May is Lyme Awareness Month--and the perfect time to launch this blog: Lyme-Over the Edge.
This blog is a place where Lyme fighters will tell their stories, where they can encourage each other and share treatments that have worked. You will be amazed by these stories--the extreme challenges facing Lyme sufferers, and their courage in coping. It's also a place to educate those who don't know about Lyme. Who knows--it could well be that someone you know is very sick with Lyme but remains undiagnosed. When I first contracted Lyme it was only the knowledge of two friends who recognized my symptions that led me to be tested for the disease. Lyme wasn't even on my radar screen. If it weren't for these friends leading me to a lyme-literate doctor and a lab that properly tests for Lyme, I wouldn't have received my diagnosis. Or my treatment.
Note that I said "a lab that properly tests for Lyme." The typical CDC-backed tests too often result in false negatives. What a horrible thing to happen. The real cause of the patient's illness is put aside--many times for years--while he or she gets sicker and sicker.
Lyme is far more prevalent than the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) numbers would have us believe. Many, many cases go unreported. And many times, as mentioned above, Lyme sufferers can't even get a diagnosis, much less treatment. But the fact remains: Lyme Disease is the #1 vector-borne illness in the U.S. And believe me: you don't want to get this debilitating sickness.
Lyme is surrounded by such controversy that patients have to learn all they can about the disease and take control of their own treatment. They certainly can't rely on the doctor down the street to recognize the disease. A few years ago I was talking with a nursing student in Washington State. She told me about her class on diseases. When they came to Lyme, the instructor said, "Oh, don't worry about learning that one. It's rare, and besides, we don't have it in this state." Wrong, and wrong. How disheartening to hear this is the way the new breed of medical practitioners is being taught.
If you have Lyme, I encourage you to write your story to be posted here. All whose stories appear on this blog will receive a free copy of my novel about Lyme, Over the Edge, when it releases next year (either print or download form). E-mail your story to me: brandilyn (at) brandilyncollins (dot) com. Include your street address in case a print version of the novel is mailed to you.
The next post (tomorrow) will begin the stories of Lyme fighters. First up: A Decade of Symptoms--Suze Overstreet's story.
Before you leave here, please click on the right to follow this blog as a sign of your support for Lyme awareness. And if you have a Lyme link you'd like me to include, please e-mail me.