Lee County, FL

Infected:  Winter of 2010.
“I stepped in a tick nest. I never got the rash, [2010] is when doctors detect I was infected.”
Diagnosed: June 2014
Current health: “Treated but in pain.”

My name is Natalie. I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in 2014. I was infected in 2010. I’ve gone through treatment, but I now suffer due to the fact I got addicted to pain medication and now I’m scared to take anything for my pain. I’m 22 and living my life like a hermit. I have gotten treatment and I’m still fighting, but you never know when it’s inflamed again. I can’t afford this disease. It’s been thousands of dollars of guessing games. Can someone please help me with a cure, a foundation, advice?

Growing up not knowing why I felt so awful was hard. When we found out [it was Lyme], we thought it would be an easy fix. In 2018, at 22, I’m sitting on my couch writing this in Florida on a beautiful day. Because I’m in pain. And afraid to live. I channel a lot of what I go through into my art. Music on my YouTube channel, pictures from my modeling on Instagram, I would love to be considered the face of Lyme disease if I make it into the industry, and I’m working on a book.

Lyme disease has taken so much from me. But in February 2017, I learned I was pregnant with my ex’s child. I couldn’t have the baby because of the antibiotics I was on. My ex is now having a baby with another woman. Lyme disease has completely stolen my life, changed my brain and body chemistry, and due to the lack of knowledge on this disease, my family and friends do not give me much support. I’m truly at a loss.

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