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    Posted June 2, 2014 by
    Castle Rock, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

    A Snapshot of the Typical Lyme Disease Life


    People with Lyme disease endure some of the greatest suffering I have ever witnessed in my life. I've been there, too. For over a decade. I know we all have problems, but to those who say to Lyme disease sufferers, "Everyone has problems," in response to their pain--I'd like to just share a snippet about the kind of problems that Lyme disease sufferers deal with.


    People with Lyme awaken daily with an array of disabling symptoms; bone-crushing fatigue, pain like fire in their entire body, an inability to breathe, stand or digest food (you know, routine bodily functions that most of us take for granted); brain fog that keeps them from doing the simplest of tasks like drive a car, write an email, or read a book- depression that colors their world in shades of gray- along with dozens of other devastating symptoms- and family and friends who alienate them because they "look so good" (and so assume that they must be faking their symptoms).


    People with Lyme spend hours daily and thousands of dollars- year after year- trying to eliminate the multiple infections and systemic damage of Lyme disease. In the process, they go bankrupt, are forced to quit their jobs and sell their homes, and move in with friends or relatives who would often rather not bear the burden of having them around.


    For some, their lives may consist of little more than sleeping, sobbing, and researching and doing treatments, as they plead to God for help.


    In the meantime, the CDC and IDSA coldly refuse to acknowledge that chronic Lyme disease exists, despite the plethora of evidence which proves otherwise. And so doctors who treat Lyme are few and far between, and persecuted for their efforts to heal one of the most insidious and disabling diseases of our time.


    Over 300,000 people in the US alone are contracting this disease every year, but it is being ignored and misdiagnosed as MS, Parkinson's, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, lupus, and many other illnesses. Spread the word- tell people that this disease is a worldwide epidemic that is moving like wildfire throughout the world. Educate your doctors- because even if chronic Lyme is expensive to treat, the loss of our nation's productivity due to Lyme is even more expensive. Lyme is not an East-coast disease- it is in my backyard in Colorado, and yours, too.


    And when your friends and family members with Lyme tell you that they are going through hell- believe them! They can't just suck it up or "think more positive"...They aren't lazy and they can't just pull themselves up by their bootstraps...They need your hand, your shoulder, your love.


    Connie Strasheim,
    Lyme disease sufferer, medical researcher, and Author of three books on Lyme disease, including "Insights into Lyme Disease Treatment" www.lymeinsights.com



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