suffering for 8 to 10 months with this condition.
Then in 2011, Melody my 45 year old daughter was diagnosed with M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis)
She was having visual problems, so she went to see an Ophthalmologist who referred her to a Neurologist. The Neurologist gave her an M.R.I. and X rays and told her that she had lesions on her brain; he diagnosed her with MS. She was then put on medication, Copaxone. She was fine up until two years ago. She started losing her balance, falling down and she was unable to work anymore. She got weaker on a daily basis. They put her on an additional medication, Tysabre; neither medication was helping. For the last nine months, Melody has been in a wheelchair.
In the month of September, 2014 I ran into Lydia, who is Debra’s sister and she mentioned that Melody may have Lyme disease and she should be tested. Lydia mentioned that her sister Debra has a daughter named Adrianna, who was once very ill in 2010 and misdiagnosed; she had Lyme disease.
I then contacted Debra Gutierrez and she spoke with me on several occasions for several hours; Debra sent me literature about Lyme disease. The blood work cost was $1600.00 and it was initially very discouraging for me. This was going to be an out of pocket expense. Debra encouraged me to rule out Lyme disease and the cost would be well worth it, if indeed Melody had Lyme.
Art made the trip to San Francisco to Dr. Stricker’s office, whom Debra had referred.
We opted to see a Phyician Assistant, Melissa McElroy because Dr. Stricker’s first appt was in December.
Melissa advised him that Lyme disease was a great mimicker and it can live in your system for twenty years before showing up. He explained that it could show up during stress or duress and that it could be sexually transmitted. The lab reports, from Igenex labs came out positive for Lyme disease.
Melody is in a wheelchair and she is really bad. She was receiving treatment and medication for M.S. She was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease on December 1, 2014; she was previously misdiagnosed with M.S. for three years. Since December 7th, 2014 there has been a remarkable improvement. She is now using a walker to use the ladies room. She is slowly recovering and every day we see an improvement in her.
Art and Melody’s son, Donavon is currently 25 years old and he has been bitten twice by a tick in the past. His condition is dormant but it has been confirmed that he also has the Lyme bacteria. Dr. Stricker’s office will be treating him as well with proper antibiotics. Luckily his insurance is paying for this.
I am so very grateful and thankful for Lydia encouraging me to speak with Debra about this horrible disease. Debra was patient, compassionate and understanding; she prayed for me and my daughter, over the phone several times.
In the end, I thank God, the source of her illness has been identified. Melissa is very reassuring that, all three of them will be cured of this disease. We are trusting God first.