"We're in the midst of a terrifying epidemic, although you wouldn't know it to talk to most doctors and health specialists."
That's what I wrote in my opinion piece, that was posted on AOL News on Friday.
Just in case you were on vacation, I wanted to make sure you see this.
"The disease is growing at a rate faster than AIDS," I continued.
"From 2006 to 2008 alone, the number of cases jumped a whopping 77
percent. In 2008 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
listed 28,921 "confirmed" and 6,277 "probable" cases of the disease,
but there could be as many as 420,000 because of underreporting."
"Prominent victims include Parker Posey, Richard Gere, President George W. Bush, Alice Walker and Christie Brinkley," my op ed piece on AOL News points out.
"If any other disease had stricken so many people, the medical
community would be scurrying for knowledge, scrambling for cures or
rushing to warn patients (think swine flu).
"But that's not the case with Lyme disease — a disease carried by ticks.
ill-informed doctors are often flummoxed when patients complain of
fatigue, headaches, fever or chills, muscle or joint pain, mental
confusion, swollen lymph nodes and neurological symptoms. It's an
appalling display of indifference."
Anyhow, at last, two years after my own terrifying health experiences, my op ed piece is on AOL News.
Learn more about this terrifying epidemic on Wednesday, June 2 at 2 pm EST on my Gab with the Gurus Radio Show when I interview several Lyme disease experts.
And please share your or your friends' experiences and insights here and on AOL about your or their terrifying, often-misunderstood disease.
Many thanks to my smart health friend JJ Virgin, to whom I'm greatly indebted for helping me to quickly find out why I was so sick two years ago.
In addition, my gratitude goes to the following for their support and invaluable help:
- Knowledgeable Lyme disease expert Kris Newby, senior producer and researcher for the eye-opening documentary, "Under Our Skin."
- Talented editor/writer Abby Ellin
- Katie Orenstein and Danielle Grace Warren of the fabulous Op Ed Project (which you can learn more about soon on an upcoming radio show)
- Talented editors/writers Susan Shapiro and Gerry Jonas
Please read my important op ed now on AOL News now.
And please join us Wednesday, June 2 for my Gab with the Gurus Radio Show about Lyme disease.
You are so right about this being an epidemic! The worst part is that our health care professionals are in complete denial that the chronic form of this disease exists. My dad was bitten, had the target rash (which only 40% of people get) and was not given antibiotic treatment. He had the disease for 6 years and began to have many symptoms, but his symptoms duped the doctors. He eventually was misdiangnosed with ALS. When we got him tested for Lyme and he tested positive, the insurance company, Kaiser, refused to treat him. Insurance companies realize that this disease is more expensive to treat than HIV/AIDS, so they do not want to diagnose at all so that they do not have to deal with paying for treatment. In order to get treatment for my dad, we had to take him out of Kaiser and pay out of pocket. He is now walking again, talking again, eating 3 meals per day again, gaining strength and weight every day, and is almost off of a vent that he used to be completely dependent upon. But, not without the cost, we are now broke and he has been living in nursing home getting vent care for the past 8 months. We are thankful that our family researched this disease and got the facts, because most of our doctors were telling us that we were crazy and “chronic” lyme did not exist! They stated that Lyme could not mimic other neurological diseases, which it does. After this happened to my dad, 3 of our family friends who were diagnosed with ALS were tested for Lyme and came positive for it! Lyme can commonly be misdiagnosed as ALS, fibromyalsia, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Rhumatoid Arthritis, and many others. It is so unfortunate that so many doctors are overlooking this! People are thinking that they are dying from untreatable diseases when they have a treatable disease. We even had doctors tell us that Lyme does not exist on the west coast….when it has been reported in every state according to the CDC! If you have any of these diagnosis, get a Lyme test from a Lyme literate doctor. If you are bitten, get on 4-6 weeks of antibiotics, no matter whether or not you get a target shaped rash.