Do you ever walk down your driveway or sidewalk to get the mail? Do you ever walk past or through grass to get to your car? Do you ever take your kids to the park? Do you ever pet your dog?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be in danger. You or someone you love could be in danger of contracting one of the most debilitating, yet underrated diseases in existence, Lyme Disease.
Before my sister contracted Lyme Disease, I thought it was a quick fix. To me, it was like Strep Throat. Take antibiotics for a certain period of time, and your symptoms should clear right up. Check for those pesky ticks when you’re done outside, but if you find one, not to worry. If you don’t have a bullseye rash, you’re fine. No Lyme for you.
Boy was I wrong. And you could be, too.
To me, one of the scariest things about Lyme is that if it hadn’t hit me on such a personal level, I would still be in that “quick fix” mindset. I wouldn’t worry about it, it was just something that people got that normal medicine could take care of. Unfortunately, so many other people are in that mindset, because they don’t know any better.
Maybe it hasn’t happened to you or a loved one yet. Maybe you’ve had Lyme in the past, but you think it’s taken care of. Your symptoms seemed to go away, and that’s all there is to it. Well, you could be right. Your symptoms might be gone for good. But, as scary as it is, they might still be there, waiting for the opportune moment to show themselves again. Maybe the symptoms will start in your head, like they did for my sister, causing horrible, migraine-like headaches. Or maybe the Lyme will attack your joints, making you and your doctor think you have arthritis. Maybe it will cause digestive issues, giving you stomach pain for days on end. Maybe it will attack your nervous system, leaving you unable to walk, talk, or control your body.
I say these things not to scare you, or because I wish them on you. I wouldn’t wish this disease on my worst enemy. I say them because these are just some of the thousands of horrible things Lyme can do to someone. Through all of the friends we have made since my sister has been sick, we have come in contact with people who have dealt with all of these symptoms, and many, many more. Lyme is different for everyone who has it – there are so many symptoms, that two people who have Lyme could have none of the same ones. But every person with Chronic Lyme Disease wonders the same thing – will their lives ever be normal again?
The worst part is, all these people were doing was walking down their driveway to get the mail. Or passing a patch of grass to get to their car. Or taking their kids to the park. Or petting their dog after he came inside. In one split second, in one tiny bite that you may not even feel, your whole life could change.
Now is the time to learn. Learn prevention tips. Learn coping techniques. Learn the signs of Lyme, so that one by one, we can overcome this epidemic.