4. Lyme treatment requires a special diet. When in treatment for Lyme disease there will likely be a laundry list of foods you need to avoid. If you’ve ever eaten with someone with Lyme, you’ve probably seen this first hand. Most of the time we need to adhere to a very strict, very healthy diet in order to limit inflammation and toxins in our bodies. We have enough of these to go around already from the Lyme and co-infections! Normally our diets consist of avoiding gluten, dairy, and sugar. Often times we have other sensitivities to add to the mix like soy, corn, and eggs. If it’s annoying for you, take a moment to imagine how much more annoying it would be if you had to stick to this boring diet 24/7. Everyday. And be feeling like complete crap while doing it. Be thankful you’re able to eat what you want and feel fine for the most part.
5. Lyme treatment causes something known as a “herxheimer reaction”. Or a “herx” for short. Similar to how chemotherapy makes a cancer patient feel worse, when someone with Lyme disease takes antibiotics, anti-microbials or anti-parasitics that cause a large amount of die off, this releases a huge amount of toxins into the body. This basically results in all of our regular symptoms being amplified as it takes some work for our bodies to get rid of these newly circulating toxins. Often times our bodies are so overburdened that they are not efficient at detoxing these toxins well, so it’s a difficult process, and definitely not an easy one to endure at all. Unfortunately, it is often necessary to push through this in order to make improvements.
6. Many Lyme patients are not well enough to go to school or work. This doesn’t make them lazy or unmotivated. When you are so sick that even simple tasks like showering and preparing meals is extremely difficult, school and work is out of the question. This is something I’ve dealt with personally. I have had so many people tell me “You are so lucky! I wish I could stay home all day and sleep in and not go to work or school!” This literally makes me want to scream. I promise anyone who thinks it would be “fun” to be stuck at home chronically sick, without any obligations, is completely and totally wrong. Sure, maybe if you were feeling nothing more than a little under the weather, the first few weeks it would be nice to relax a bit. Then you’d probably go a little stir crazy. You’d be tired of boring daytime TV and hearing about everyone’s eventful days out in the real world. You’d want social interaction. You’d want to leave your house! Now pile on top of that the fact that most of the time when someone with Lyme is stuck at home they aren’t just feeling “slightly under the weather”. They are feeling like death. Sometimes, the simple task of breathing feels impossible. This is honestly not an exaggeration. This kind of sick doesn’t feel the same as a simple cold or flu. It feels like torture. Please do not minimize our suffering by calling us “lucky”. Nothing could be further from the truth.