Bridget’s Lyme Disease Story

This has been created by friends and family who care about her health and healing.

The family and friends of Bridget Raab are setting our intentions towards raising funds to assist her in regaining her health!

http://www.gofundme.com/BridgetR
Bridget has always been a very active person, was a champion gymnast, a hard worker, a social, kind-hearted person, often ready to help others. She has been a personal trainer and an event planner, enjoying the physicality and social aspects of both. Unfortunately, she has not been able to do those things for a year, and now she could really benefit from the help of others.

Last year Bridget had several trips to the ER with excruciating head pain (despite her high pain threshold) and disorientation, had MRI’s, CT’s and no answers. She had/has severe joint pain, fatigue, significant focusing and processing problems (reading, conversation, tv), …and more, but only later learned this was a severe case of Babesia, Bartonella & Lyme disease. Treatment with antibiotics helped her, and within months she was feeling better than she had in a long time.  Then someone ran into her car, totaling it, and her condition seriously deteriorated.  She began to intermittently lose motor control even to feed herself and walk, has collapsed on stairs, crawling and being half carried up to a doctor’s office. Even though an orthopedic doctor insisted (wide-eyed) on EMS being called when he saw her going into a “neurological episode”, insurance deemed one such ER visit as “unwarranted” and denied the claim. She was later identified with partial complex seizures. During these, she is unable to talk, slurs, loses motor skills, may stiffen and shake, look zoned out or as if she is experiencing a stroke, and most recently turned very red in the face, not breathing.

Bridget has had to give up so much independence, unable to work, drive, or keep her apartment. She has stayed with parents or friends, often needing someone to be with her. At times she can sound good and look good, and has better days, thankfully. She misses being able to be so active and social, or take her treasured dog, Jax, out for long walks and runs, during this major interruption of her life. She is waiting for a response to her second application for disability.

In a serious or long term case of Lyme and the associated diseases, a variety of symptoms occur due to the toxins and neurotoxins secreted, and this increases when the organisms are killed off, which can be additionally frightening. By the way, many think if you have Lyme, the test will be positive. While Bridget’s test was positive, the test misses many cases, as it requires 5 of only 10 bands to be positive, yet there are over 100 strains of Lyme in the U.S.  See the film “Under Our Skin” for more information on much that is mentioned here.

She has had tests including EEG, EKG, CT head and chest scan, has a PICC line in her arm for IV antibiotics, and continues to need many medications and naturopathic supplements. Insurance would not cover “the” main recommended IV medication, so $400/week was paid out of pocket for this one prescription. She had to ask her doctor to switch her to something less costly. She looks for and uses other savings, and was able to acquire one prescription ($1,000)  for $90 from a Canadian pharmacy recommended by her physician. She must have continual checkups and lab screens to monitor her progress and evaluate the effects of the treatment on her system. These comprehensive tests are often very expensive.

Due to considerable contributions by her parents and loans from some friends, she has been able to cover most costs so far and maintain an insurance policy…..with very high deductibles and co-pays.  Most LLMD’s, (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors) are not only out of state, but out of network due to the considerable time they spend with patients vs. the in network reimbursement rates.

Over $20,000, beyond insurance has been accrued in medical costs as Bridget has gone through this very difficult situation, in addition to providing for her while she has been unable to work. Parents and a few friends have helped with financial support, emotional support, spiritual, nutritional, and alternative methods, taking her to neurologist, cardiologist, orthopedist, chiropractic, regular doctor appointments, tests, lab work, etc.

The treatment and efforts ARE working, but it is a long, difficult process if one has had this for a while, or very severely. We are optimistic about Bridget overcoming this, she is a very strong young woman. Yet, she is facing a new year of deductibles, and continued expenses.

We are so grateful for your thoughts, prayers, wishes and your generosity. Any amount is greatly appreciated, and/or sharing this request with others who may care to help! Thank you so much!

If you would like to donate and prefer to pay directly to Bridget through PayPal, or by check, please contact her at ncfitness08@yahoo.com and she will gladly provide you with that information. Below are photos of her weight loss and picc line.

Summer, 2012(Click on this picture from summer 2012 to see December 2012 picture.)

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One comment

  1. I have responded to this article about Bridget and gave her some resource information as it relates to her current condition. She has been very brave, but unfortunately does need financial assistance to complete her treatment, which her local public health departments are unable to provide. I wished her well, advising I would contribute what I could and wish her the best in her fundraising efforts.

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