This powerful public service ad comes from the Netherlands. This English version was just released for World Lyme Day 2016. (View the Dutch version here.)It’s going viral.
The last bit may surprise you. Or…may not, if you are living with this illness.
May is Lyme Awareness Month. Please promote understanding of Lyme Disease: Please share.
And protect yourself from this hell. Read these top ten prevention tips from ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society).
This graph from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a clear picture of what’s ahead for summer: plenty of potential for tick bites transmitting Lyme (and other nasties).
You cannot be too careful; there’s no such thing. A friend told me the other day that his mom’s hairdresser found a tick in her hair. Thankfully it had not bitten her yet.
She has an indoor cat and doesn’t generally spend much time off sidewalks, so you can see that this health threat can be tough to avoid.
I’ve heard that 50% of ticks around here are infected. The odds are not good. We’ve got to be vigilant all year long, even in winter, but never more than in May thru August.
Because I’m not merely “tired” when Lyme gets me in it’s grip, I’m far beyond that. Tired is what happens to well people who overdo. It’s what happens to heroines in Victorian novels who faint on chaises.
Isn’t there a better pronouncement for what happens to people with chronic illness—sometimes even when we do nothing at all?
In my opinion, “chronic fatigue” is so overused it has no meaning. Continue reading
Ticks. Calvert County, Maryland.
by Kathy Meyer
Virginia Governor’s Task Force on Lyme Disease 2010-13 and
Co-leader, Parents of Children with Lyme Support Network, DC Metro Area
“…The physician cannot rely on a laboratory test or clinical finding at the time of the bite to definitely rule in or rule out Lyme Disease infection, so must use clinical judgment as to whether to use antibiotic prophylaxis. Testing the tick itself for the presence of the spirochete, even with PCR technology, is helpful but not 100% reliable.
An established infection by B. burgdorferi [the bacteria that causes Lyme] can have serious, long-standing, or permanent, and painful medical consequences, and be expensive to treat. Since the likelihood of harm arising from prophylactically applied anti-spirochetal antibiotics [taking antibiotics to kill potential infection] is low, and since treatment is inexpensive and painless, it follows that the risk benefit ratio favors tick bite prophylaxis.”
-Dr. Joseph Burrascano, the longest-treating physician for Lyme in the U.S.
As the weather warms, there is justifiable panic in the question, “I just found a TICK on me, so what do I DO?!” Continue reading
Staying on boardwalk trails at Great Falls National Park in Virginia.
I’ve been thinking about the day I went hiking in a gorgeous old chestnut forest in Southern Maryland that is protected by a local land trust. Volunteers keep the trails beautifully manicured, with small limbs trimmed back and mulch on the paths.
This was my first long walk in years; treatment had finally gotten me to a place where I figured I could handle it without crashing.
I felt I was relatively safe from ticks there, keeping out of underbrush, not brushing up agains branches. My boots and clothes were treated with bug-killing permethrin. I really looked forward to rambling about for an hour or so of fresh air, soaring trees, and bird song. Judging from the way he pranced along, my dog Mo was pretty excited, too.
When I got home I did all the necessary things: Stripped, threw everything in the dryer on hot for 20 minutes to kill any ticks, took a shower, washed and dried my hair, checked my body.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I found a tick sucking on my leg. Who knows where it came from. Perhaps from Mo; my vet tells me no tick-killing products for pets are 100% effective.
It’s a myth that it takes at least 48 hours to become infected—more like a matter of hours. So I knew enough to call my Lyme doctor, who immediately increased my antibiotics (I was recovering from a tick bite more than two years before and still on meds). But it was already too late. Continue reading
And when are these attacks going to stop? I know of a local doctor in court right now fighting to protect herself—and going bankrupt in the process.
We must all speak up against this unspeakable problem in so many countries!
See One Step Closer for Physicians in VA.
Made by Courtney, age 2.
I lost a relationship to Lyme. As I’ve learned since, Lyme has ruined many relationships and marriages.
The year we met was wonderful. He was smart, funny, sweet, and kind. Best of all, he said “yes” to everything, from new foods to foreign films to travel. He taught me about sailing; I shared my love of cycling. Over a couple of years we grew close.
Then came the beginning of the end of us. When he won tickets to Paris and we arrived full of plans to explore La Ville Lumière, suddenly I was so tired that I didn’t couldn’t keep up. My customary joi de vivre was flagging along with my body. We thought it was jet lag or flu. Continue reading
Here’s the news release from National Capital Lyme Association:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Monte L. Skall
Virginia Senate Passes Landmark Lyme Disease Bill
NatCapLyme Urges the House of Delegates to Follow Suit
(McLean, VA) – February 11, 2016 – The National Capital Lyme Disease Association (NatCapLyme) today announced that the Virginia Senate passed landmark legislation relating to a patient’s right to treatment under guidelines listed in the National Guidelines Clearinghouse (the “NGC”).
Lyme can be tremendously debilitating, leading to loss of livelihood and even normal daily functioning. Lyme patients are desperate for treatment options. Increasingly, however, Virginia doctors are refusing new patients who present with the symptoms of Lyme or other tick-borne diseases. Where it appears that a patient may require extended antibiotic treatment beyond the standard 28 days, many Virginia doctors believe that reporting and treating these cases can lead to sanctions from the Virginia Board of Medicine. Continue reading
Check out this email I just got:
My name is Daniel. I am 21 years old and I have chronic Lyme with multiple co-infections.
I am writing to you today asking for your support. As you may know this is election year for us here in the States. Many issues are discussed by the candidates but one issue is missing from their platforms. The controversy of chronic Lyme. The fact that hundreds of thousands are sick and go without healthcare coverage is sickening and needs to change. That is why I put this petition together. I am hoping that this gains enough signatures to bring awareness to this topic. I mean how awesome would it be for a candidate to finally stand with us and have Lyme be apart of their platform? This is a big opportunity. So, the time has come to make a decision. Are we in this thing alone or are we in it together?
The list of signatures is growing fast. See what one person can get started when they have an idea and put it in motion? Love it!
Bernie’s not your candidate? You know what I am going to say next: What about creating a petition to reach your choice for President?