Woman suffering from Lyme disease goes undiagnosed for years - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Woman suffering from Lyme disease goes undiagnosed for years

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WINDER, Ga. -

Imagine experiencing debilitating pain, and going to doctor after doctor looking for answers leading to relief. One Winder family did just that, and they never want anyone else to suffer like they have.

Winder resident Stephanie Barfield says she first noticed something was going on with her body about six weeks after her oldest son, Cody, was born.

"I was standing over his changing table, changing his diaper and I went to pick him up. Seven pounds is nothing. And I just had this extreme pain in my back. I started screaming for him. Something is very, very wrong," said Barfield.

The back pain would signal the beginning of a three and half year journey to discover what was wrong.

"It got to the point by 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I couldn't wear my shirt. That was too much pain. I couldn't wear my hair down. You couldn't touch me," explained Barfield.

She eventually wasn't able to care for her two sons. Doctors weren't giving her any answers.

"They gave us the whole, it's in your head, you need to see a psychiatrist, you need to go to counseling, go see a neurologist. I've seen five neurologists," said Barfield.

Stephanie and her husband Jim saw 34 doctors over the course of 4 years.

"So many times we would walk in with high hopes and positive energy and so many times we were let down," said Stephanie's husband Jim.

"That was actually what one of the neurologists said to me, there are thousands of people who live in pain every day. You're just going to have to be one of them and learn to live with it," said Stephanie.

Stephanie refused to live with it. A referral by a friend to a Florida doctor brought the Barfields the answers they so desperately seeked. It was Lyme disease. Since it had not been diagnosed, it was an advanced case.

"At this point, my doctor told me that I'm the hardest case he's worked in his career," said Stephanie.

Stephanie is now on the road to recovery, but it's a long, expensive journey. The Barfields want to encourage others going through unexplained pain, to never give up.

"No matter how many doctors you see, if you and your body know that something's not right, you keep pushing and pushing and pushing," said Stephanie.

Because insurance is not covering much of Stephanie's treatment for Lyme disease, the Barfield's are buried in medical expenses.  But some of of Jim's fellow Gwinnett County motorcycle officers have put together a foundation and fundraiser to help out. It's a car and motorcycle show happening on November 10th.

The event is being held at the American Legion Buford Post 127 on 2460 Sawnee Avenue in Buford. A $15 entry fee is required. Cash donations to Stephanie's Lymelight can also be made at any Wells Fargo bank.

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