11/06/2014 00:00

Bring It On!

    Let me fill you in on this complex disease called Lyme. It truly is as scary as it sounds.

    Lyme Disease is an infection caused by a spirochete that humans can get from the bite of an infected tick. It has long been called "The Great Imitator" because its symptoms mimic hundreds of other diseases. It can affect any organ of the body including the brain, nervous system, muscles and joints, as well as the heart. It is the fastest growing infectious disease in North America today and also the most contravercial topic discussed in the medical community today. Few medical doctors receive thorough training in this field and many fail to diagnose their patients properly. Each year, thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and are often told their symptoms are all in their head. These patients are left untreated for years while they continue to develop more debilitating symptoms further complicating their health. Once a late-stage has been reached, recovery is extremely difficult and often irreversible, costing the patient substantial sums of money and a lifetime of unimaginable grief.

    Generally, our communities are warned in the news when "tick season" is in effect. We're given guidelines on how to avoid a tick bite by staying clear of wooden areas, and carefully observing our pets and kids for attached ticks. Aditionally, we are made aware of certain symptoms to look out for. A characteristic rash is a common early symptom of Lyme disease. Not all people who are infected will experience these early signs and symptoms associated with this disease. They usually include:

  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bulls-eye rash

   

     Once these early symptoms are present, the standard medical protocol is a thirty-day antibiotic therapy after which the illness is considered cured.. BUT, what happens when the victim was never aware of a tick bite and did not develop these obvious symptoms which could have been treated in a short time? I never felt a bite; I never saw a rash; nor did I have the early signs and symptoms. Instead, the undetected infection (most likely a tiny nymph tick) snuck it and invaded my body to begin its silent destruction while getting ready to launch an attack before long.

    I have spent countless hours reminiscing over a mysterious bite but could not pinpoint a time when it happened. In recent years, my family enjoyed the great outdoors and camping became our favorite activity. Here in the Okanagan, ticks have become a growing concern; I met plenty of people who have been victimized by a tick bite during their camp outing. Perhaps, I was one of them; unfortunately I never witnessed a bite. Had I been so lucky, my suffering and recovery would not have been so extensive. Those who detect a bite and begin immediate treatment usually recover in a short period of time. Left untreated though, the bacteria lie dormant and appear months or even years later presenting the person with terrorizing symptoms.

    In theory, a well maintained immune system will fight off invaders and prevent the onset of an illness. But, an individual who sustains constant abuse in the form stress, a diet void of nutrients, and physical exhersion will weaken this defense mechanism and allow foreign pathogens to enter systemically. Such was the case with me. I was unaware that my actions were causing my defenses to malfunction and no longer be able to guard me against this opportunistic infection. Thus, I was creating a recipe for disaster - it was like waking a sleeping bear during hybernation!

    I am grateful that my diagnosis had been reached within a short amount of time. Yet I am greatly saddened that people continue to suffer needlessly while ignorant doctors refuse to take the time to learn about this growing epidemic and acknowledge its existence. Their primary agenda is to treat the symptoms with pharmaceuticals yielding less than optimal result, while preventing full recovery. Lyme disease is very treatable! Because of that, I strongly feel it's my duty to share my health journey with those who have come across this mysterious illness.  I am here to tell you that health and wellness can be yours again when this disease is addressed on ALL levels.

So, bring it on..... I say!

 

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