As an organization, we are dedicated to educating people on the importance of preventing parasite related disease in our pets - but these disease are also common in the human population. In particular, Lyme disease - the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports over 5,000 new cases of Lyme disease in humans EVERY WEEK. Similarly, even with limited testing we saw nearly 360,000 cases of Lyme Disease in dogs in 2019. Can you imagine the results if there was regular testing?
Meet Cassidy, a veterinary student who is fighting with Lyme Disease amongst other tick transmitted diseases. She has courageously offered to share her story to help raise awareness for her humane and animal counterparts.
When I look back at these past five years, I’m still baffled that this is my life. That I’m living with three separate diseases that all came from a tiny tick bite.
I pretty much go through a range of emotions each day- rage, frustration, anxiety, depression, determination, but most of the time? I’m just plain tired.
I’m tired of the symptoms. I’m tired of the myriad of pills I have to take each day. I’m tired of the bills that pile up from treating this illness. But most of all I’m tired of constantly dealing with the lack of education most medical doctors have of tick-borne illnesses and the biases they have when it comes to all of them.
This is why I’m so glad there are organizations in the veterinary field that are focused on treating, protecting from, and testing for tick-borne infections for BOTH humans and animals. All of those people advocating and working for change - So many families with loved ones that are suffering from the same thing and wanting relief for them depend on this.
So while I am constantly feeling those mixtures of emotions, I am also very blessed to be able to be a part of that profession. That I’ve been able to continue on despite my health. That I’ve been able to push through (very stubbornly I might add) all of the muck that is Lyme Disease, Bartonella, and Babesia (and mold/mycotoxins, adrenal dysfunction, mast-cell activation syndrome, Epstein-Barr virus...) and become the veterinarian I’ve always wanted to be.
So I continue trucking along, taking each day as it comes, each symptom as it comes. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it is so tough and frustrating. I’m 30 years old, and I have the body of an elderly woman. My friends even call me their grandma! But going through all of this while chasing my dreams has made me realize how important self-care is, especially in this profession. It’s really the only thing (besides stubbornness) that has enabled me to get this far.
So please, especially during this pandemic, take care of yourself and your body!
These are some tips I have for myself to stay healthy -
Take it from someone who knows, ticks are out in full force this summer.
Protect yourself and your loved ones - pets included.
For more information or to donate to Lyme Disease research in Humans check out the LivLyme Foundation
For more information on Lyme Disease in your Pets check out the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) and consider donating to One Love Pets to continue efforts of providing parasite prevention to animals in need worldwide!