They finally got some answers in May 2021, when the firefighter revealed that he had been diagnosed with Lyme disease as well as Epstein-Barr virus.
“My immune system was weakened through exposures to toxins and especially to mold,” the former reality star said during an episode of Trista’s “Better Etc.” podcast. “I tested positive for Lyme disease. … It seems like something that I will always have. Now I know, and I can build back my immune system to fight it off.”
The couple, who met on the inaugural season of The Bachelorette in 2003 and wed in December of that year, first revealed Ryan’s health troubles in November 2020. “This guy … my rock, my best friend, my hero, my love … is struggling,” Trista wrote via Instagram. “Not every day, and not to the point that he can’t work or cook or exercise or be with family, but enough.”
In December 2020, Ryan admitted that he had been dealing with various ailments since the previous February, when he finished an 18-week firefighter academy with the Denver Fire Department.
“Towards the end of that process I felt more and more worn out and began feeling occasional ‘flu like’ symptoms,” he wrote via Instagram, adding that he didn’t test positive for COVID-19 at that time. “It’s been five months now and, if anything, I feel worse. Though I am functional and continue to work my regular fire schedule, I am experiencing a battery of symptoms which include: fatigue — sometimes almost paralyzing, deep body and muscle aches, fevers, night sweats, full body itching with no rash, headaches, neck and throat swelling, congestion, light headedness, nausea, and just general all around not feeling good.”
Several blood tests and a CT scan offered no conclusions, the Colorado native continued. “Most days I feel about 70 percent,” he wrote. “Somedays I feel a bit better and somedays I can barely get out of bed.”
He noted also that Trista and the couple’s children, Maxwell Alston and Blakesley Grace, hadn’t been sick, leading him to believe that whatever he had wasn’t contagious.
He ended his post by assuring followers that he would be “fine” and encouraging them to support one another throughout their own health struggles.
“If you must worry, worry about each other,” he said. “Support each other. Be there for each other. The outpouring of support I have received has been humbling and therapeutic. I could not be more grateful.”
Keep scrolling to read everything the couple have said about Ryan’s health battle: