You may have Chronic Lyme disease, but it does not define you. A tick was hungry, wanted a meal, you were available and now the infection is just trying to create a place to live in your body. However that is not a viable option for anyone to allow it to do so. You may have been bite many times in your lifetime and not known it. Only a small percentage of people who are bite get the “bulls eye rash,” and very few patients ever remember being bit at all (myself included).
Be open to the diagnosis
The biggest risk factor is delay of treatment due to denial of its existence by mainstream medical opinion at this time. The motivation of this opinion is complicated and this statement is not an attack on other practitioners, but a confirmation that patients need to listen to their intution when they know something is wrong for themselves or children. There is a lot of trauma to recover from, beyond the disease itself, when someone starts to believe they are making it up or they are crazy. Most of the visits in my office are about providing emotional support and space for the patient to process emotions from prolonged stress of being ill without an answer. Often times patients do require counseling to emotionally recover from the stress of not having a clear diagnosis.
Don’t take it personally if no one believes you have chronic Lyme disease, there are very compelling arguments supporting this belief in the media
Don’t be afraid to talk about the fact you have chronic Lyme disease, there is no failure on your part for having it
You are not alone in this, just start looking around your neighborhood, schools, work, etc
If you are a Chronic Lyme disease patient ask for hugs
If you know of someone struggling with Chronic Lyme disease hug them often
If you are going through Lyme treatment please keep up with any activity you can that reminds you of who you are, not Lyme focused. Continual over thinking of being ill and anxiety about it can enhance the symptoms
Ask for the Western Blot for Lyme disease, insurance will cover even if there is not an ELISA screen done first (CDC requires ELISA first but its sensitivity is very poor, many many many false negatives)
Find someone who will treat your bite whether your test is positive or not for at least a month; try not to wait and see
Be prepared that symptoms get worse and this is normal – it is ok. It is referred to a herxheimer reaction, where there is an immune response to treatment that is an amplification of symptoms experienced prior to treatment. Stay tuned to a more indepth discussion about Herxheimer reactions in a future blog
Be informative with neighbors and friends that they be tested and treated, this is how things will change
This will change with soccer field conversation or at grocery stores
Love the doctors that treat this and bring them dark chocolate often (70% or higher)
And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…
DO NOT spend hours on the internet researching Lyme disease, watching videos of those who have it, or try to find the next best thing to treat it if this creates fear, Go read a book, take a nap, get outside (yes I said it, this is for all of you who are afraid to get bite you have rejected mother nature when you used to be a huge outdoor person), eat a piece of dark chocolate, or just find something to do that feels enjoyable,
Hope this helps. Look forward to more blogs from us to come with varying topics on natural health as well as Chronic Lyme disease Pep Talks.