Misconceptions- just another day with chronic illness

Today’s Wego Health prompt: Tell us three things that are true about you, your condition, your Health Activism, or your life. Now tell us a lie. Do you think we will be able to tell the difference?

Well, I’m not going to lie outright because I don’t want anyone to get wrong information, but I will present misconceptions about my conditions. 

1.   Lyme disease is rare and easy to cure. Lyme disease only occurs on the east coast and it doesn’t occur often. It is easy to cure with 14-28 days of antibiotics no matter how many years you have had it. If you have any lingering symptoms it is because you are imagining them and they will go away with psychological treatment. 

* Truth- These are all lies that the CDC spreads because they have ties to the insurance companies.  Lyme disease is prevalent throughout the United States and Canada. Ticks don’t honor state borders, they don’t know they are limited to the state of Connecticut just because the CDC says so. In fact, the CDC recently came out and admitted (read about it here) that Lyme is much more prevalent then they calculated in the past. There are 300,000 known new cases of Lyme disease a year.  

2. I am in constant pain. At times I am in so much pain it is all I can do to keep from crying out. Sometimes the pain is so bad that all it’s all I can think about. I have trouble concentrating because it is so hard to beat the pain. Painkillers help some, but they also impair me and make me unable to take care of my children, so I only take them at night. Plus, they are not a cure all, they just bring the pain level down from an 11 to a 6. Lyme disease and fibromyalgia are no joke. 

3. There are a lot of misconceptions about fibromyalgia. People think that it’s only for crazy people or that it’s just a diagnosis that you get when the doctor can’t find out what is wrong with you. To some extent, I think that can be true. I know people who have decided they have fibro and then searched out a doctor who would validate their diagnosis. These people give those who truly have fibromyalgia a bad name. Fibromyalgia is real, it is a syndrome that can be either a secondary or primary condition (secondary in my case). Because there is no easy or obvious cause for fibro and there is no easy cure people assume that it must be fake. Close minded and lazy doctors who can only deal with health issues that show up on a blood test don’t know how to deal with conditions that are not easily explained. While doctors and society are learning more and more about fibromyalgia all the time, there is still a long way to go in fibromyalgia awareness. 

4. Despite my disabiling conditions I am not helpless. I still live a somewhat normal life. I am a friend, a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a sister. Just because I deal with a lot of physical suffering does not make me useless. I am still a person and I still matter. If you are not sure what I am capable of doing, ask me! I will tell you my limitations, and you’d be surprised what I am able to do as long as I schedule my life accordingly.  

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