Misconceptions About Living With Lyme Disease

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This is the stupid picture in question. It’s both insulting to those with Lyme disease, but more hateful towards the families and friends of Lyme patients. What saddens me most is the image that all you can become with Lyme disease is a bitchy slob who dies on a couch after consuming too many meds. This is not what Lyme disease should look like for anyone. ( I did not make this graphic. It’s made by the mods at Lyme Disease one day at a time on Facebook. )

Since being diagnosed in 2002 with Chronic Lyme disease, I have been through the highs and lows with living with a chronic illness. I am truly thankful to actually have that diagnosis because knowing what it is helps to actually understand what is happening and not to be afraid of being sick.

There are dozens of groups talking about Lyme disease, how to detox, what to read, and some just wanting to collect scared people and huddle them together and feed them fear.

Here’s the thing about having an illness that really tries to dictate your life, you can either let it win and tell you who you are going to be. Or you can take control of your body and your life and learn the tools to use for winning the war being fought inside you.

There was a time when I was so scared of what was going to happen next, that I didn’t do anything. I was sure that my life was over, and that I had no hope.

That’s depression, fear, and anxiety. Then I had to put on my sparkly shoes and move out of that dark place. You have control over what you do. You can either accept you have a death sentence, or you can get the hell up and do something to make the time you do have worth it.

Recently I came across a Facebook page that for most of the time has some slightly interesting posts, mostly reposts from other blogs and pages about Lyme disease. They usually have kind of lame graphics with flowers and gooshie quotes. But from time to time they have an interesting repost that I check out.

However after seeing a graphic depicting living with Lyme disease. I became very frustrated about the misconceptions of living with Lyme Disease.  This was so insulting not only to Lymies but to their friends, family, and everyone else.

In each picture they claimed that people see those with Lyme disease as lazy, crazy, mean,  and hypochondriacal who don’t do anything but beg on the streets or do a lot of drugs as seen by the last picture. Even the way the person said Lymies see themselves was shown as a skeleton dead on a sloppy couch. It was horrifying and sad that a public group would actually advertise that this was the way Lyme patients should see themselves.

It wasn’t humorous, it was actually frightening.

More people with Lyme disease die from suicide than by complication from having the disease. They feel like nobody knows and understands how painful, exhausting, and scary this disease can be.

A lot of the symptoms of Lyme are neurotically linked. Anxiety and fear of having something that can potentially kill you, make you paralyzed and helpless, or takes away your energy can be harder to deal with than the actual disease itself. So when I saw this, I was actually mad.

Lyme Rage

Having Lyme disease doesn’t make you lazy any more than it gives you a free pass for being rude. Claiming you have “Lyme Rage” so you can say whatever you want and then go take a nap, is both insulting to those with Lyme and hangs a negative rain cloud over the diagnosis.

The truth is, you were probably always cranky, Lyme Disease isn’t a little excuse to hide behind so everyone feels pity for you and allows it.

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But if you are actually looking for some great informational sites on Facebook about Lyme Disease let me suggest a few good ones.

Lyme Disease Challenge
Lyme Less Live More

 

 

5 comments

  1. Chronic illness is never any fun. 😦 It’s great that you are getting more information out there for others who are going through it, negativity and all. Nobody I’ve ever known has had a never-ending “peachy” outlook all the time.

    Like

    • When I was first diagnosed, the only information I found were texts in languages I didn’t really understand. Complicated medical journals talking about the symptoms, nothing about how to live with them and not feel like you are drowning under the weight. Now I look for all of the information I can get, so that I don’t feel like I don’t have control over what happens.

      And it’s true, you won’t always have a peachy outlook, but if you are the one putting out the info about a disease, you should be aware of the info that you are putting out there and how it can be taken. Lyme sucks, but you have choices now, treatment options, and hope. Using it, or any other illness as a crutch for being rude isn’t one of my options.

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

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