Understanding Someone with Lyme Disease

“Your paranoia of lyme disease is ridiculous!”

The month of May is winding down.  It has been and is Lyme Disease awareness month.  Having two daughters struck with Lyme disease along with co-infections this is a topic I am well-acquainted with.  There has been a lot of mistreatment and mis-categorization of Lyme disease/chronic Lyme disease.  There are great numbers of sufferers who have been mistreated and mis-categorized as well.  If you have seen articles or postings about Lyme disease or related co-infections over the past few weeks and if you see more in the next few days, please do not be annoyed.  Please understand that a few articles or social media postings or even in depth scientific medical journal articles will only have scratched the surface.  Be understanding.  Understand that you cannot fully understand.  Understand that the person with Lyme disease does not fully understand it but that they probably have pain and difficulties that they cannot even express.  Understand that the medical experts do not understand it.  And there is some disagreement.  But you do not have to take sides or understand it all to be understanding with your friend or family member, client, student or acquaintance who has Lyme disease and to support them in a way that is helpful.  They do not need you to tell them to exercise more, sleep more, eat better, pray more or change doctors.  They do not need you to relate to their arthritis, brain fog, forgetfulness, migraine headache, nausea or other pain with what you feel is comparable if you do not have Lyme, Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonella or other tick-borne illness or co-infection that truly is comparable because, well, it is not. Common terms like headache, tiredness or fatigue are used for much more intense pain than those terms generally refer to.  Not to brush them off, but the symptoms of the Lyme sufferer are often brushed aside and are truly debilitating.  There are many awareness and fund-raising events across the country this month and I am glad to see them.  But I also realize that at any of these events, including those in my home state of Alabama, there are those who are too ill to attend or participate.  Hopefully the greater awareness will bring more understanding, and understanding will bring compassion.  Be understanding.  Be aware.  Be compassionate and pray for those you know with Lyme.  It makes a difference.

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