Last week it became clear how Dutch Child Protection Services falsely accuses parents of abusing their children. In a prior broadcast by this same high quality journalistic program, it was shown how at least 50 parents of children with Lyme Disease were also falsely accused of ‘Munchausen by Proxy’. This article discusses the connection between these accusations of child abuse and disputed diseases such as Lyme.
In recent years, there has been an increasing attention in the media for Lyme disease, which makes more people aware of the fact that there is something very strange and scary going on. Would it be possible however that this disease also has something beautiful to offer, besides all the misery it causes?
The fact that life can be hell is no news to the millions of people worldwide, who are suffering from Lyme Disease, its co-infections or its many, many misdiagnoses such as Alzheimer's disease , Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis or arthritis. These people desperately want to get recognition for the disease. Why do they and what would it take to achieve that?
Many people don’t understand why I made Lyme my business, as I am not offering a medical solution for it. Why would I spend years of my life educating the public about it and working to connect professionals from different backgrounds to create impact? What makes Lyme so different from any other health issue? Why does the social-emotional side of Lyme seem to hurt even deeper or his a larger impact than the physical side of it?
Recently Dutch national television highlighted how at least fifty parents of children with Lyme were accused of child abuse by the Child Protection Services during the last two years.
Exactly a year ago, my friend Carla got a notification to report on her progress on job applications. She is in an electrical wheelchair and had one arm amputated. Regardless, she had to visit the office of the UWV, the Dutch institution which deals with disability status and payments. “Apply for a job!? As what? As a sign post for the Dutch Rail?”, I asked, when she told me somewhat flabbergasted. At least that made her smile again.
In the prior post about the events on Friday the thirteenth, when an ill girl with Lyme was forcibly taken away from her parents, I promised to try and explain what seems to happen in situations like this. Based on what grounds do Child Protection Services interfere with a family life, which was under strain already?
Last Friday, on Friday the thirteenth, six policemen and three government officials took an ill girl away from her parents. Her parent lost custody over their fifteen year old daughter, who suffers from Lyme Disease.
A Dutch court just ruled that a local goverment could not stop paying the daughter of an elderly woman, for cleaning her house. Two hours a week.
Suppose. You don’t feel well. You ignore it first, pretend to be able to go on with your busy life. It will go away, you think. But it doesn’t. There is even a swelling visible. So you visit your doctor, who sends you to the hospital. The specialists do their tests and you get the diagnose: cancer.
How to interpret Lyme statistics? Numbers tend to give a sense of certainty. A month ago the national Dutch TV program “Care.now” opened with this sentence: “Lyme Disease is an epidemic in the Netherlands, because 25,000 people suffer from it.” Many patients were happy with this public recognition. As a researcher and author I wondered: how useful are statistics in Lyme Lands?