The last two weeks I’ve been posting all about Lyme Disease: The first was an intro, explaining exactly what Lyme Disease is and how it works, and the second was about what it’s like to live with Lyme and being friends with a Lymie. To finish off this series for Lyme Awareness Month, I’m focusing on you.
Because you can help. Whether you have Lyme or are a totally healthy person, here are some things you can do to help other Lymies and raise Lyme Awareness; because this is an invisible disease, it’s a serious thing, and many people who really have Lyme don’t know they have it.
1) Read Articles on Lyme Disease
This has helped me so much. Only last year, my friend had had the terrible disease for at least six years, and I was just finding out how horrible it really was. My mom, on the other hand, had been reading articles on Lyme for months and months, and knew what to send my way; that’s when I found out that Lyme Disease is no little thing, but I had seen it as a little thing because the disease itself is invisible … except to the people who have it.
When I found out that Lyme literally eats away at its victim’s body without any successful treatment, I got scared. My friend has this disease, and I’ve been totally ignorant about the horror of it until now. I read up on Lyme Disease, how it works, how it affects people. Now, even though I can’t understand the pain that Lymies go through, I can at least understand how it works and why it works. I read posts written by doctors and people who had the disease itself. And you know what? I finally became actually “aware” of Lyme. I wish I had sooner.
When you understand Lyme Disease, you can more easily understand the people who have it. If you know someone with Lyme Disease, chances are, if you read articles on Lyme, you will understand that person way better. It’s worth it.
America’s just getting started on Lyme Disease. There are very few doctors who know how to actually treat it and yet hundreds of thousands of people a year are being diagnosed with it. I think it’s a good idea for all of us to understand this new epidemic before we all get it. Right? But why aren’t we freaking out about Lyme Disease like we did about the whole Ebola affair? Guys, we were out of our minds just because of a disease in Africa, just because we ran the risk of letting a person with the disease enter our country.
How about a disease that is already in our country? Running rampant, going wild?
2) Start a Fundraiser or Give to Fundraisers
Yup. I’m askin’ for money. I knew I’d have to sooner or later. But it’s true. The story of a Lymie’s life is as follows: Pay for doctor. Pay for second doctor. Pay for third doctor. Pay for fourth doctor. Pay for fifth …. and you get the picture. The point is, people with Lyme Disease have horrible symptoms, and their doctors are telling them it’s something other than Lyme. They pay for the visit, pay for the medication, they take the medication, they feel even worse, and then they try to find a different doctor, a better doctor, who can find out what’s really wrong with them. A “specialist.”
And they get even worse. They pay more and more. It’s a cycle, and it won’t stop until they actually find out that what they’ve had over the last five years is Lyme, and that what they’ve wasted thousands of dollars and time on was nothing but a scam. The wrong doctors, the wrong medication. It’s cruel. And yet nearly everyone who has Lyme has gone through it. It’s a stressful process and when they’re finally diagnosed with Lyme, it’s time to feel relief.
Sorry to break it to you, but being diagnosed with Lyme doesn’t sound like relief to me. At all. It’s time for treatment, and when they look at how much it’s going to cost? Let’s not even go there.
Fundraisers are so important. There’s no way for a single family to pay for the expenses Lyme throws at them. So it’s time for other people to give: friends, family, complete strangers. If a fundraiser gets a good amount of publicity, and if everyone who sees the fundraiser gives 10-20 bucks, then it’ll be amazing to see how the money adds up. For example, the Heath family is trying to pay for their Lyme treatment. The goal is $50,000, using an internet fundraiser, making it easy for anyone to pay. As of right now, $27,000 has been given. That’s huge. That’s more than half. But this goal is only to cover the cost for one year of Lyme treatment.
Will you step up and give? Maybe $5, maybe $20. I’m not asking for much. The point is, every bit adds up. And you’ll be paying for a great cause. You’re helping to ease the burden of people with Lyme. Sure, it’s a very slow process, but how do you think we’ve ended up with $27,000? Because people like you decided to give. And why are you calling yourself a stranger? You know who the Heaths are now and you know what they need.
3) Spread the Word
This is probably the easiest way you can help. Spreading the word about Lyme Disease is so, so important; it helps educate other people about it, and hopefully makes them want to help as well. It can be as easy as simply retweeting something about Lyme, writing something short and sweet, sharing articles about Lyme with other people. Social media is the way to go for this one, and you’re fairly good at social media or you wouldn’t be reading my blog right now.
4) Join in the Lyme Challenge
There’s probably a ton of Lyme Challenges out there, but the most popular one is the “Take a Bite out of Lyme Disease” Challenge. All you have to do is eat a lime and make a face like it’s more disgusting than it really is, take a selfie, and post it all over the internet. Pretty much. Have more people do it with you so that you’re not the only one feeling weird with a lime in your mouth. The more people the better (you might even be able to hide). Once you post it on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever you prefer sharing your life on, people might think, “Why the heck did she take a picture of herself eating a lime me, that’s not something [your name] would ever do,” and they’ll want to read about it. Congrats. You’ve just spread the word about Lyme Disease.
Hey, it’s more fun than it sounds.
I’m in there. Betcha can’t find me.
Ask for miracles. God hears our prayers and will answer them. Prayer has given peace to people that desperately need it, and asking for healing can take us just as far.
This concludes the last of the post series on Lyme Disease. Whew! Who knew a writing/geek blog called “Tea with Tumnus” could focus on physical disease and medical problems so much? Stay tuned for next week’s Book and Movie Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Meanwhile, please comment, let us know what you’re doing to help spread the word about Lyme Disease!