CHRONIC LYME DISEASE: Choose Your Dr Wisely. An Article by Paula Jackson Jones.
Lyme Literate Doctor vs untrained PCPs
To the PCP (the untrained doctor), your symptoms will boggle their medical intelligence. Blood tests will be of no help to them and may even lead them in the wrong direction. And as the bacteria further spreads throughout your body and your symptoms become sporadic in nature, instead of admitting that they are baffled and treading outside the boundaries of their general practice knowledge, they will turn it around on you with disbelieving tones and body language. At your insistence, they will follow outdated guidelines and declare you “CURED” after just 21-days of antibiotics. They will miss the early window, taking your first visit as Stage 1 and all their efforts will fall in vain to the wayside. You may leave the office more confused than ever, frustrated, or possibly relieved ~ however, your journey is just beginning.
Now the Lyme Literate Doctor has all of the same basic medical school training ~ however, what makes them stand apart, is the ongoing continuing education that they submit themselves too, conferences that they attend on a regular basis, lyme networks and resources that they are connected to. They have experienced first hand that some patients just do not respond to the 21-day round of antibiotics. They understand the complex intricacies that surround this disease in all stages and offer alternative treatment options. They will do blood work but it is not necessary in order for them to diagnose you. They understand what all your symptoms mean, individually and collectively, they know by your response whether treatment is working or if you need to change protocols. They will believe you from day one and they will never mock you or talk to you in condescending tones. They will never ever call you crazy because they understand that once the bacteria cross the brain barrier, that you are prone to all kinds of neurological symptoms and cognitive failures.
Once they diagnose you as having Lyme, they may pursue blood work through a Lyme Laboratory to uncover if any co-infections exist. Mention the word co-infection to your PCP and watch for their reaction. Co-infections can complicate a lyme patients treatment with strange and unusual symptoms. When a Lyme Literate doctor is dealing with a Lyme patient, they know to expect this. Your untrained PCP will become even more baffled and change your diagnosis a dozen times over. They will send you to every specialist under the sun ~ who, if they are not Lyme Literate, will send a note back to your PCP stating that they found NOTHING wrong with you. After countless visits, thousands of dollars spent on medications that didn’t work, tests that revealed nothing and energy spent chasing your tail, your doctor will proclaim that you need to see a therapist, that you are depressed and possibly mentally ill.
Your Lyme Literate doctor will explain things every step of the way, what to expect from the illness and from the treatment that you are taking. When you call or see your Lyme Literate with a symptom concern, they won’t be surprised. They may suggest backing off on your dosage to calm the herxing effect that you are having. They will recommend things that foster healing on all levels. Because they understand this disease inside and out. A Lyme Literate doctor is not GOD, they won’t be able to give you a time line but they will be able to read your level of healing based on your symptoms and they will be supportive every step of this journey.
So if you or a loved one thinks that they may have Chronic Lyme or have been told that they have Chronic Lyme ~ your next decision is a crucial one. It will make all the difference in the world between how long you remain sick and how soon you get better.
I encourage you to reach out to your State Lyme Disease Websites and Support Groups and if you don’t have that information, you can find it athttp://whatislyme.com/websites-and-support-groups-by-state/