A Silent Killer?

8 May

My wife has been to the hospital twice in the last week. It gives a feeling of not being able to really determine what you should do. In case the illness is problematic, who needs to make sure the kids are taken care of and who needs to be with Kelly in her time of need. Fortunately, it appears that these were episodes of Herxheimer Reaction. Unfortunately, it now appears that she is actually having Herxheimer Reaction, which is never a pleasant thing.

The truth is that the Lyme Disease with which my wife has been diagnosed is a really scary disease. I read more and more literature on it and, frankly, it just scares me more. Fortunately, my wife’s immune system kept the worst parts of it from her, but there is definite evidence to suggest that she’s had it for around 30 years (Yes, since her childhood).

I am so thankful that God has put in my life friends like Wendi Yarborough and Marc Rapetti who have blazed a trail that we are allowed to learn from and follow. Their journeys were both similar and much scarier. They included a difficult diagnosis and then a tough time finding a Lyme-literate doctor. If you want to read about Wendi’s journey, you can follow it through her blog.

Kelly was fortunate that she was able to find out before the symptoms became life-changing. She also had large portions of her life where the symptoms were dormant. Nevetheless, many of the things that were nagging her for years that she attempted to (and actually did) tough out, were things that were made significantly worse and perpetuated by the Lyme. As I am normally a “tough it out and never see a doctor” kind of guy, Kelly is thankful for my relative understanding because of our new-found friends.

Now, why do I write about this at all? Largely because Lyme disease is the red-headed stepchild of medicine. Many doctors don’t understand it. Most don’t diagnose it correctly. Insurance doesn’t cover its treatment. And finding good material on it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, there is a movie you can watch and a cool association from which you can learn. But mis-information is abundant and seems to be going through the medical community like wildfire.

We have been very fortunate to find a Lyme-literate doctor, to have resources given to us, to have friends to lead and to guide us, but the reality is this is a scary disease. If unchecked, it will kill you. Fewer than 20% of those who have it are properly diagnosed. And the standards set for determining if you have it by the AMA are not inclusive of many who are affected.

Apparently (and forgive my layman’s terms) the disease begins to seep into your bones. In order to even begin to heal, you have to re-introduce some of the co-infections into your bloodstream (from the bones) and you experience all kinds of horrid symptoms all over again in the span of a few weeks. While there is no permanent cure, there is hope for living with Lyme, but it is a difficult disease and so many never learn why their life is difficult. So take note of the next time you hear about someone having this tick-borne infection and pray for them.

OK, off my soapbox on this blog and on to things like which NBA team down 3-1 in the series has the best chance to come back in my next blog!


One Response to “A Silent Killer?”

  1. Jenni May 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    I do not have Lyme disease as far as I know (then again, I could be part of the 80%, I suppose), but I can definitely appreciate the beauty of friends who go ahead of us and blaze the way for us to have deeper understanding and knowledge about things pertaining significantly to our lives. On another note, my favorite thing about this post is how you linked to hulu to help a poor soul watch the movie. 🙂

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