Friday, November 5, 2010

What About Lyme Disease?

I am one of the many people who have been tossed around in a sea of doctors, because I have Lyme Disease. As a child, I had my fair share of tick bites, but I never developed a classic erythema migrans, the bullseye rash associated with Lyme Disease.

However, there were signs at an early age that something was terribly wrong. Over the years, I developed crippling knee pain for no apparent reason. I developed acid reflux and had to sleep with a wedge under my bed. I had debilitating learning problems and struggled to keep my head above water in school. I developed asthma. Depression, anxiety and panic attacks became the new norm. I lost my short term memory. I developed restless leg syndrome. My thyroid was out of whack. My body constantly ached all over. More and more symptoms kept popping up. As a teenager at the doctor's office, I remember noticing that my chart was thicker than the 70+ year old man whose name was called at the same time as mine.

I live in a state that is not considered a risk for Lyme Disease. Yet, the closest neighboring state, a mere 20 minutes away from where I grew up, now has the highest number of cases of Lyme Disease. The fact that most doctors believe that it doesn't exist in my state (or yours, for that matter) is the reason I am now too sick to leave my house or take care of my children. Many more people will suffer because "Lyme Disease doesn't exist here."

Everyone knows about cancer. People know the facts about AIDS. But what about Lyme Disease? When caught early enough, Lyme Disease can most often be cured. But people like me who've been sick for years often end up with permanent damage. Lyme Disease is spreading at a staggering rate. Will you or your loved ones be next? Fall is a peak time for tick bites. Please take a few minutes to learn the facts about Lyme Disease:

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