"The main diagnosis is Lyme disease with mold toxicity and some underlying co-infections, whether it's Epstein-Barr, COVID, things like that," he shared. "The best way to combat those things is to utilize my systems, to utilize my immune system."
Ryan said that he "started feeling unwell" more than a year ago, describing his symptoms as, "my body would itch for no reason -- no rash, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, night sweats, fevers, really deep bone aches and muscle aches, joint aches, periods of extreme fatigue, almost paralyzing fatigue."
The couple both said that Lyme disease was on their radar throughout the process but due to "different schools of thought" from the variety of doctors and specialists they saw, they initially pushed Lyme disease aside.
"I specifically asked about Lyme disease and [the rheumatologist's] answer was, 'Well, a lot of the results can be positive. And if you get a positive result, sometimes it's a false positive, so I don't want you to go down that route if it's a false positive.'"
In addition to Lyme disease, doctors were also considering "long haul COVID" after Ryan's tests showed that he had unknowingly contracted COVID earlier in the year. They were also considering the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
Ryan, who serves as a firefighter, discovered through gene testing that he is "susceptible to toxins," and noted that he's at a higher risk of exposure to these toxins in his profession.
"The bottom line is, I'm in a profession where I'm exposed to a lot of toxins. We did have our house tested for mold and that came back that we didn't have mold in our house, but I walk into a lot of people's houses," he said. "It's a profession where your body is fighting off a lot of toxins."
After his mold toxicity test came back positive, Ryan noted that he's fighting off mold in his body, which can be very difficult on the immune system.
Finally, after more than a year of searching for answers, Ryan has received a diagnosis.
"I tested positive for Lyme disease. I now essentially have Lyme disease," he shared. "It seems that's something I will always have. It's just that now I know and I can start to try to build back my immune system so I can fight it off."
In order to rebuild his immune system, Ryan is going on diets, taking supplements, and trying out physical therapy.
"I'm cautiously optimistic but more optimistic than I have been in a long time," he shared.
His wife of 17 years, Trista, also expressed, "It's a really difficult thing to see the person that you love most in this world struggling."
The couple hopes that in sharing their story, they can help others.
"Our new goal is to give people hope that they can get through their medical issues and find solutions," Ryan shared. "And hopefully we can start to turn the world around a little bit."