Someone you know is sick with Lyme disease. It could be a friend, a family member, a significant other or just an acquaintance. Whoever it is, you have questions. Or maybe you don’t, but you want a better idea of what the heck is going on. This article will hopefully offer some explanation, and can probably be applied to a variety of chronic illnesses. I’m not a doctor (disclaimer!) but I have personal experience with many “invisible” illnesses and Lyme (unfortunately). I am the Commissioner and Secretary for the City of Danbury’s Commission for Persons with disAbilities, and I have been diagnosed with Lyme and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In addition, I am the Communications Coordinator for Lyme Connection.
Lyme Connection, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (formerly Ridgefield Lyme Disease Task Force), works with the community about prevention and early diagnosis and support patients. The goal is to connect patients with compassionate care, helpful services and fellow patients. Lyme Connection’s mission is to make the community a healthier place by preventing tick-borne diseases and supporting patients and their families throughout their illness. Everyone needs encouragement and validation to make it through what is often a daunting challenge. Please read on for the 10 things to know when someone in your life has Lyme disease.
1. Lyme disease is an invisible illness. What does this mean? When someone with Lyme is feeling absolutely horrible they are likely looking no different on the outside than they do on one of their “really good days”. This disease usually does not present itself with obvious visible symptoms. Normally you will not see a Lyme patient with their legs wrapped up in casts or with huge bleeding gashes on their bodies. Our symptoms tend to be more internal. Things like extreme fatigue/weakness, joint and muscle pain, dizziness, nausea, anxiety and brain fog aren’t necessarily easily detected just by looking at a person. It can be hard to understand how a person can be feeling so horrible when they look “fine”. Often times, they even seem to be acting fine!