Last year, Trista Sutter discussed the mystery illness that had been afflicting husband Ryan Sutter, whom she met when they met on the first season of “The Bachelorette”.
After months of tests, it was revealed that Ryan is suffering from Lyme disease, which had been exacerbated by mold toxins, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and and lingering effects of COVID-19, the combination of which left his immune system weakened.
“There’s not one medication he can take. There’s not surgery he can do,” said Trista during an appearance on “The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast”, hosted by former Bachelor Ben Higgins and fellow Bachelor Nation alum Ashley Iaconetti.
“I try to look at the positive, and it’s definitely a good thing to have answers,” Trista explained. “So I’m very thankful that we have answers, because not knowing is so, so, so difficult.”
However, she added, “those answers actually come with so many more questions that, even though we found out part of it, and yes, I’m thankful and grateful for that, it’s actually difficult. He’s not feeling great today. And he has his up days and down days.”
Lyme disease, she explained, “will be a lifetime diagnosis that he’ll have to deal with. But it is difficult in that there’s not one medication he can take. There’s not surgery he can do. So that’s hard.”
Still, she said she’s “grateful” that the severity of his illness isn’t worse.
“He’s among one of the lucky ones with Lyme disease in that he hasn’t lost the ability to speak, he hasn’t lost the ability to walk, he hasn’t lost the ability to use his arms,” she said. “I feel lucky in the fact that it’s in certain parts of his body. We know that it’s probably in his ankle, he has a bad knee, it’s probably residing in those. But he has brain fog occasionally and the fatigue is unbearable sometimes for him. But I do feel lucky that it’s not as severe as some people that we’re hearing.”
She became emotional, fighting back tears while discussing how difficult it’s been to see him in so much pain.
“It’s been hard, to see him struggle, because he is such a strong human in general. But he doesn’t share that with everyone. So it’s just hard to see the person you love most in the world feeling like crap,” she said.
“It’s been hard,” she repeated. “And not because I want any attention on me, [but] because I want him to be better, I want him to wake up feeling great, I want him to be able to spend time with our family and make memories, and when you don’t feel good, it just takes away from life. I’m not doing great.”
She’s hoping that by bringing attention to the disease they can increase visibility and help fund increased research.
“We want to be able to spread the word,” she said. “Our hope is that we can get involved to help raise funds for research so that more people can find relief from their symptoms.”