‘My face shriveled up. I looked like I aged 50 years in a matter of minutes. Nobody understood the pain I was in’: Man diagnosed with Lyme disease, ‘There’s nothing you can’t accomplish’

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“Prior to becoming ill, I had always been an avid gym-goer and athlete, mainly playing high-level hockey throughout high school and university. I played for the Newmarket Hurricanes Jr. A Hockey team from ages 15to 17 prior to going to Queen’s University to obtain my undergraduate degree in business. During my final year, I won the Scholastic Player of the Year Award and decided to pursue continuing education.

While at Queen’s University, I continued playing hockey for the Gananoque Islander’s Jr. B team. Fitness had always been one of my top priorities. After every season of hockey was finished, I would work with a Personal Trainer to improve my overall fitness level and hockey skills. Additionally, I trained with an MMA coach because he loved the intensity of the workouts.

Although I was an athlete, my diet and my overall health were not my main focus. I thought because I was so active, my nutrition intake was not something to worry about. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Every winter, I would get a sinus infection and be put on antibiotics.

Courtesy of Jordan Dunin

I became antibiotic-resistant through a medically suggested abuse of antibiotics. Not only was I not getting proper nutrition, but my immunity was compromised by the very people I thought were supposed to keep me healthy – doctors. My diet just continued to get worse, and during my first few years at university, I had no idea what I was putting into my body was fueling my sickness. Now, I no longer eat gluten and dairy but at this time, they were staples in my diet, along with processed sugar and fast food.

During my third year at my university, we were lucky enough to apply to specific schools to have a semester abroad. My dream school was the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. I was selected to spend 6 months here and I couldn’t have been more excited. Little did I know, I might end up contracting Lyme Disease here. The full story of how and where I got Lyme is still unknown to me, but Australia is where I first started exhibiting symptoms. One day, after a trip to an island with some of my new friends, I decided to go to the gym like I always did, only to have my face shrivel up and look like I aged 50 years in a matter of minutes.

Courtesy of Jordan Dunin

This was my first inclination something must be wrong. I started having full body rashes regularly and the doctor I went to see in Australia put me on a steroid. Trusting the doctors knew more than I did, I took the steroid daily. It may have masked my symptoms for the time being, but the damage the pills were doing to my body was almost irreversible.

Fast forward to the summer before my final year of university. I dove off of a friend’s dock in Muskoka into the lake and hit the bottom. At the time, nobody would understand the extent of the injury, thinking I got away lucky with only about 20 stitches in my scalp. But within a few months, my whole life changed. I had to leave university in my final year because of the extreme pain I was always in. My mentality began to spiral.

I’ve never had an injury I couldn’t heal. Over a year had passed and I was making no progress, even with some of the top doctors in Canada. The overall thinking was there is something else going on here. Multiple blood panels were done and I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. This, I was told, was incurable. I could manage the symptoms but would have to live with it forever. The hardest thing I had to do at the time was withdrawing from university.

Courtesy of Jordan Dunin

It seemed as though nobody understood the extreme pain I was in 24/7. I couldn’t even get to sleep without lying in bed for hours in chronic pain. I saw all of my friends having the time of their lives while I packed my things and headed home, hoping every day I would be back to school to graduate with my class. When I got home, the symptoms only progressed and I started feeling insurmountable depression. Not only was I in extreme pain, but it was consistent and relentless.

I was broken down by the physical pain daily and my mental endurance was weakening. I was in pain, but the feeling of brain fog, or not being in control, was the scariest. The only way to explain it was not having access to my thoughts, and feeling like a prisoner in my own body. I went through emotional and mental breakdowns weekly and there came a time where I thought it would be easier to just not continue.

It seemed as though I was going all over the world trying to treat my Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as find a doctor literate in Lyme Treatment. From opticians on the west coast of the USA to concussion specialists in Michigan and Lyme specialists via virtual consultations. The truth of the matter was the stress was only making me worse. There came a point in time where the pain was so bad and all hope was gone.

Elaine Fancy Photography

Then, I got lucky. One of my dad’s old colleagues cured his daughter of Chronic Lyme Disease through a practitioner in Michigan. As a last-ditch effort, I gave frequency healing a shot and treated myself every day on the advice of my practitioner. This frequency healing was administered through a Rife machine I had purchased from True Rife. If you don’t already know who Dr. Royal Rife is and you are struggling with chronic illness, it is worth looking into. I would see my doctor once a month and she would scan me, looking for frequencies correlated to Lyme Disease and co-infections. I was skeptical at first, but when her scans were identical to the blood work I had done prior, I was all in.

The original scans showed my body was being taken over by Lyme Disease and co-infections, such as Babesia. I would go home and treat myself with my Rife machine based on the program my doctor gave to me. 5 days a week, I treated myself for hours a day. In the beginning, I felt horrible after each treatment due to the Herxheimer reactions, which was my body trying to flush out the killed toxins. After 8 months, blood panels couldn’t find a trace of Lyme Disease and I was almost feeling back to myself. Ironically enough, my head was feeling much better as well. The treatment was not easy, but once I saw it was working, I was dedicated to it.

Once I started frequency healing, I finally found a treatment for my neck I thought would work. I would fly to Florida once a month to get stem cell, PRP, and prolotherapy injected into my upper neck. It was determined I had cervical spine instability and the injections were to promote healing. I did about 15 rounds of these injections, each just as painful as the last and I believe this was a contributor to my headaches fading away. To this day, I still sleep with a cervical spine pillow, which keeps my neck in the proper position.

Elaine Fancy Photography

Over the next year, I worked extensively with holistic practitioners through diet, proper supplementation, mindfulness, and exercise. I started implementing mindfulness practices into my daily routines, such as journaling and meditation. All I can say is the power of the mind is not a joke, and meditation is healing. I now make nutrition and mindfulness a top priority and incorporate it into my everyday routine no matter what.

My fiancé is a holistic nutritionist and she is one of the main reasons I am alive and well today.

Elaine Fancy Photography

If you can surround yourself with people who truly love and support you, there is nothing you cannot accomplish. It starts with you. The energy you put out is what you will receive. So stay positive and keep striving towards your health and wellness goals.

Once I felt better and better I decided I was going to finish my Bcom degree at Queen’s. Inspired by my own journey to rock bottom and back, I decided it was my purpose to become the healthiest I had ever been and to help others do the same. I am now a CanFit Pro Personal Trainer and it is my goal to help people create a clear path towards their health and wellness goals. The journey to complete health is not easy, but it is attainable and I am grateful to have the ability to share my story in the hopes of helping others.”

Elaine Fancy Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jordan Dunin. You can follow his journey on Instagram and Youtube. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribeto our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories like this:

‘Everything went black. ‘Did I pass out?’ I woke up with no memory. They had no idea what was happening to me.’: Woman describes struggles with Lyme Disease, ‘Every day is a gift’ 

‘Your daughter needs a psych eval. She’s doing this to herself.’ I knew something was wrong.’: Woman describes journey with Chronic Lyme disease, ‘I turned my pain into purpose’ 

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