Commentary: The Lonely Soapbox

Back when I was still able to travel, I would spend a considerable amount of time in London.  Apart from taking in the culture and the occasional pint, I would be fascinated with the happenings going on at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.  A designated area near Marble Arch, where people would be perched upon their platforms and freely voice their opinions on nearly any subject.  Generally, this amounted to rants regarding politics, religion and social issues.

Occasionally, the speeches were quite interesting and I would take in the talk along with the novelty of it all.  But more often than not, I would be more fascinated with the speaker who could not capture an audience and yet spoke with such strength and conviction.  Appearing psychotic, these speakers would be shouting over the heads of the passersby, who would barely offer the speaker a condescending glance back.

Today, I find myself in a very similar situation.  I have spent over ten years sharing my Lyme knowledge with others to help them avoid this debilitating disease.  Generally, my warnings would fall on deaf ears.  I, on the other hand, would feel much like that lonely speaker in Hyde Park without an audience.

Though I am often accused of thinking every ailment is the result of a tick bite, nothing could be farther from the truth.  The message that I am trying to convey is that so many illnesses (e.g., MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s Autism, Bell’s Palsy, Fibromyalgia etc.) and symptoms (e.g., joint pains, stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, etc.) MAY be the result of Lyme and that we should all be vigilant.  Never rule out the possibility of these illnesses actually being Lyme until reliably tested. 

The CDC now admits that Lyme is prevalent in the US and it is indeed an epidemic.  The countless number of sick people we all see and hear about everyday should make us all suspicious. 

Caught early, Lyme can be cured.  Many of the other listed symptoms above can not be.  So why would we not suspect Lyme?  What do we have to lose?

Let’s keep an open mind, and let’s stay safe.


~ by Rob on January 15, 2010.

3 Responses to “Commentary: The Lonely Soapbox”

  1. Rob,
    Thanks to you and others like you who keep stepping up on their virtual soap boxes even though it seems no one is listening. After several alarming stories about the potentially devastating effects of Lyme disease caught my attention I persuaded my brother, who’s suffered with CFS for 10 years, to see a Lyme Literate doctor. I doubt you’ll be surprised to hear that he tested positive for Lyme and is finally experiencing relief from some of the debilitating symptoms of CFS. He had none of the “classic” or “textbook” symptoms of Lyme nor any known exposure.

    Hearing more arguments connecting Lyme to a number of chronic diseases, I finally took my elderly father to a Lyme Literate doctor for comprehensive evaluation. Like my brother he’d had no known exposure (except perhaps in his youth, pre WW2), and none of the typical symptoms. But I kept hearing that Lyme can cause Parkinson’s, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s, which my father suffers from, so I felt compelled to at least cancel it out. Despite all I’d learned about Lyme I was stunned with the results of his Western Blot were strongly positive for numerous Lyme strains.

    You are so right to urge people not to rule out Lyme until they’ve been adequately tested. It’s tragic that so many people are accepting deadend diagnoses like MS, Parkinson’s, Autism without at least investigating whether Lyme could be the cause.

    Please keep speaking out. Someone out there is listening! Thanks!

  2. Thank you for your supportive comments. I am pleased that you were able to convince your brother and father to be tested. It’s never pleasant to know that a person has Lyme, but at least it allows the person to be on the right path to improve their quality of life.

    My British mother-in-law was diagnosed and treated for Parkinson’s. I suspected that she picked up Lyme while she had been visiting us in the States.

    Trying to convince UK doctors to test for Lyme is impossible. After a few years, I personally had her blood drawn and sent to Specialty Labs. Her Lyme titers were off the charts positive.

    I thought that that would be the end of it, but, the doctor in the UK insisted that he too would need to do his own Lyme tests. Of course, his tests showed negative. He and UK’s National Health Service then refused to treat her for Lyme and shortly thereafter, I lost her.

    Unfortunately, I have other similar stories.

    Best of luck,

  3. Thanks for keeping on Rob.

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