5 Things to Know When Someone You Love has Lyme

  1. Lyme is a roller coaster. Your friend or family member may make plans, then cancel at the
    Credit: Courtney Fox

    Credit: Courtney Fox

    last minute because they’re suddenly overcome by illness, fatigue, pain—or an array of other symptoms. They are not blowing you off; in fact, they are probably intensely disappointed. Let them know you’re happy to reschedule.

  2. Lyme is debilitating. Imagine how frustrating it would be to find yourself unable to walk to the mailbox in front of your house, fix meals and empty your dishwasher, or drive yourself places. You can make a huge difference by offering help with a task or two.
  3. Lyme symptoms can be invisible. If you find yourself thinking, “My friend looks terrific,” catch yourself. Here’s the key: Ask, “On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being terrific and 10 the absolute worst, how are you doing today?” The answer may surprise you.
  4. Lyme hurts the bank account as well as the body. The sad fact is that insurance often doesn’t fully cover treatment for this disease. And Lyme patients lose income if they are too sick to work. Be sensitive to that; your friend may be spending every penny on getting well, with none left over for a movie or meal out. Suggest free things, or make clear your plan to treat.

Lyme makes eating a challenge. Some patients suffer stomach trouble from tick-borne infections and/or medications used to treat them. Plus, certain foods actually increase the inflammation at the root of their pain. Nutrition is key to healing. Your friend or relative will be so grateful if you get them a gift certificate for carry out or offer to make a meal—and ask which restaurants/foods are the best choice.

For more insight, you might want to read some of these posts – or just browse around yourself using the categories search on the right. 

5 Gift Ideas for Someone with Lyme

5 Ways to Help Others “See” Lyme

Believing in Lyme When Looks Are Deceiving

and here’s an essay from Spirochick addressing an interesting disparity: Empathy: Cancer versus Lyme

For the latest news and research, visit www.facebook.com/LifeLoveLyme.

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7 thoughts on “5 Things to Know When Someone You Love has Lyme

  1. janicejustlivinglikethis January 6, 2014 at 8:10 pm Reply

    This is an awesome and concise, usable list for our families, friends, supporters and advocates!!

    • LifeLoveLyme January 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm Reply

      You’re sharing your experience, I’m sharing mine — in the hope that we do improve someone’s day as they fight Lyme. Thanks for taking time to comment!

  2. JKevinKline January 30, 2014 at 4:33 am Reply

    keep your head up high Carolyn you are a true source of inspiration friends and family mean everything…you find real meaning when going through a crisis like this …

  3. SickWithLyme November 21, 2015 at 10:44 am Reply

    Wow…. This is perfect. Too bad family and/or friends to NOT do this for me. Thank you for making 5 important suggestions.

    • LifeLoveLyme December 7, 2015 at 1:45 am Reply

      Well, isn’t asking worth a try? I learned that people who want to help don’t know how, so began asking and had some positive responses. How about printing this for them for starters?

  4. Dorothy Haught January 3, 2016 at 3:41 am Reply

    one of the hardest things about lyme is also the fact that some of us have so many on going symptoms and some don’t ?

    • LifeLoveLyme January 3, 2016 at 9:07 pm Reply

      Great point. That’s one of the most frustrating and challenging things about these diseases we get from ticks. A person could have one symptom or twenty. Symptoms come and go. Something like nerve tingling goes away, you get all excited, and then crushing headaches pop up for the first time ever. And no one seems to respond the same to any one treatment protocol, which is why Lyme experts keep adjusting an individual’s treatment as they see how that person responds. Thank you for this addition!

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