Jaimie's struggle continues as Lyme disease goes public

DOING IT TOUGH: Jaimie Joblin, of Caloundra, suffers from lyme disease and is asking the community for help to buy a wheelchair.
DOING IT TOUGH: Jaimie Joblin, of Caloundra, suffers from lyme disease and is asking the community for help to buy a wheelchair. Che Chapman

JAIMIE Joblin has spent half her life fighting a growing list of ailments stemming from a single insect bite.

The 19-year-old has been fighting chronic late-stage neuroboreliosis, commonly known as lyme disease, and numerous co-infections as well as chronic illnesses including trigeminal neuralgia, fibro myalgia, tachycardia, dysautonomia, gastroparesis, arthritis and asthma.

Every day for the past nine years has seen the once vibrant Caloundra girl decline to a point where every day is filled with severe pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and vertigo, and potentially dangerous heart issues while also struggling with mental health problems, complicated by the lyme symptoms and effects.

Singing, dancing and hours spent volunteering kept Jaimie busy until two years ago, when dealing with her symptoms quietly behind the scenes was no longer a possibility.

She now spends many of her days bed-ridden and on days when she feels up to venturing outdoors, is often confined to her backyard where she can do some crocheting and craft activities.

She wants Sunshine Coast residents to learn more about lyme, a disease not recognised in Australia and therefore only treated by a select few doctors.

"I was only diagnosed in September last year by a doctor I was seeing in Sydney," Jaimie said.

"I was so lucky because people go for 30 or more years without getting a diagnosis.

"Up until then, every time I turned up at the doctors or hospital, I would have to state individual symptoms because to say I had lyme would turn medical professionals away.

"My current doctor is a three-hour drive from here and I have had home care nurses who refused to help because I am suffering from lyme. They are just persecuted in the medical community so didn't want to touch it.

"My mum has had to learn how to care for all of my IV lines herself and I am so lucky to have her."

Usually associated with bites from infected ticks, Jaimie said her research had shown lyme could be contracted by "a wide variety of bug bites", as was the case for her.

Jaimie said since her diagnosis, she had seen signs of improvement through treatment with fluids and medications in a tube in her arm that connects to her heart, oxygen therapy, injection therapy, hospital stays, extensive testing as well as herbal and natural therapy.

"People need to know it's real, its here in Australia," she said.

Senator for Queensland Claire Moore tabled a Notice of Motion on August 20 to recognise lyme as a devastating disease and call for the development of a national plan to treat people living with the disease.

Can you help?

Jaimie Joblin is unable to walk due to complications from her battle with lyme disease.

The 19-year-old Caloundra girl has opened up a fundraising page in the hopes of raising $8500 to buy an electric wheelchair to allow her simple freedoms like joining her family for a walk or getting to medical appointments with more ease than her current manual wheelchair allows.

If you can help, please donate at the You Caring fundraising page

Topics:  health illness lyme disease medical

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