Six months ago, I wrote Truck or Train about a family member's struggle with advanced Lyme disease. Friends have asked questions.
We had questions too, and were startled by some of the answers.
Who knew that there are only SEVEN STATES in the contiguous US where the ticks I. scapularis or I. pacificus and their host-seeking nymphs that carry Lyme bacteria, have NOT been reported?
Or that you could be bitten and NOT have the primary diagnostic bull's eye rash, in fact have no idea you have the disease until it is diabolically hard to diagnose because of the way Lyme bacteria mutates in the body?
The biggest question of all is how so many states can deny treatment to thousands of advanced Lyme sufferers. In Texas, a physician who treats advanced Lyme risks having his/her license revoked because the state board doesn't recognize the disease beyond a short initial infection period.
For a human face to the questions, click the video trailer below for Under Our Skin, one of the top 15 documentaries nominated for this year's Academy Awards.
Since I wrote in August, my loved one has been to California and New York for the diagnostics and drugs she can't get in Texas. She struggles daily with debilitating pain and disfunction, made harder by the knowledge that treatment for advanced Lyme can be a long road, maybe years.
I feel lucky I get to see her each week. As I walk out the door of her house, I pass a sign she's posted on the wall, one of the things that keeps her going when she can't. It says I amaze myself!
Her courage and spirit amaze me too.
Words and photos by Kathleen Scott,for her blog Hill Country Mysteries. Copyright 2009-2010.