Common Lyme Disease Misconceptions
Let’s take a bite of out Lyme! Did you know that May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month? While May might be coming to an end, my desire to spread the word about the impact of Lyme is not over. Lyme Disease is a mysterious and complicated disease. Even the people who deal with Lyme have a hard time understanding its complexities. Today on the blog I am answering a couple questions to spread awareness and help others understand this disease a little bit better!
Why do people with Lyme Disease often look “fine?”
Lyme is what is called an “invisible illness.” Many sufferers of Lyme Disease appear “fine,” but are struggling with a variety of debilitating symptoms. Lyme is also cyclical. You have days in a row where you feel great. Then you have a day or a week when you feel awful. It is hard for others to understand how these symptoms change.
Who can cure Lyme? Why do you go to the doctor all the time when you’re not getting better?
The is no “cure” for Lyme. In order to be treated for Lyme, one needs to see a Lyme literate doctor. These doctors are hard to come by, especially if you are like me and live in Colorado! Sufferers of Lyme Disease often feel desperate to try everything and any doctor they can. Most of us have seen countless doctors at one point in time, and other points in time rely on the one doctor we can find who understands Lyme Disease. We keep going back and not getting better because unfortunately there is no choice but to keep trying.
How come you came out to dinner if you are sick with Lyme?
It depends on the day! If I am out to dinner, especially on a work night, I probably had to nap before. I usually only do this during the week if I took time the day before. If not, I pay for it the next day. I am fortunate where I can still function pretty “normally,” but experience phantom symptoms regularly. Unfortunately, there are people with such severe Lyme symptoms that they cannot get out of bed for weeks at a time.
What does Lyme Disease do to you?
Lyme can do a wide variety (of scary) things! For me personally, I experience:
-MONEY (Every dime I spend goes to paying off my medical bills. There is not a Lyme Disease literate doctor in my insurance network. Not having Lyme Disease treatments covered by insurance is incredibly common.
-Stress/not wanting to complain or talk about it all the time
How accurate are the CDC’s recommended tests to detect Lyme?
Studies show that standard laboratory tests recommended by the CDC to diagnose Lyme Disease miss approximately half of actual cases, leading to misdiagnosis and an infection that is more difficult to treat.
How common is Lyme?
The CDC estimates that there are 329,000 new cases of Lyme each year in the United States. Some experts believe the actual number of new cases could be as high as 1-2 million new cases per year in the US alone.
You’re from Colorado. How do you have Lyme?
While I was bitten by a tick in Virginia, Lyme has been reported in every state except Hawaii and has been found on every continent except Antarctica.