Every single person should be outraged about the state of Lyme disease awareness. Every single one.
Why? Statistically, whether we realize it or not, every single one of us knows someone with a chronic illness of some kind. And those loved ones are likely being told that their body malfunctioned for no real discernable reason, that they’re just unlucky. Those patients – your loved ones – are being given treatment for their conditions that may alleviate their symptoms, may even slow down disease progression, but will never address the underlying problem or get them well. And as we all know, chronic illnesses tend to beget more chronic illnesses. Ever wonder why?? There’s more to the story than we’re being told.
I personally had to be diagnosed with TWELVE incurable chronic illnesses before I W-O-K-E U-P:
- Migraines (age 10)
- Arthritis (age 11)
- Carpal Tunnel (age 18)
- Multiple Sclerosis w/ Optic Neuritis (age 21)
- Plantar Fasciitis (age 30)
- Fibromyalgia (age 31)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (age 31)
- Sudden Sensioneural Hearing Loss (age 31)
- Labyrinthitis (age 31)
- Hashimoto’s Disease (age 31)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (age 31)
- TMJ Disorder (age 31)
So why be outraged? Because some of these very loved ones are being ROBBED of their chance to understand what’s really going on, and get the treatment they really need. I was robbed of my chance to get well twelve times. Lyme is so unrecognized by most doctors to the extend that the disease literally never even occurs to most of them. This bug is very likely behind a much larger percentage of chronic illnesses and mental afflictions than we realize, and it’s not getting diagnosed or treated. And, unless they fall COMPLETELY apart like I did and get loud and angry and start demanding answers beyond “you’re just unlucky”, poor patients afflicted with Lyme underneath these other conditions are almost never catching onto the true culprit, and are instead managing symptoms of secondary conditions and never getting truly better.
I know I’m on my soapbox a lot about this, and thanks for baring with me. But it’s for good a reason – we should all be very concerned this is not getting more attention. Attention from our doctors, our Center for Disease control, our government.
Even the most conservative estimates say 300,000 new patients contract Lyme in America every year. That’s more than breast cancer, HIV and West Nile COMBINED. And the experts specializing in Lyme? They suspect the true number to be quadruple that rate. Add in that it’s potentially spread with sexual contact and our blood banks and organ donation programs don’t currently screen it out of the donation pool, and this is a real problem.
Given these statistics, the prevalence of Lyme disease, the number of known associated conditions and the abysmal level of recognition among mainstream practitioners, the fact is: Lyme disease probably affects someone you love and they don’t even know it because their doctor hasn’t thought to check for it. Or they did, but they ran the wrong test (standard tests are about 40% sensitive). Last year alone, I saw at least 10 doctors and had one insensitive Lyme test before I finally got the right test. ((Ten. Doctors.)) And in the end? I had to educate myself and ask for the right bloodwork from my doctor.
The UK has a powerful new Lyme advocate, and it’s well needed. This is a great quick watch on the state of Lyme in general. And it’s appalling.
Join the conversation. Share this blog. Get mad, because you have every right to.
To learn more about Lyme disease, visit:
For proper testing, ask for the Western Blot sent to Igenex laboratory. And get a Lyme-Literate Doctor to interpret your results (referrals available at ILADS.org).