SALT Ash resident Jade Morgan’s hope for the newly reinstated Senate inquiry into Lyme disease is that the illness is formally recognised in Australia and brings an end to sufferers’ battles to be treated.
Miss Morgan, who has Lyme disease, fought for four years to have her illness accurately diagnosed.
But life did not get better for the 24 year old after finding out she had the tick-borne disease.
If anything, it has been harder she said, as the disease is not currently recognised by the Australian medical profession or the government.
Many doctors refuse to believe it exists in the country.
“I find it really hard that the medical professionals can just dismiss Lyme disease,” Miss Morgan said.
“Some days I just can’t even get out of bed.
“The other thing that really upsets me is that I know there are heaps of other people out there suffering and are getting the same treatment that I am. It hurts.”
Miss Morgan was told by doctors in Victoria, where she lived when her symptoms started showing in mid-2012, that her tiredness, loss of feeling in her legs and short-term memory loss was “all in her head”.
“I seen a psychologist, and this was what hurt the most and made me almost give up, he sat there and said the sooner you accept that this is all in your head the sooner you’ll start getting better,” she said.
Miss Morgan moved to Salt Ash in 2014. She visited a Sydney-based Lyme disease specialist in 2015.
After $1000 worth of blood tests the specialist confirmed in April this year that she has a bacteria called Borrelia in her system.
Borrelia causes Lyme disease, which can affect the organs and other body systems. It has been known to mimic other illnesses such as lupus.
For Miss Morgan, a hairdresser by trade, the disease exhausts her and affects her short-term memory. She is no longer able to work.
She is currently raising funds through her former workplace, Allan's Men’s Hairdressing Salamander Bay, to travel to Malaysia for treatment.
Additionally, she runs the My Lyme Disease Journey Facebook page to spread awareness and connect with other sufferers.
The Senate inquiry into the disease that causes a Lyme-like illness was reinstated on September 13. A report is due on November 30.