Making strides. Ryan Sutter reflected on the “overwhelming” attention he’s received since opening up about his health struggles — and shared how he’s staying positive amid his Lyme disease battle.
The former Bachelorette star, 47, looked back on his journey in a lengthy Instagram caption on Monday, April 11, alongside a photo of bees. “It’s been about two years since I started feeling sick,” he began. “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 continued, “People have reached out with their opinions, advice, diagnoses, support and questions. It’s been overwhelming- both good and bad. I’ve been made aware of conditions I’d never knew existed and of suffering in numbers that don’t seem possible. I wish I could help. I want to help. But I’ve discovered this journey to be uniquely personal. No two paths [are] the same it seems? So, while I’d like to provide advice, on bees or otherwise, I hesitate to say much.”
The firefighter, who publicly revealed his Lyme disease diagnosis in May 2021, noted that he doesn’t want to assume his experience is a universal one. “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. What I can offer is hope,” he added. “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 am on the right path now.”
Despite his ups and downs over the past two years, the former ABC personality told his followers that he feels “excited” and “happy” with how he’s improved. “As appropriate, I will continue to share my journey,” he concluded. “And, as always, I will continue to encourage others to find theirs …”
The Colorado native’s health first took a turn in February 2020 after an 18-week fire academy with the Denver Fire Department. Following months of questions and tests, he announced on wife Trista Sutter‘s “Better, Etc.” podcast that he has Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr virus and mold toxicity.
“It seems like something that I will always have,” he explained in May 2021. “Now I know, and I can build back my immune system to fight it off.”
Trista, 49, noted at the time that her husband’s journey had been “hard” on their family. The reality stars wed in 2003 and share children Maxwell, 14, and Blakesley, 13.
“It’s a really difficult thing to see the person you love most in the world struggling,” Trista explained. “He’s a big, strong guy and to see him get emotional and feel hopeless — all I could really do is advocate for him, so that’s what I did.”
Since receiving his diagnosis, Ryan has also undergone knee surgery. He graduated from firefighter training in June 2021, thanking his loved ones for their constant support as he celebrated the milestone.
“It may not have gone as I’d thought, as I’d hoped or as I’d expected,” he wrote via Instagram at the time. “It was not an easy year or perfect process. It was hard — intentionally so. But it’s in the books now and, with the undying support of my family, I made it — we made it!”