Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Life and Lyme

Over the last two years I have found my health steadily deteriorating. I believed strongly that I had Lyme disease and asked my doctors repeatedly for the blood test. I was denied repeatedly and told that it was just depression, my thyroid issues (I haven't had one for 15 years), or that I was just over reacting. 

1. I managed cancer and divorce without ever being on depression medication, why then, in the past 2 years should I need it?

2. I have been without a thyroid for 15 years, I've figured out my issues with it and learned to manage them, this is something completely different. 

3. I'm over reacting? I'm a 30-something year old woman who feels like she's arthritic in every joint and moves like an 80-something? I've gone from hiking, snowshoeing, and being generally active to taking 5 minutes to walk the 50 feet from my bedroom to the bathroom every morning. Sure, I'm just over reacting. 

A recent documentary produced by the French (France) public television states that in Germany where Lyme disease is actively being tested for, over 80% of the population is positive for the disease. In countries like France and the US it is 30% or less. Does that mean there's less cases of Lyme in these countries? Doubtful. 

In the US, people are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, neurological disorders, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and early onset dementia before they are ever tested for Lyme disease. The kicker is, not everyone who has Lyme tests positive and not everyone who tests positive is symptomatic. 

I've been telling people it's better to be safe than sorry! By following some simple steps you can keep yourself pretty safe: 

1. ALWAY wear closed shoes (sneakers, hiking boots, etc), socks, and pants when in the woods or in areas of long grass. (Long grass: any grass that is taller than your ankle.)

2. Tuck your pants into your socks. Ticks, unlike fleas, do not jump but they can crawl! Tucking your pants into your socks makes it that much harder.

3. Spray your legs & feet with a tick repelling bug spray. Not all bug sprays repel ticks so check carefully. Spray your clothing and shoes at regular intervals during your day.

4. Do a check at the end of the day! Most ticks will remain attached for 2-7 days. Look for small red dots with black centers. They can be taken out with tweezers or tick key (available at most drug stores). Don't forget to check your furry family members too!

5. Let your doctor know you've been bitten by a tick. She/he may wish to take preventative measures.


For now, I live one day at a time. I try to stay as active as possible. I've done a run of antibiotics but I don't feel they've really helped. I'm now working with a natural remedy, a Lyme Defense Tea created by an herbalist in southern New Hampshire (mistymeadows.org). I'm drinking 34 ounces daily, well, trying to anyway. 

This is also why I haven't been blogging much. My main symptoms are fatigue, joint pain, and mood swings. (JOY!) I often don't feel like doing much of anything except sleeping. 

Oh, and that video LYME DISEASE A SILENT EPIDEMIC (password: LD)

1 comment:

  1. I am not addressing this comment to you, Suzanne, but to your general readership. Lyme is known as the "Greater Mimicker." In 2011, when I was first diagnosed with the disease, I was also tested for multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue, anything in the autoimmune category. My doctors and I came to the same conclusion after my test came back positive. I still have issues with joint pain and fatigue. Just keep in mind, symptoms manifest differently in each person.

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