rat lungworm disease

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Tatum Larson

Tatum Larson

Tatum Larson contracted Rat Lungworm Disease after shopping at an outdoor fruit and vegetable market in Maui in March of 2017.

She developed a burny itchy, crawling feeling. Her bones started aching and her toes began to go numb. Both her hearing and her vision became severly affected and she forgot how to spell and writing became impossible for her.

She began suffering from burning, migrating nerve pain in her bones - a sign of Rat Lungworm Disease, but doctors in Maui did not know what to tell her. A second trip to Maui Medical Center one night when her skin was so sensitive that she could not even put her hand near her skin because it tampered with the air-pressure to an extent that the pain would make her go crazy.

The medical staff tried to brush her off with pain-killers - which she flatly rejected as she wanted some sort of answer as to what was happening.

One doctor even went as far as suggesting that she was experiencing 'early onset arthritis or Lymes Disease. But he knew that was not what was happening to her and his dismissive attitude compounded her frustration. She thought that if someone is a doctor in Hawaii they should know about a disease that's been around Hawaii for years.

Tatum feels that much of her suffering - and the suffering of countless others could have been averted if Hawaiian doctors were more educated about the disease.

The political manuevering within the medical community goes on while more and more cases are being reported and the Hawaiian Legislature hands out funding to those who seem to want to muffle the problem while ignoring the medical researchers and doctors in Hilo that are making headway with Rat Lungworm Disease.

Visits to numerous doctors on the island got her nowhere with some saying that her blood tests showed nothing abnormal and that sometimes people just needed to let their bodies work it out. Some doctors even suggested that she was experiencing arthritis, shingles or that she had the flu. But her symptoms were extreme and quite obviously not merely those of someone with the flu.

She ultimately flew back to Seattle to seek treatment, where she only received a diagnosis because her family friend had warned her of this rare disease and she mentioned it to her doctor in Seattle, Washington. The doctor went to the Center for Disease Control website and poured over their data on Rat Lungworm Disease and concluded that Tatum was right - she had Rat Lungworm Disease. It was then that she finally found doctors that could treat her.

It sadly became evident to her and her family that she would have to move back to Washington in order to properly recover and to be under surveillance of her doctors. She still is struggling with severe meningitis and has had multiple lumbar punctures which prevent her from flying. Information about this disease is very hard to find, including treatment and the duration of symptoms - so the length of recovery can be quite a guessing game and differs from victim to victim.

With all the losses of Tatum's schooling deposit and payments, cost of moving to Hawaii, expensive emergency flights, loss of wages due to inability to work for the last two months and for the foreseeable future - and now having to relocate all of her belongings back to Washington, the debt has started to become overwhelming.

This is often typical of victims of Rat Lungworm Disease that the loss of being able to produce any income along with huge expenses incurred in finding diagnosis and treatment becomes an unhealthy load for them to carry.

A friend of Tatum started a GoFund Me fundraiser to help Tatum which is available for anyone who wishes to assist in her recovery at GoFundMe.com








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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