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?
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.
If you want to begin to understand the complexity of Lyme Disease, you need to know how the Borrelia works. Not only does Lyme show up as more than 300 different diseases, but the Borrelia also changes shape.
"How come you are always surrounded by hot chicks!?", a friend asked me. "Welcome to Lyme Lands”, I replied with a wink.
Recognizing Lyme is very hard. The Borrelia, which is causing Lyme, is called ‘the great imitator’. A spirochete is a type of drill-shaped parasite that needs a host body to survive. Lyme shows up as more than 300 different diseases in disguise, as you can see on the cover of this e-book. In order to better understand this, you need to know that the Borrelia has a famous ‘cousin’. That cousin is the spirochete Treponema pallidum, which caused Syphilis.
Apart from being ill, people with Lyme have several problems. Without official acknowledgement and diagnosis of (chronic) Lyme, insurance companies do not cover long-term treatment or even painkillers. Even if the doctor is willing to test, his tests are not reliable. Most doctors do not know this.
When I was asked to give a seven minute lecture called Lyme for Laymen at the old school of a young Dutchman who committed suicide because of Lyme, I used the images of Hobbits. On the left side Hobbits that were eating, drinking and having fun.
On the right side an exhausted Frodo leaning on his friend Sam on the slope of Mount Doom. I used it as a metaphor of the abyss in experience that I had to cross in seven minutes. It worked for the audience.