Imagine knowing that something is wrong but not knowing what. Imagine not having the energy you used to have, the coordination you used to have and the mobility you used to have. Imagine being in pain.
You know that this is more than just being tired or stressed out. You know that the pain is real, but you have trouble getting doctors to believe you. When you’re a teenager, they brush it off saying that maybe you have depression or that you’ve given up on school. When you’re a parent, they tell you that of course you’re tired because you’re a mom and you should try drinking more coffee.
Eventually, you start to believe the doctors and think that maybe you’re going crazy. Maybe the pain and the symptoms are all in your head. Yet, you still think that there is something wrong.
This was Stephanie Tait’s life for 15 years. She went to doctor after doctor to try to find out what was wrong, and for 15 years, she was misdiagnosed.
It all started when Stephanie was a teenager. She used to love to dance, but she started to become more and more clumsy. She also started experiencing fatigue, pain, arthritis and memory issues. She even had trouble remembering what she had learned in class the previous day.
Over the years, Stephanie was misdiagnosed many different things including epilepsy, fibromyalgia, lupus, depression and arthritis.
Finally, in 2016, Stephanie told her doctor that she wanted to be tested for Lyme disease. Her insurance didn’t cover the cost of the test, but she decided to pay for it out of pocket. The first test came back negative, but the second test came back positive. She finally had a correct diagnosis with the test to prove it.
Watch the video below to hear Stephanie explain her struggle to get diagnosed correctly and to hear what her life is like now.
Stephanie isn’t the only woman with Lyme disease who believes she would have been correctly diagnosed sooner if she had been a man. Lisa Mullen from Chicago was told that she had anxiety and one doctor who also happened to be a woman suggested that she adopt a puppy.
Then there’s Bonnie Murch who was misdiagnosed with everything from the flu to depression. Jane VanDerburgh was incorrectly told that she had early menopause.
It is incredibly difficult to diagnose Lyme disease, but perhaps, like Stephanie, if you or someone you know feels like you’re being misdiagnosed, it couldn’t hurt to do some research to see if your symptoms match up with Lyme disease and tell your doctor you’d like to be tested.