Ok everyone. Why don’t we start with a little quiz.
Suzy was a top-notch athlete. Hugely popular, as evidenced by her non-stop social engagements, Suzy’s life was a whirlwind of activity. Her studies were her top priority and she made the Dean’s list every semester. However, in her senior year, things began to take a different and unpleasant turn. Her cognitive function began to decline rapidly leaving her memory greatly impaired. Her energy level plummeted to such extremes she could scarcely get out of bed most days, eventually costing Suzy her coveted spot on the varsity gymnastics team. The next several months displayed an unusually rapid deterioration in her health. Joint pain, muscle aches, and flulike symptoms plagued her on a daily basis. Her gait was unsteady due to disequilibrium which she often described as “walking on a boat anchored in rough waters.” She began to experience weakness, numbness, and tingling as well as light and noise sensitivity. Gastrointestinal issues caused her noticeable weight loss. Suzy spent the next ten months going from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist, and undergoing extensive testing – all in the name of getting an answer to her expeditiously failing health. One day she got a call informing her that they believed to have finally found the cause for her growing list of strange and unusual symptoms.
Based on the above information, which chronic illness do you think Suzy was diagnosed with:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Lyme Disease
Honestly, the answer could probably have been any of the illness mentioned above as well as a host of others.I myself became ill in 2003 and was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Lyme and several coinfections late in 2005. I have been experiencing all the above-mentioned symptoms – and many many more – for over a dozen years now. It has altered my life in such a way that I hardly recognize myself. It has stolen the life I once knew and has forced me to live within a “new normal” that I most certainly never asked for. But the longer I deal with this – the more I see that I am not really unique in what I am experiencing. Check out a support group for any specifically named chronic illness and you will notice thousands of patients sharing their struggles in dealing with these very same debilitating symptoms. Go to any chronic illness community – such as TheMighty.com – and you will read story after story about people dealing as best they can with horrific symptoms on a daily basis. You will also be heartbroken to read how these illnesses can negatively impact their financial security, personal relationships, home life, and feelings of self-worth. Strangely enough, even though the names of their official diagnosis are different, their symptoms and experiences are not quite as unique. Which is what has lead me to the this hypothesis.
I firmly believe that in the not-too-distant future, medical research will discover that these and a plethora of other illnesses, will prove to be one in the same. I also believe that the severity of one’s symptoms is directly related to the number of new or latent viruses active within each individual’s body. Most specifically, Epstein-Barr and Herpes Simplex. I have been expressing this belief to family and friends for a few years now.
Doctors and researchers within the Lyme community have already been sharing data indicating that many MS, ALS, Fibro, CFS, and Lupus patients have been found to have Borrelia Burgdorferi spirochetes living within their blood and tissues. These findings hint that many diseases can actually be placed under the “Lyme” umbrella. Other doctors stand firm that this is not the case as all. As a matter of fact, some go so far as to say that there is no such thing as persistent chronic Lyme in the first place.
So, okay. Fine. Whatever….
All I know is that there are millions and millions of people suffering with the exact same debilitating symptoms! And while I am not a medical scientist, I truly believe one day they are going to find that all these illnesses are being caused by the same exact thing. I honestly don’t care if they call it MS, Lupus, Lyme, or even the “Just Kill Me Now Disease!” All I’m asking is that they do whatever it takes to figure out what the heck is causing so many of us to stay so horrifically ill – with no hope of ever getting completely better. I don’t care if they even name it at all. –Just please, please, please find out what’s behind it all and then invest whatever is necessary to FIND US ALL A CURE!!