A tick bite on honeymoon has meant that a Meath woman's entire married life has been affected by Lyme disease.
Denise Reid (41), from Bellewstown, is now hoping that new treatment in Switzerland might even make her dream of having a baby finally possible.
She is also calling for more training on the disease for GPs, many of whom she claims have no idea about the condition, its symptoms or treatments.
“I got bitten while in Rome on honeymoon seven years ago but when I saw the rash on the back of my leg, I thought it was a mosquito,” she said.
“A week later, I got a really bad flu that wouldn’t shift so I went to a doctor who tested me for Lyme disease but the result was negative.
“Then two weeks later I woke up with no feeling in my legs and numerous tests in hospital were all clear so I was told it was probably a viral thing.
“My heart developed an irregular rhythm, I began to get severe migraines and every test and scan was coming back clear.”
It was only a chance meeting with a friend that led back to the issue of Lyme disease.
“A friend told me she knew someone who had similar symptoms and after three negative tests in Ireland, they got checked in Germany where they were diagnosed with Lyme disease.
“Seemingly, the tests here are only 35% accurate.”
A test in German confirmed her worst fears of Lyme disease – six years after she was told she didn’t have it.
However, she continues to suffer and was unable to drive from December to April this year due to dizzy spells.
She is now due to go to Switzerland for treatment but is calling for more awareness of the disease among the medical profession
“In the last eight years, I’ve been to about 15 doctors and specialists and only one of them knew about Lyme disease, even though it affects a lot of Irish people.
“I’ve had enough. I’m due to go to Switzerland for treatment in August.
“Please God I’ll have some form of life back after this treatment and I can hope against hope of having a child."
A GoFundme page has been set up to help with her treatment and can be accessed at here.
There's also a fundraiser in Bellewstown Inn on August 18.