Patrick

My name is Patrick Plum, and this is my story:

It was summer of 2012. I was living in the Midwest of the United States a few months before my 33rd birthday.

I had my dream job as a pilot for a major airline for 5 years. I’d been dating a girl for two years and had just bought an engagement ring. I was in excellent shape. I had just earned my first degree black belt, was teaching boxing and working out 2 plus hours a day. I was an avid motorcyclist and on my days off I’d often volunteer taking friends and their kids on single engine airplane rides. I also taught flying part time at a local airport. To be cliche, I was living the dream. My hard work was starting to pay off. One day, I looked in the mirror and saw a big “yellow bruise” on the left side of my chest. It didn’t hurt, so I didn’t think much of it. Little did I know, this rash was about to change my life…

In August I had just returned from a trip to Jackson WY. I’d also been spending a lot of time at my dad’s cabin in western Wisconsin. One morning, I woke up with a pounding headache and what felt like the worst hangover I had ever had. I tired easily and even though I continued to work out, I’d get weaker. I thought I’d been working too much or was experiencing jet lag from jumping time zones frequently, but no matter how much I rested, it got worse. Then came a myriad of other symptoms. Digestive problems, swollen glands, fatigue, malaise, muscle stiffness and several others.

I saw MDs, chiropractors, NDs, nutritionists, dentists, physical therapists, infectious disease specialists, etc. After 36 doctors, including some very well known specialists, they found nothing major. Low magnesium, low vitamin D, high Mercury, and high cholesterol. Several doctors attempted to steer me toward a mental health diagnosis, but I knew my body and wouldn’t accept that. I decided to seek out a doctor who just treated Lyme disease, a LLMD. I fit every symptom of it. She asked if I had been tested for Coinfections which, like most people, I had no idea what that was.

In April 2014, I had an answer. I tested positive for several tick borne infections. Since I had what is considered “chronic” or “late stage” Lyme disease, I was told recovery would not be short or easy. This was an understatement.

In May 2014, I made the decision that in order to fully fight Lyme disease head on, I needed to temporarily hang up my wings. My company has been a Godsend and told me to come back whenever I felt better. In May of 2015, I went public to friends, family and over social media.

It’s been the hardest 4 years of my life. Some of my symptoms resolved quickly and completely, others linger. Some of my friends and family amazed me with their compassion, others shocked me with their lack of loyalty. I continue to ride the roller coaster of symptoms. Above my counter with all of my meds and supplements, I have a picture of myself happy, healthy, and in my uniform at work. Since this is my goal and gives me something to work toward.

Since my diagnosis, I have also learned that doctors are unknowingly very poorly trained in Lyme disease. In fact, some don’t believe in chronic lyme disease at all. Since they won’t get it until they “get it” (get infected), I have made it one of my life goals to be a voice for the millions senselessly suffering due to medical ignorance with Lyme disease. I have vowed that the rest of my life will be used to try to change this. I’ll continue to do this long after I’m symptom free and have my “life back.”

That tick attached itself to the wrong person!

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14 thoughts on “Patrick

  1. Wow, I have a very similar story!! I also ignored my bruise 4 years ago. After 3 years and 6 months of antibiotics, I realized I was no longer improving. I turned to bee venom therapy. After 6 months I am a changed person. I’m getting my life back. Thank you for all you do to raise awareness!!

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  2. I have read several of your blogs and listened to several of your Youtube videos and it sure sounds like the tick attached itself to the wrong person. You will get better, I can tell by your determination. But you are right it will be a long road. I could almost say as well that the tick attached itself to the right person. We need intelligent educated people advocating for the 1000’s of others stricken by this illness. I thank you for your efforts and God bless you and your road to recovery.

    I am a 53 yr old mother recently diagnosed but only because my grown children all started to become ill and one at a time we were all diagnosed. I too was directed in the mental health direction like so many people are when doctors don’t have the knowledge to figure out what is wrong. I am from Ontario and had a negative test 8 years ago and got retested in US. Now I have to move to BC to begin treatment as chronic Lyme doesn’t exist here, (yet in 2015 there were the most reported cases of Lyme in dogs anywhere), they just know to stay away from the people. They are smart little buggers!!! So, no one around here will treat me. Surprise!!

    Thank you for trying to educate people and hopefully some of the available education will smack some of our medical professionals right between the eyes. They can only ignore the elephant in the room for so long. That elephant is growing larger every day.

    Sincerely,

    Jacqueline

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    1. Hi Tara, thank you for stopping by to read Patrick’s story. The more we can continue to share our experiences, the better treatment options will become for us. Or at least, that is my hope! If you are interested in submitting a photo to participate in Lyme on the Road, please feel free to contact me.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story! I hope you are on the road to recovery. I’m recovered but it took a long and hard road for five years. Blessings 💚

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  4. Reblogged this on A Migraineur's Life with Lyme Disease and commented:
    This is the same familiar story for all Lyme patients. I love that Patrick wants to help others like I do. Medical school needs to educate doctors about Lyme disease so patients like us don’t have to suffer. Lyme disease exists everywhere and the denial that chronic Lyme disease doesn’t exist is disgusting.

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