“I couldn’t focus. The words on the screen were before me; they tumbled through my brain. Why didn’t they make sense? I concentrated on the words. Yes, I recognized them. But stringing them together into a sentence, a comprehensible sentence? I tried to understand. Comprehension slipped past my weary eyes and fuzzy brain. The doctor’s journal didn’t make sense. I couldn’t remember what I had just read 5 seconds ago. I wanted someone, someone who could read it for me, tell me what it meant. Maybe I would then understand. I was tired, so tired. I wanted Lyme disease in simple English. I wanted to know.”
Lyme disease. I’m attempting to sketch out the bare bones of what I know and have discovered on my journey. I’m going to put it in plain English. It’s been a while since I’ve researched the disease. It is becoming prominent and I know there will be new discoveries in the years to come. I’m simply outlining the basics for the sake of understanding. I’ve received no medical training of any sort. This is just one person’s research and experience.
What is it?
Lyme disease is the given name to a parasite infection. It’s the name for a host of microscopic parasites that spread throughout the body, boring into muscle, tissue, joints and organs. They are elusive and can change their form easily to avoid ‘discovery’, hiding from cells that kill off foreign objects, from antibiotics and other medicines. With Lyme (chronic or not) also comes co-infections. They come in the form of parasites, bacteria and more. For more info see co-infections.
Lyme disease (to date of my research) is primarily transmitted through the bite of a tick. If anyone ever receives a tick bite around which a rash-like ring (aka bulls eye) develops, its a sure sign the tick was a carrier. Get medical help and antibiotics immediately. The particular species that carry Lyme are the eastern black legged tick and the western black legged variety. They are tiny but non-the-less powerful with what they deliver to their host.
Lyme disease has (at times) been transferred from one person to another, through sexual intercourse and a woman’s breast milk. Though it has happened it isn’t a sure thing. In some cases it transfers at other times it doesn’t. Medically they have no explanation for this. No one knows why. Its happened. And it hasn’t.
Stage 1 of Lyme disease comes after a tick bite but before it’s spread throughout the body. It can take a few weeks-years for Lyme to take hold. Depending on the strength of a human’s immune system, their overall health and the co-infections carried by the tick, the advancement of Lyme will either take hold immediately or remain dormant. The number of co-infections seem to be tied with a quicker decline in the human body. Lyme caught in early stages can be dealt with through strong antibiotics and in most cases, completely eradicated from the body. If not, the parasites and co-hosts spread throughout the body. When given time to conceal and multiply, the infected person moves into stage 2.
Stage 2 of Lyme disease comes after the parasites have spread throughout the human body. It is impossible to eradicate once it has spread to this extent. It is chronic and the best that can be done is to support the body (diet, immune supports, rest, exercise) and kill off what is possible but with the knowledge that it will never be fully eradicated. It is chronic and lifestyle adjustments must be made.
Life can be recovered, though it will look different from the past. A human with chronic Lyme will find fatigue hitting sooner than it did in life before. But it is possible to live a normal, low key lifestyle with this chronic illness! Keep reading! There is hope.