May is Lyme disease awareness month. I don’t always jump on this type of bandwagon, but Lyme disease awareness is incredibly important. Had I been aware that Lyme disease was in Texas instead of thinking it was only in the northeast, I would have been able to get treatment much earlier and wouldn’t be in the position I am currently in.
Sometimes I can’t help but think “what if”? What if I knew that the rash I had was from Lyme disease? It still would have been difficult to find a doctor who was even willing to test me for it, but I could have found someone to help me a lot sooner than the two years it took me to receive a diagnoses. Everyone is shocked when they see how disabled I am by Lyme because the only thing they know about Lyme is you can quickly cure it with antibiotics. It’s true, Lyme is easily cured, but only if you catch it right away and the chances of that happening outside of the northeast are very slim. Even then I’ve heard horror stories of people in Connecticut even bringing the tick that bit them to their doctor, but the doctor still will refuse to test for Lyme because they don’t want to deal with a Lyme patient. ( Doctors are at risk for losing their medical license if they prescribe antibiotics for more than 30 days). This is why Lyme disease awareness is so important!
It would also be nice if increased public awareness could lead to insurance covering Lyme disease treatment. So many Lyme patients go bankrupt seeking treatment, even those with insurance. There is a great article here on why Lyme treatment isn’t covered. I only did one month of IV treatment because that’s all insurance would cover even though my doctor thought I needed a lot more. We’re still paying the bills off that one month and that’s with insurance covering some of it, there is no way we could pay for it entirely out of our pocket. It’s maddening. My only hope is that someday there will be better treatment available. Unfortunately more and more people are getting sick with Lyme disease and eventually somebody is going to have to start paying attention.