Last Updated on May 4, 2021 by Lori Geurin
May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. If you or someone you love has Lyme then you know how important it is to do everything possible to prevent this debilitating disease. As more and more people are exposed to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases one would hope we’d have access to accurate tests, prompt diagnosis, and highly effective treatments.
Unfortunately, for many, if not most people who have the disease, this is not the case. Here’s the ugly truth:
- The Lyme tests are very inaccurate. (If you suspect Lyme, I recommend purchasing the IGeneX Western Blot. It is more comprehensive and sensitive to other strains of Lyme bacteria compared to the Western Blot you get at your primary care physician’s office.)
- Many people are not diagnosed until months, and even years later, causing wide-spread multi-systemic and chronic health problems.
- Doxycycline, the drug most doctors prescribe for Lyme is often helpful if prescribed as soon as the person falls ill. However, if you’ve had Lyme for months or years (like many of us have) two weeks of taking Doxy is not adequate treatment.
- Many Lyme treatments are not covered by insurance, leaving many people struggling to make ends meet.
Lyme Disease Awareness: CDC Reports Dramatic Increase
Just yesterday, the New York Times reported:
“The number of people getting diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years.”
This is based on recent reports by the CDC. You can read the article here: Tick and Mosquito Infections Spreading Rapidly, C.D.C. Finds
And NBCNews.com came out with a similar story yesterday in their Zika, Lyme Drive Big Increase In Bug-Borne Disease In U.S. article.
Nine vector-borne diseases (VBDs) have been discovered since 2004 and the numbers keep climbing. One of the nine includes Heartland virus, which you’ve like heard about in the news.
Experts have suggested possible causes for the steady growth of these types of illnesses, including global warming and increased international travel by plane. However, no one seems to know for sure.
The bottom line is that tick-borne disease research is drastically underfunded. Plus, hundreds of thousands of Americans are learning first-hand the destruction Lyme can cause when it’s not diagnosed and treated promptly.
Patient Advocacy For Lyme Is Crucial
If you’ve read the blog a while you probably know that it has been 6 years since I became chronically ill with Lyme. I saw multiple doctors and specialists trying to get answers. It took them nearly 2 years to figure out that I had Lyme and tularemia (rabbit fever), another tick-borne disease.
This was despite the fact that I kept insisting that my illness was related to the ticks I found burrowed into my skin leading up to the illness onset.
That entire time I was not treated for Lyme. And, unfortunately, I soon learned that the longer the Lyme bacteria goes untreated in the body, the more damage it can do. I’m still dealing with many chronic symptoms as a result of the untreated Lyme, as are so many others.
I don’t share this with you to scare you. Most of all, I want to help you by sharing what I’ve learned so that you don’t have to go through this too.
Always remember that you know your body better than anyone else, even the doctors.
Although it did not come naturally for me in the beginning, I had to learn how to be my own patient advocate; My life depended on it. When you’re put in that place you sink or swim and I choose life.
Want to learn more?
I created a Lyme resource to help answer your questions. The guide provides you with:
- more details about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases
- valuable information on diagnosis and testing
- where to find financial help for Lyme patients
- prevention tips
- instructions for how to properly remove a tick
- and more…
all based on research. Simply click below to check it out.
Despite having chronic Lyme day I can (finally) say that much good has come from my experience with this horrible disease. God has an amazing way of bringing beauty from ashes. As a result of my health struggles, I’m incredibly aware of who and what is important to me in life. Our family is closer than ever and I’m constantly reminded that life is precious.
has been is my faithful Rock. On the days I wasn’t sure how I could keep going, He was always there beside me, helping me put one foot in front of the other, offering me grace, and teaching me how to be authentic. I am a work in progress.
And I want to thrive and not just survive. Can you relate, my friend? #GratitudeAttitude
I’ll be sharing more on Lyme disease awareness this month, but here are some helpful articles to get you started.
- The Signs, Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease
- Top 10 Ways To Prevent Lyme Disease (And Other Tick-Borne Diseases)
- Experts Caution Increased Lyme Disease Risk : Reports Of Possible Tickmageddon On The Rise
- 16 Vital Facts About Lyme Disease: A National Epidemic
Do you or someone you know have Lyme disease? Do you have suggestions for being an effective advocate for your health?
Please share your thoughts, experiences, and tips below. This is a community of support, encouragement, and education. We can all learn from each other.
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