Mar 16, 2015

You Say LymeS, I Say Lyme

One of the biggest pet peeve's of many Lyme sufferers is when someone refers to Lyme disease as LymeS.

For the Lyme sufferer it makes them feel that the person they're talking to doesn't know anything about what they've been suffering with or doesn't care.  I don't think this is true but if you do know someone with Lyme Disease you only need a few minutes to learn just enough about it in order to help you be more compassionate.

Lyme Disease was actually named after Lyme, Connecticut.  This is where a cluster of people lived who began presenting with arthritis and inflammatory symptoms.  In 1975 Ms. Polly Murray noticed that the people in her community were exhibiting the same symptoms as her sons and herself and believed that there was a connection.   You can read her story in her book "The Widening Circle",  it is really quite fascinating.

Upon further investigation, it was found that this community had a newly discovered spirochete in their blood.  This spirochete was called Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) named after the man who identified it.  They began calling it Lyme, obviously because this is where it was first found.

Borrelia is not a new infection, however.  There are documents referring to it as far back as the early 1800s.  It was called Sheep Disease in some areas of Europe because sheep farmers were mostly affected by this debilitating joint disease when they were bitten by sheep ticks.

Lyme is spread not only by deer ticks, but also by those of white-footed mice, birds, and other mammals, Lyme disease is also believed to be spread via insect vectors such as the mosquito.


Lyme Disease affects every system and organ of the body and causes symptoms of every type and severity.

I'm not sure why Lymie's get so upset over what Lyme is called.  There are far more important things for us to put our energies into like getting legislation changed so that doctors will be better educated to recognize early infections, finding better treatment for early and late stage Lyme and for insurance companies to accept Late Stage Lyme as a real disease in order to cover the exorbitant costs it requires to regain ones health.

Many of us with late stage Lyme have lives that are devastated by this disease in one way or another and many are financially devastated because they are not able to work, having lost their jobs and their homes.

So, now you know what to call Lyme, you know what it is and you know what the greatest needs are in order to help the Lyme community. 

This month you can get the word out by taking the Lyme Disease Challenge.
Here's what you do:

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