Lisa Marie | The Courtney Lynn Foundation
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Lisa Marie

Environmental illness destroyed my life. In 2011, I had to leave a career I loved so much and had to stop furthering my education after becoming completely debilitated and bedbound after many years of numerous worsening symptoms and surgeries for years starting in early childhood. I moved in with a family member after surgery on my thoracic outlet so that they could help me until I healed and back on my feet. However, after the surgery and the move into my family’s home, It seemed like all hell really broke lose in my body. Not only was I not healing from the surgery at all but the symptoms I had been dealing with for years before became severely amplified and multiplied. I couldn’t function at all and had to be cared for by a family member during the prime of my life. I frantically went around to specialists of all kinds and kept getting misdiagnosed. I spent most of those 7 full years in a dark room with no light or sound unless I was at a doctor’s office.I spent my entire life savings trying to get answers as to what happened to me and why I was this sick and still had none until Oct 2017 when I was diagnosed with late stage Neuro lyme after I did a lot of research and demanded my own test. It’s been estimated that I had it for at least 15 years undiagnosed but more likely that I had it since childhood. By 2016, things had begun to effect my brain and entire nervous system. I spent full days in a catatonic state staring at walls. My brain went completely numb. I had bloody noses. My eyes were completely blood shot and burning and I had developed dementia symptoms in my 30s. During all of this in Nov 2017, I lost my Mother to a neurodegenerative disease she had been battling for 17 years. The fact that this was effecting my brain the same way at such a young age terrified me more than I can even begin to express. Not one doctor would listen to me as things kept getting severely worse over years.

lisa marie

I started treating the Lyme with abx but things got worse because I was being exposed to toxic mold from an air conditioning unit in my bedroom and an unknown roof leak. I had to stop treatment and now can’t afford doctors or a safe place to live. I am severely ill and homeless. It was a couple weeks after I had been diagnosed with Lyme when I read about the link between mold toxicity, water damaged buildings and chronic Lyme disease. I realized then that I had Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome or CIRS. This was confirmed after testing.

 

I had no car or money by this point but I was told if I didn’t leave the house and all of my contaminated things ASAP that I would die. I knew it would be soon. I had constant enchephilitis, couldn’t put coherent sentences together and my heart was going crazy and I felt panic all the time. Doctors and hospitals never understood. Infact, they made things so much worse. So one day in Feb 2018, feeling close to death and incoherent, I fled. I could barely see or figure out how to leave the house. It was freezing outside. I couldn’t form sentences. I left with $300 left to my name and called an Uber and went to hotel for 2 nights. I left without any of my clothes or belongings since they were all contaminated. I officially had nothing after that and have spent the last year trying to stay with different friends in their homes just trying to survive and getting sick in every one of them because they all had or have had water intrusion and resulting mold and I have become too sensitive to even small amounts. I ended up on the street several times confused and disoriented and scared. It’s been incredibly difficult for me to ask for help and I’ve really tried. I was always so hard working and independent. I also developed Multiple chemical sensitivity as a result of all of this. There is now no safe place for me to go where I don’t react to something, even car fumes and the suffering is constant and completely debiliating.

My life has been in danger several times the past year. Someone helped me to buy an old car just so I don’t keep getting stuck in bad places but even the car doesn’t make me feel good and I can’t afford repairs or anything so I’m afraid to take it somewhere far to go camping in fresh air which is what I need. I have not been able to afford doctors anymore who could help or a nontoxic place to live. I can’t treat my chronic infections and damage has been done mainly to my brain and other organs from toxic exposure, heavy metal poisoning and untreated infections. I feel hopeless, desperate and I don’t want to die. I was once so smart and social. I desperately want to live and get better. Most months I struggle to buy food and supplements.I am thousands and thousands in debt from years of unpaid medical bills. I’m still dealing with severe neurological, CNS, dental and cardiac symptoms. In Feb this year I had officially run out of places to stay and had to sleep in my car in New England. I almost froze to death a couple of times. I had to give up my dog of 12 years shortly after I became homeless because I literally ended up on the street last winter. He was literally all I had left and raised him since he was a puppy. We were inseparable before this. He is with family now but not getting the best care and my heart is broken. I missed out on getting married and having the career and family I always wanted but still have hope for someday. I am extremely isolated, sick, scared and alone day after day trying to find shelter wherever I can. I dream of a safe place to live so that I can recover and treat these illnesses and start getting back everything that I’ve lost.This is a nightmare that I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams that I desperately want to wake up from soon.