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Down with Lyme

Suffering from Lyme Disease is like being a prisoner in solitary confinement.
It is a dark, lonely place where you are mercilessly tortured every second, minute and hour of the day. Every day.
You want to cry out for help, only there is no-one to listen to your cries.
You want to break down the walls and run away. Only there is no escape.
You want this punishment to end, only there is no end in sight.
You seek peace, yet you are continuously haunted by your insane thoughts.
You cry and you cry alone until your tears are dried and no more.
You suffer endlessly but still there is no one who understands your pain.
You want to see the light, but all you see is darkness.
Yet, you survive.
You decide to fight against this inhumane brutality.
You decide to gather your inner strength and not bow down.
Against all odds, you stand tall and hope for a better tomorrow.

- Shalina

There are many times during my illness with Lyme Disease that I find myself giving up hope and faith that I will ever get better and live a normal life once again. But then, a little voice in my head says, hang on a bit more and perhaps things will change and you will finally turn that long awaited corner.

I am still waiting for that ‘corner.’ I am still waiting for the day that I will be able to get out of bed and not be in pain. I am still waiting for the day when I will be able to freely move my body and not be in pain. I am still waiting for the day when I will be able to walk a mile and not be in pain. Pain has become that loyal friend who will just not leave me alone. Pain is always with me, no matter where I am, what I do, it follows me everywhere like a faithful dog following his master. Pain has become a part of my life.

But still, I carry on with the hope that things will change one day, and that I will finally get to see the rays of sunshine at the end of this dark tunnel of where I am right now. I must not give up, I must fight with all my might and win this long and tough battle. After all, I am a ‘Lyme Warrior.’

There is a common belief throughout the world that Lyme Disease or Lyme Borreliosis, an infectious tick borne illness caused by the bacteria ‘Borrelia Burgdorferi,’ is a relatively easy condition to treat with a few weeks of antibiotics. This however, is not the case and is far from being true. If Lyme Disease is caught and diagnosed in its very early stages, the infection may have a chance of being ‘successfully’ treated by the appropriate antibiotic therapy. Once the early ‘window of opportunity’ to treat this illness is lost however, Lyme Disease quickly becomes Chronic and causes havoc in the host’s body. The Spirochetal bacteria from the Borrelia species and any other Co-infections that have been transmitted upon a tick bite rapidly invade each and every organ of the host’s body. The brain, central nervous system, heart, muscles, joints, digestion, reproductive system and skin are all affected by Chronic Lyme Disease. Once the infection is firmly embedded in the host’s body the treatment is neither simple nor straightforward. Because of their ability to pass through the blood brain barrier, hide in biofilms and penetrate deep into the cells and tissues, it becomes increasingly difficult to kill off these powerful pathogens. Treatment with antibiotic or any other natural type of therapy can last anywhere from a couple of months to several years. Left untreated the symptoms continue to become worse and unfortunately many doctors, including the NHS fail to properly diagnose and recognise Chronic Lyme Disease.

Due to poor and inaccurate testing methods, Lyme Disease is often overlooked and misdiagnosed under a blanket of conditions such as, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, ALS, Autism, Muscle Disease and so on. Patients suffering from Chronic Lyme Disease often spend years to get a true and proper diagnosis and to receive the appropriate treatment. In most cases, a patient’s blood is nearly always sent overseas either to the USA or Germany to confirm a diagnosis of Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, it is then left to the patient to decide upon their choice of treatment, as the NHS know very little about the complexities of Chronic Lyme Disease and its Co-infections and how to effectively treat it.

Lyme Disease and especially Chronic Lyme Disease is the number one illness today to be affecting people from all over the world. Due to inaccurate testing methods, lack of knowledge and awareness, little to no recognition from doctors, Lyme Disease is being allowed to run rampant and become an ‘unknown’ epidemic. It is one of the most serious illnesses of our time, but receives the least grant of funds that would facilitate better research into its diagnosis and treatment. Lyme Disease is being ignored. This is a great injustice to the millions of people who are suffering in silence and hoping that one day their illness will be taken seriously and not be made a mockery. Lyme sufferers need better testing methods, more and better ways of approaching treatment, more qualified doctors to treat this disease and above all the acknowledgment that Chronic Lyme Disease exists and affects its sufferers in the most horrendous ways possible.

Chronic Lyme Disease is real. The rejection from medical authorities to acknowledge and understand the reality of Chronic Lyme Disease has unfortunately made this illness invisible and controversial in nature. The term ‘Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome’ (PTLDS) is inaccurate, as the infection and symptoms can still persist after the standard 28 days of antibiotic therapy. The tick-borne bacterial, parasitical and viral infections that are termed under ‘Lyme Disease’ are incredibly difficult to eradicate and indeed once the disease becomes Chronic, there is no cure as of yet. A person suffering from late stage Lyme Disease can only hope to reach a state of ‘remission,’ as relapses are quite common if the immune system is still impaired. Medical authorities need to wake up and understand the true and deadly nature of Lyme Disease and start to offer proper treatment that Lyme patients so desperately require and deserve.

Chronic Lyme Disease = Active Infection = More Treatment.