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Nurse who spent years in agonising pain diagnosed with host of tick-borne illnesses including Lyme disease

0 2 years ago

A nurse who has spent the majority of her life in pain has finally been diagnosed with a host of tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease.

Louise Cole-Jones, 38, has suffered from a variety of symptoms for the last 20 years. Despite being a qualified nurse, she claims that she had been overlooked by health professionals who misdiagnosed her on a number of occasions.

However, almost two decades after being bitten by a tick aged 18, Louise, from Maesycwmmer, Wales, has finally been diagnosed with what has been affecting her both mentally and physically.

Wales Online reports that Louise, who has worked as a nurse for 15 years, said: “Initially I was fit and well, I hadn’t had any childhood illnesses at all. I had never been in hospital and had never been to the doctors. Then I was working at a farm for people with learning disabilities and I began to feel unwell. I saw a tick crawling next to me which had obviously bitten me.

“It felt like a severe headache and I was warm so I went to bed. The next morning, colleagues came to wake me up and they couldn’t wake me up. I woke up with what felt like my brain swelling. I got out of bed, went to open the door and as I got up, my knee collapsed underneath me and I had a rash all over me.”

Shortly after she got bitten, Louise said she went to her GP and told them she believed she had Lyme disease. She said she was tested for the illness and to her surprise, the result came back negative. However, according to Lyme Disease UK, Lyme disease testing can generate between 170 and 560 times as many false negative results compared to methods used for diagnosing HIV.

According to the charity, a negative test does not mean Lyme disease is absent, and if not treated promptly, can result in serious and long-term illness. Following her recent positive result, Louise strongly believes this is what happened to her.

“With hindsight, I didn’t know that these tests are really poor,” she said. “So, I struggled for about six years with horrendous symptoms, I was really unwell.


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