A mother and nurse said that she has lost her job, her partner and been forced to wear nappies because of a condition that ‘might not exist’.
Veronika Valentova, 35, developed a fever and flu-like symptoms after she was bitten by a tick while on holiday in the Czech Republic last year.
She was heavily pregnant and the weather was hot so she assumed the illness was just part of pregnancy.
But soon after giving birth, her health deteriorated rapidly.
‘I developed neurological problems, dizziness, balance problems, tingling in my feet.
‘I started to have bladder problems, lots and lots of stabbing, burning pain, bone pain, joint pain, memory loss.’
‘It completely changed my life, it takes hours to get going in the morning because I am so stiff. Life is almost impossible,’ she told The Bristol Post.
Veronika Valentova, 35, from Bristol, with her daughter Isabella, 1, believes that she caught Lyme disease from a tick bite while on holiday in the Czech Republic
Lyme disease is an infection caused by tick bites, and the bacteria it can release into victims
Veronika, who worked as a nurse and a nanny before she was forced to give up her job, believes she is suffering from chronic Lyme disease, which is the name given to the condition where symptoms exist without a confirmed Lyme disease infection.
She said that her illness put such a strain on her relationship that she and her partner broke up.
But her condition is controversial as many experts do not agree that it even exists.
Veronika told the Bristol Post: ‘It’s unimaginably frustrating. They can’t find anything and they said I’m probably depressed.
‘They tell you it’s all in your head, but they make you even more unwell.
‘You’re not capable of looking after yourself. How are you supposed to look after your own children?’
The NHS Choices website states: ‘This term has been used by some people to describe persistent symptoms such as tiredness, aches and pains, usually in the absence of a confirmed Lyme disease infection.
‘It’s important to be aware that a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease is controversial.
Veronika, who worked as a nurse and a nanny before she was forced to give up her job, believes she is suffering from chronic Lyme disease, which is the name given to the condition where symptoms exist without a confirmed Lyme disease infection
‘Experts do not agree on whether the condition exists, or whether the symptoms are actually caused by a different, undiagnosed problem.
‘In either case, there’s no evidence to suggest people diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease can pass the condition on to others, and there’s little clear evidence about how best to treat it.’
She said the antibiotics she has been taking are not working, so she is fundraising the £10,000 needed for intravenous treatment she believes will help.
If she reaches her target, Veronika has vowed to raise money for charity Lyme Disease Action.
You can donate at her Just Giving fundraising page.