Ryan Sutter Reflects on 2 Years of Dealing with Lyme Disease: 'I Am in a Much Better Place'

The Bachelorette winner spent the last two years searching for a cause for his mystery illness, which he determined to be Lyme disease that was triggered by mold toxins

Ryan Sutter
Ryan Sutter. Photo: Presley Ann/Getty

The last two years haven't been easy on Ryan Sutter, but he's finally in "a much better place."

The Bachelorette winner and firefighter, 47, spent much of the last two years dealing with health problems, from two surgeries — one on his left ankle, and the other on his right knee — to a lengthy search for the cause of a mystery illness that was causing extreme fatigue.

That illness turned out to be Lyme disease triggered by mold toxins, but it took months of testing and visiting different doctors for him to get a diagnosis.

"It's been about two years since I started feeling sick," Sutter wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of the bees he's been keeping. "As I watch these little bees, I reflect back on a journey that has challenged my life — and those in it — in ways I don't suppose I'd ever imagined."

Sutter explained that because he shared his health journey on Instagram, he got plenty of support, but also opinions and advice, which came with positives and negatives.

"People have reached out with their opinions, advice, diagnoses, support and questions. It's been overwhelming — both good and bad," he said. "I've been made aware of conditions I'd never knew existed and of suffering in numbers that don't seem possible."

The dad of two with wife Trista Sutter said that he's mostly stopped sharing updates on his health, in part because he doesn't want people with similar issues to think that what he does will work for them.

"I wish I could help. I want to help. But I've discovered this journey to be uniquely personal. No two paths the same it seems?" he said. "So, while I'd like to provide advice, on bees or otherwise, I hesitate to say much. I hesitate because I've been told so much. I know what it's like to be desperate for answers, to chase every suggestion and to be let down by a treatment, an idea and the system."

But Sutter does have good news: He's improving.

"What I can offer is hope," he said. "I am in a much better place than I was two years ago. Simple changes to lifestyle, diet and outlook have been immensely beneficial and are strategies that can be implemented and impactful regardless of health. I believe I'm on the right path now."

RELATED VIDEO: Ryan Sutter Is 'Back in the Firehouse' After 2 'Major' Surgeries and His Lyme Disease Diagnosis

"I'm excited about these bees and their presence in my life," he continued. "I'm happy to be in the place I am and to have the support I do. As appropriate, I will continue to share my journey. And, as always, I will continue to encourage others to find theirs."

After sharing his Lyme disease diagnosis in May, Sutter said he's had ups and downs in his recovery — some days he struggles with the pain, while other days he can get outdoors and do the things he loves, like mountain biking with his son.

But he's been improving, and in January Sutter was able to get back to the firehouse for the first time in six months.

"What a job! It's great to be back…" he said at the time. "Still the #bestjobever."

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