rat lungworm disease

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Chantal Asselin

Chantal Asselin I am a Canadian business woman who came with my husband in December of 2015 to spend a portion of our harsh winter in beautiful Hawaii. Little did we know that we landed in an epidemic center. (Later confirmed by a youtube video with Hawaiian Senator Rudderman). We visited different Big Island hotspots, Kona, parts of the east side from Wapeo Valley, Parker Ranch and mainly Puna to the chain of craters as we had found an ocean view rental in Hawaiian Beaches. I had convinced my husband to visit as I considered Hawaii to be the most beautiful and safe place on earth. The symptoms hit me like a locomotive when I returned to Canada.

I was going through a crisis and my husband did not know what to do. Doctors refused to treat me and one of my doctors wrote a nasty report which ignored even Dr Miller's diagnosis of RLWD from the Pahoa Clinic in Hawaii. So, the police showed up, busted my door, going over my walker, PUT HANDCUFFS on me with such brute force that I am still traumatized by this event!!! I feel so completely abandoned by the medical authorities and police who treated me like a fecken' criminal!!! I am a respectable business woman, so if this testimony can serve others - then so be it!

After I was brutalized and traumatized by police, I was put in handcuffs like a 300lb criminal and brought to the psychiatric ward because health practitioners outside Hawaii do not know anything about debilitating Rat lungworm disease! I was humiliated and mistreated!

Because I got bitten by a dog who broke the flesh in the first weeks of our arrival I was seen at the Pahoa clinic. It was there I saw a tiny poster with a BIG SLUG with a small mention saying to avoid eating them and I also talked to the medics who advised me to steer clear of hot ponds but never ever did anyone mention the TINY SLUG from HELL. Looking back, they were EVERYWHERE in Hawaiian Beaches and especially at our rental. The lanai was slime infested every morning. You could see them cross the driveway and the owner would just sweep them off with her flipflops as we often did. We even found some tiny slugs on the walls of the appartment. When asked if these would be cause for concern, she replied 'oh no, just the big ones!' I remember her sweeping her top balcony and some tiny bits would fall down onto our patio table. Her dog carried a wound that never healed and looked very sick.

The day before coming home, we both felt extremely fatigued. The first week after our arrival, my husband fell ill with strange flu-like symptoms that lasted for 3 weeks. We suspected it could be a virus to which no antibiotic would fix, so he rested and took extra supplements to boost his immune system. After his slow recovery and loss of weight, I felt really ill in April 2016. The symptoms were felt over the course of weeks; Extreme fatigue, nausea, no appetite, head splitting headaches with brain swells (meningitis), feeling of despair, short term memory loss, strange sensation under my skin like glass particules moving in my veins, sharp electrical needle like pokes. The neck pain was like someone pulled on the nerves or muscle to hang me. I suffered a loss of strength, eye problems and many infections and red spots on my skin.

My neurologist was contacted to run some tests. Then I became paralysed. I was not able to speak properly and lost mobility for months. My husband thought I was going to die, I had lost so much weight and he had to take over my business responsibilities on top of his own and while being my primary caregiver. Doctors in Canada saw some signs of infection (high eosophil count) in the blood and a crossed eye problem - but nothing was done except to refer me to a speech therapist and to consult a psychiatrist? For what I know not?

It was 8 months later, in November of 2016 that an acquaintance from Hawaii told me that my symptoms were similar to rat lung worm disease. I flew to Hawaii and got a diagnosis of moderate RLWD with neurological deficits. My head was badly shaking, mobility and strength still very much reduced but speech had improved. But then RLW had also opened another can of worms. While in Hawaii for the second time, trying to get answers and treatment, I had a severe post-traumatic episode to which I quickly saw a trauma specialist. Even with these 2 diagnosis in hand, my neurologist REFUSED to see the diagnosis.

All I wanted was to find ways to rehabilitate my brain and regain movement in my body. He resorted to write a psychiatric profile based on my facebook comments (on cute cat videos) that was very damaging to me getting the proper help I desperately needed and as a result I was denied any disability support. I filed a complaint to the College des Medecins of Quebec that this old doctor should review my diagnosis - but they told me he has the right to DIAGNOSE based on facebook posts? They never investigated the veracity of his claims and opinions.

I went to see travel clinics to test for parasites and instead of finding out about the complicated Rat lungworm worm disease (Angiostrongylus cantonensis), they tested me 3 (three) times for (strongylus) ! And so doctors labeled me as a hypocondriac, psychiatric case. This is beyond irresponsible and unacceptable as I may not be the only one who is mis-diagnosed when coming home from a hellish vacation in Paradise! Another Canadian woman from the western part of Canada, who has a condo in Maui, contacted me and also said she had been ridiculed and ignored by her doctors.

There is now a support group initiated by the Hilo Medical Centre to help us find different ways to manage our disrupted lives but there is no such help for victims in other countries because of a lack of AWARENESS of this highly contagious slug and its post-infection neurological consequences.

Thank you Hawaiin authorities for ignoring to advise incoming tourists about this disease.

Please get involved in advising the many foreign Embassies about this devastating disease that is infecting their own citizens and coming in by tourist boats via the rats that make it onboard. Stay safe !

NOTE: Someone has written to me saying that lye water is not safe to use on veggies! huh ? Please, anyone wanting to use these methods should do your own research and FOLLOW instructions on how to safely use lye water. This one is not the caustic version used in soap and foods !! yup like pretzels, noodles, etc.

Some helpful links:



* Wood ash is not sodium hydroxide ( lye) caustic version. Please use only untreated wood ash, free of chemicals to make solution or to sprinkle around your garden.

Chantal Asselin

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

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