Chronic Lyme disease is a hot topic in the news lately.
Several celebrities, including Avril Lavigne, Ashley Olsen and Yolanda Foster recently announced they have Lyme.
According to the CDC, over 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme each year. And countless others have it, but haven’t been diagnosed yet.
Just The Facts, M’am
If you get Lyme and are treated promptly with an appropriate dosage of doxycycline, your odds of making a recovery may be good.
However, we’re talking about people, including myself, who are not treated promptly and suffer debilitating, long-term effects of the disease.
This was despite my insistence that I wanted to be tested for Lyme because I had become severely ill after getting bit by 2 tiny ticks one spring.
I eventually tested positive for Lyme and tularemia on different tests, including antibody and the Western Blot. I was “CDC positive”.
You can read more about the need for better testing here.
The Hippocratic Oath
Before my ordeal I didn’t realize things like this really happened to patients. Isn’t part of the oath physician’s take, the Hippocratic Oath, to “first do no harm”?
So how could so many people be suffering from ongoing Lyme symptoms despite visiting numerous doctors?
According to eyeonannapolis.net:
In 2014, there were 26,000 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in the US, with an additional 6,000 cases that are probable but unconfirmed. The CDC estimates that over 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme Disease in the US every year. That’s 1.5 times the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer, six times that number of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and more than nine times the number of people facing Zika virus.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I’m learning much through this journey.
I believe God brings good out of bad situations because I’ve seen it.
One of the most helpful things I’ve learned is how to advocate for my health, and the health of others.
People who are suffering with a debilitating illness need kindness and compassion. If you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about.
However, hundreds of thousands of Americans are diagnosed with Lyme each year. The painful truth is that way too many of these people are diagnosed months or years later, giving the Lyme bacteria, borreliosis burgdorferi, time to wreak havoc on a body.
This is often called “chronic Lyme”.
The CDC refers to lingering Lyme symptoms as “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome”, or PTLDS.
But, it really doesn’t matter (to me) what you call it. I’m not saying it’s not important, but just that we need to focus more on the people who are suffering.
The fact is that debilitating pain and the myriad of other Lyme symptoms are all too real.
If a patient is suffering physically they deserve proper medical care that’s covered by insurance.
“Is Chronic Lyme Disease Real Or Not?”
That is the million dollar question. And while the debate rages on I want to encourage us to keep our focus on the hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering.
Because at the end of the day, what or who really matters more than people?
Additional Info About Lyme
Please feel free to check out my story:
If you didn’t read part 1 in this series, you may want to read it here:
And if you’d like to learn more about Lyme you may want to check out:
- Lyme Disease Awareness
- Warning: Lyme Disease Is Spreading Faster Than AIDS
- The Signs, Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease
- Lyme Disease Awareness