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My years with Lyme disease

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7210.649 (Published 04 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:649
  1. Chris J F Wilson, surgeon lieutenant
  1. Royal Navy

    Ifirst became unwell in the wake of some students sadly succumbing to the meningococcus. I had non-specific symptoms—malaise, fatigue—but with the photophobia, headache, and difficulty on my feet they were serious enough to warrant admission to the neurology ward for investigation. The investigations were thorough, but no cause was found.

    A label of “depression” was hung around my neck

    I was discharged back into the hands of a less than sympathetic university health service, and it was here that the mysterious spectrum of symptoms that graced my life earned me the title “malingerer,” chiselled deeply into my notes and even deeper into the clinical opinions of all those who saw me thereafter.

    My aching joints were scrutinised by the rheumatologists. The neurologists put me under the inquisition again, trying to find some explanation for the interminable headache. Ultimately, as is often the case, I was directed to the psychiatrists. A label of “depression” was hung around my neck, and …

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