There has been a great deal of excitement in the Lyme community since last week when the CDC finally released a statement declaring that there are at least 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year. For years we have been preaching this from every soap box we could find to stand on. And finally, the announcement, and news stations are picking up on the story. It should be noted that this does not include all cases and definitely does not include how many people are dealing with the co-infections of other tick-borne illnesses that a frequently contracted along with Lyme disease, making the treatment of Lyme that much more complex. It also does not include the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands who have chronic Lyme disease. But 300,000 is our starting point.
To my surprise, along with a sigh of relief, I experienced a lot of anger when the announcement was made. My back was up and I wanted to shake someone from the CDC and scream, “What took you so long…you have known this for over a decade!!! How dare you withhold such important information!”
Following that was all the speculation around the timing of the press release. Is it because Baxter is well underway in trials of it’s Lyme vaccine that they hope to release soon??….down the rabbit hole I went.
And then I got off my high horse, stopped looking back into the past and speculating about the future, and returned to the present. This announcement is important and I am beyond grateful that it has finally been made. It is a first step. Awareness for the public. We are no longer a large community of people ranting about numbers we look like we are making up for attention, we suddenly have recognition and our statements have been validated.
So now what? Well, things are mostly the same. There are a lot (LOT) of very ill people, the majority of the medical community still has no training or experience in dealing with Lyme and it’s co-infections, there are still no widely accepted and accurate testing methods, there are still no clear cut and reliable treatment plans, insurance companies still don’t cover long term treatment plans for chronic Lyme… These things will change over time. The question remains, how long? My guess is that it will be quite a while. And I am not living under the illusion that there will suddenly be a treatment that is going to work across the board for all cases of Lyme disease. I know of too many people who have been treated with long-term antibiotics and are still sick, or who feel better but if they don’t remain on a maintenance treatment plan have a recurrence of their symptoms. I don’t consider this a cure. And I am not diminishing the celebration of people regaining the ability to function well again, but there is something not to be missed here, the opportunity to be self-responsible and empowered right now.
This is not the time to sit back and wait for someone else to hurry up and ‘fix’ us. This is the time for all of us to combine our experience, our wisdom and our love to find ways to support ourselves and one another, not just within the community of patients, but along side the medical experts, the alternative health practitioners, the energy healers and our friends and family members. This incredibly challenging health concern is a reflection back to all of us about how we live, how we approach our wellness and well being. We are the creators of our lives and our experiences. We should not underestimate the power that we are in the matter of our lives.
Our environment is filled with tens of thousands of toxins, we eat genetically modified foods, we live stressful lives, we over do and under ‘be’. We have lost so much of our connection to natural living and barrel around in our over-stimulated lives, fueling ourselves with processed foods to support our fast paced lives.
What if we just pause and take stock of how life has become? What if we start doing some simple things that are self-caring, self-responsible, self-nurturing? What if we support our over-taxed bodies by gently detoxing them regularly, eating more of the clean, single-ingredient foods, exercise appropriately, spend time in the quiet and appreciate who we are without all the labels of outside achievement? What if we took a kinder and gentler approach to ourselves and life and had compassion for how we have lived and simply forgive ourselves for getting caught up in the madness? What if we nourish ourselves as human beings rather than as human ‘doings’?
We can turn a lot around by ourselves. We can turn even more around if we work in co-operation with each other. The grandest of opportunities lies in our challenges…let’s meet this challenge side by side.