Jennifer’s Journey: Battling Five Rare Diseases and Finding Hope at Restoration Healthcare

Jennifer's Battle: Rare Diseases & Hope at Restoration Healthcare

Jennifer’s Health Decline and Initial Symptoms

Jennifer crashed pretty hard. “I ended up in a hospital, and my health just declined from there. I lost a lot of weight rapidly; I could hardly eat,” she said. Every day, a new symptom presented itself. “My brother is a physician. I told him, ‘I feel like I’m slowly dying on the inside, but on the outside, I looked pretty healthy. On the inside, I felt like I was just dying,'” Jennifer said.

Jennifer turned to her brother, who ran a bunch of tests. “I had positive ANA, which is basically a sign of autoimmune disease,” she said. A positive ANA test indicates the presence of antinuclear antibodies in the blood. These antibodies target the nucleus of cells and can be a sign of an autoimmune disorder. However, it is essential to note that a positive ANA test does not necessarily mean a person has an autoimmune disease. Further testing and evaluation by a healthcare professional is needed to determine the cause and significance of the positive result.

Jennifer’s brother sent her to a rheumatologist who practiced integrative and functional medicine. After many tests, she was diagnosed with not one, not two, but five conditions, including Bartonellosis, mycoplasma pneumonia, reactivated Epstein Barr, Lyme disease, and an iron deficiency.

Jennifer’s Multiple Diagnoses:

  1. Bartonellais is an intracellular parasite that targets red blood cells, macrophages, and endothelial cells. It can be caused by fleas, ticks, or scratches from a cat, hence the name cat-scratch fever. Symptoms vary but may include a rash, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, fever, chills and sweats, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin.
  2. Mycoplasma pneumonia is a type of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Unlike other types of pneumonia, mycoplasma pneumonia does not have a cell wall, which makes it resistant to certain antibiotics. Symptoms include a persistent cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, and headache.
  3. Reactivated Epstein Barr is a condition where the Epstein Barr virus, also known as EBV, becomes active again after dormancy. Symptoms include fatigue, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.
  4. Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, leading to more severe symptoms such as headaches, facial paralysis, memory problems, and even heart palpitations.
  5. Iron deficiency occurs when the body lacks sufficient iron. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, poor memory, hair loss, brittle nails, pale skin, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain.

Seeking Help at Restoration Healthcare

Jennifer’s son had a friend whose mom had Lyme disease and went to Restoration Healthcare for treatment. “She said you’ve got to see Dr. Raleigh,” said Jennifer. “She’s amazing. Jennifer says all the doctors are amazing because of their empathy, understanding, and knowledge. “She [Dr Raleigh] listens to you, hears you, and has empathy for you. She understands. I’ve never gotten that kind of care,” Jennifer says.

“I know I would not be on the course I am right now if it wasn’t for Restoration Healthcare,” she says. During her treatment for the five original diseases, Jennifer was diagnosed with one more condition, Mast Cell Disease. Jennifer recounted this new finding to her immunologist, who was stunned by how Restoration Healthcare knew to look for Mast Cells. “She asked me, ‘How did anyone know to look for this? Why would anyone ever think of looking for this?'” For about six months, Dr. Raleigh suggested that Jennifer may have Mast Cell Disease and should be tested based on symptoms that were not improving.

“I think we often feel that we have to live with the symptoms we have been given. This is the body we have to live with. There is nothing we can do, and we have to live this way forever,” says Jennifer. “I am an example that is not true, and there are people out there who care.”

Contact us at our clinic today if you have a complex chronic illness like the one described here or another disease and need treatment from experienced doctors. We are accepting patients who live in Orange County and Los Angeles. Learn more here about becoming a new patient.