Lyme Disease Awareness

LYME DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH

Awareness Month for Lyme Disease

May is one of the most important months of the year for Lymies, as it is the awareness month for Lyme disease. Although we do our best throughout the year to inform and educate people about this life-threatening illness, in May we do it in a more alert pace. That’s because the awareness campaigns move from the virtual world into the streets.

Share the awareness message!

You can do it at your own pace, on your own terms. There are many ways you can help raise awareness. You can distribute green ribbons and flyers, talk to people about what it entails to be a Lymie. You can tell your story to others or write a blog post about it.  Or choose to wear a Lyme awareness tee; you will certainly get more than couple of people asking you about it.

If your health allows it, join a 5K march or simply display some green light bulbs on your porch or balcony. Throughout these small little steps that we all take, a message is sent. It might not seem much, but when you look at it at a bigger scale, it does. More people become aware of the dangers of contracting Lyme and learn how to avoid getting bitten by ticks.

 

lyme disease awareness screwed by a tick

Educate people using humour!

Throughout the years I noticed  that the most effective way to attract people’s attention was to crack a joke about those nasty ticks that started all. Humour has always been an important tool for establishing a connection with someone. People tend to listen more to someone who makes them laugh then to one who complains.

Though when you use dark humour as part of the remission, chances are that people won’t get where you’re heading at and they might not like you. Luckily, some do! I am grateful to those who spare a few minutes of their time to listen to me.

As chronic illness sufferer, when you understand that your chance to recover depends on how strong your mind, you learn to cope with pain. You accept it and start working on the healing process. Thus your perspective changes. You slowly shift from complaining towards making fun of the situation. You develop a dark sense of humour that could be interpreted as cruel or inappropriate by others.

The fact that you dare to look at the ugly truth with your eyes wide open and make fun of it denotes strength. Humour can facilitate a more pleasurable approach to problems, as it enables you to reduce the somatic stress. Battling chronic illness with humour is one of the best weapons one can get! It’s a win-win as it is helping both body and mind. Laughter is a good medicine after all!

lyme disease awareness

How can you celebrate the Lyme awareness month?

You can start by educating yourself about this infamous illness. The Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns are open to everyone! Pass on your knowledge to your loved ones. Teach them how to prevent getting bitten by ticks, how to look for tick bites and what to watch out for as an early-stage symptoms. Remember that prevention is key, as there is no cure for Lyme, only remission!

Share more information about Lyme on your social media accounts. More and more people will learn about the dangers of getting infected with Borrelia Burgdorferi via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Medium, Reddit, etc.

Participate at a Lymewalk in your area to raise awareness and funds for Lyme research. All funds raised by the event will help Lyme Ontario continue research and education.

A Walk For Hope is the 4th annual 5km walk organized by Lyme Ontario. The event is taking place on May 25th in Beachway Park, Burlington ON. The registration fee is only $15! If you are living close by the area you should give it a try! 

 

MEDICAL CANNABIS – AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR LYME DISEASE?

 

medical marijuana cannabis for lyme disease

Nowadays numerous online sources praise the benefits of CBD oil (cannabidiol) as an alternative treatment for symptoms varying from chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, to nausea and epilepsy.

As a result more and more specialists and Lyme sufferers decide to give it a try since it seems to help all kinds of conditions. In fact, there has been an increase of people coming forward and asking to legitimize hemp and CBD as medicine.

In the Chinese medicine, CBD oil is a known method of pain management.

 

CBD (OIL) AS AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR LYME DISEASE

Some patients are still reluctant to give it a try because of the social stigma attached to it. The lack of information on the topic and the cloud of negativity surrounding it prevent sufferers from taking advantage of its beneficial effects. 

Other ones, who considered they had nothing left to lose, moved across the country after they have learnt about the healing powers of cannabis. Couple of years down the rode, they stated they were feeling much better.  

 

“When you tried several treatment options without seeing some serious improvement, you find yourself asking what do I have to lose? I have been a lab rat on antibiotics for couple of years. I doubt that cannabis can do the same liver damage as all the chemicals in those pills that I took so far.” -Anonymous Lyme sufferer from Colorado

 

 

Back in 2008, a study revealed that cannabis was effective against an “antibiotic-resistant” strain of MRSA. The researchers disclosed the strong antibacterial properties of numerous cannabinoids (CBC, THC and CBD).

Another online publication talks about the anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant mechanisms of CBD, emphasizing on the benefits of replacing the inflammatory medication with high-CBD strains.

CBD Oil is the most common form of herbal medication as it has less adverse side effects than the smokable forms.

Dr. Ernie Murakami has been preaching the benefits of CBD oil as form of treatment for quite some time.

Not everyone knows that marijuana has 483 phytocannabinoids, that effectively treat different symptoms. Most of people only heard about the THC – the psychotic component that gets one experience a psychoactive giddiness.

According to dr. Daniel A. Kinderlehrer, M.D., the THC is quite beneficial for pain, sleep, nausea, appetite, and PTSD. He claims that the two strains of cannabis: Indica and Sativa are both beneficial for Lyme patients. He adds that cannabis is not a treatment for Lyme, but a way to control symptoms.

Cannabis and hemp products help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease. Read here the story of an athlete whose condition improved considerably after using cannabis products. 

Marty Ross, M.D. explains in depth the benefits of using medical benefits for Lyme (see table below) and other illnesses.

 

benefits of medical cannabis for lyme disease

HOW TO TAKE CBD FOR LYME DISEASE?

First step would be to talk with your doctor and ask him to prescribe you medical cannabis. Once you have your prescription, you can either order it online or purchase it directly from different shops. 

Though a quick visit to CBD shop can leave one confused as the sight of wide range of products available: oils, tinctures, creams, mints, gums, chocolate, teas and so on! From edibles to vaping and smoking or injections for those who find themselves in severe pain.

Dr. Bill Rawls, a Lyme-sufferer himself, states that: “The best way to take CBD oil mixed with a carrier oil to a specific concentration is to place a few drops or dropperfuls under your tongue for 15 seconds to access the sublingual gland.” For a more in depth reading on the topic, click the link above.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CBD OIL WHEN USED FOR LYME?

  • Note that it takes up to two or three weeks for one to experience the full effect of the treatment.
  • Never take it on your own without medical supervision. Ask your Lyme specialist or physician to prescribe you medical marijuana. Ensure you purchase only pure strains. Organic grown CBD without any pesticides.
  • Never buy it from the street as it won`t help your condition and you might end up in some serious legal issues if marijuana consumption is not legalized in your state or country of origin.
  • Always respect the dose prescribed by your physician. If necessary, have him adjust it during your next consultation.
  • You may experience a Herxheimer  reaction when you just start the CBD treatment.
  • Cannabinoids naturally detox your system, thus take it slowly.
  • Just because cannabis is not considerate addictive as heroin or other drugs, there are some possible side-effects. 

 

IS CBD OIL BETTER AT TREATING LYME THAN OTHER HERBS?

There is no doubt CBD oil offers some relief to those affected by Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic illnesses!The research has shown that cannabis has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective properties.  Used in combination with other herbal remedies such as antimicrobial herbs like Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw, andrographis, garlic, sarsaparilla, and berberine  it could have a more beneficial effect on patients.

 

CONCLUSION

Maybe it’s about time to cease treating everything with synthetic drugs and use nature to our advantage. Cannabis` potent antibiotic properties are not fully exploited yet, although they would be beneficial in the healing process.

No one knows for sure if cannabis is the cure for Lyme disease, as there is no research showing concrete data. Though on the bright side, physicians are more open to try experimenting with CBD-rich products which was totally unheard of until recently!

When you are looking for an all-natural way to decrease the intensity of certain symptoms caused by Lye, CBD oil can offer the needed relief.

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Did you ever used cannabis for Lyme? Did you find it helpful? I would love to hear about your experience! Drop me a line in comments section below!

 

WHEN LYME MEETS MS – INSIGHTS OF A CHRONICALLY ILL COUPLE

 

In the Internet era, we often read or hear sad stories about how chronic illness destroys relationships. It is a painful topic that no one really wants to discuss about, because they will have face the ugly truth straight into the eyes. It takes guts to be candid about the difficulties of caring for a chronically ill spouse.

 

It also takes a lot of finesse, patience, empathy, compassion and commitment to deal with a chronically ill spouse or significant other. Sometimes one needs magician skills to run through the hoops of a moody, depressed partner. The staggering divorce rate among chronically ill people  is crippling.

 

When both of partners share the burden of an illness, the risk of clashing is touching the roof. It is nearly impossible to prevent the relationship from failing, leaving alone keeping the flame alive. That’s for the regular folks, who have enough time to get bored of each other.

 

While faced with the cruel reality of a chronic illness, there is little space left for romance. The choices are limited, while its effects can be devastating. Usually when one’s needs (emotional, affectional, personal) are not met, words such as divorce or separation are often mentioned.

 

Finding the balance, the proper tools to navigate through the illness are key. Juggling with the personal needs and those  of the spouse is challenging. It requires far more than love to persistently care for someone who is chronically ill. This dance between the moods, brain fog, physical pain, anxiety crises, episodes of depression, misdirected anger and resentment, poor communication is worth at least one Oscar.

 

The problems arising between the partners are never ending. Both need to have their needs met. Both are entitled to love, care and treatment. But who will get these first? Who will selflessly assume the caretaker role and burden himself with all that it entails? Which one of the two will be treated and cared first?

 

On what criteria they decide who gets to undergo treatment and for how long? Will they be strong enough to prevent self-pity and guilt crack the foundation of their relationship? What happens when both of the partners are in denial? Or when they relapse in the same time? What if there are children involved? 

 

How can the two support themselves financially or handle the pressure of the daily struggle? This roller coaster ride ain’t getting easier! What about when financial reasons prevent both partners from obtaining the proper treatment and care? We all know that the cost of the Lyme treatment is not covered by the insurers. Thank God that the MS Society got this one covered!

 

These are only a few of the questions and concerns that the couple is faced with. There is no correct answer, since there is no cure! It’s one thing to be there for your chronically ill partner when you are healthy and a totally different story when you are sick as well.

 

Becoming a patient and a nurse in the same time is more difficult than you could imagine. In most of the cases, the partner presenting less symptoms, “the healthier one” decides to take on the caregiver role, to become the “helpmate”. Eventually it will wear him out, despite his noble intentions. He will burn out and realize that it is more than he bargained for. It will make him turn bitter, feel alone and drain all his energy, unless he sees some understanding or appreciation.

 

What it really takes to maintain a relationship going? It is a matter of how much you are willing to let go. Learning to enjoy small sporadic moments of joy and keep them embedded in your mind for the long rainy days. Learning to appreciate what you have instead of focusing of what you don’t or what you would have liked to have. Building a long lasting relationship requires a strong commitment and a combination of the following: love, care, determination, altruism, positive mindset, strong stomach, patience and nevertheless, hope.

 

The couple dynamics change when the two partners are sick. They surround themselves with the never ending whines and cries of their illness, they fall prey to fear and despair. They forget that life goes on despite all that. Somehow they neglect to acknowledge that they have the power to change something. They can change the attitude towards life and make life more enjoyable.

 

Here are some practical and valuable tips on how to keep your relationship going:

 

Celebrate small victories. If you are into the habit of keeping a symptoms track calendar, then it won’t be difficult for you to notice that a number of “X” weeks passed since you had a certain symptom.  Remember life offers lots of lemons. All you have left is to enjoy the lemonade (Lyme & aid, in my case). That being said, put out the glasses and invite one more to the party. Engage your spouse in these small celebrations of life. You are not only sick patients, you are also humans with a living ticking heart!

 

Identify and eliminate stressors. Make a list of possible stressors and try eliminate them. If you notice a pattern repeating or a habit irritating your spouse, just ditch it! It is not worth another disagreement, your peace of mind is far more valuable.

 

Be thankful. Show gratitude. Find your own unique way of showing how you feel and how much you appreciate the efforts done by your partner. Try developing a new routine of writing thank you or funny notes and leave them in unexpected places around the house for your spouse to find. These little notes have the power to make one smile, laugh and turn a bad mood into a good one.

 

Be honest with each other. Keep in mind that being overprotective or leaving your partner in the dark can be easily misinterpreted, even if it is an act of love, done out of the fear of overburdening one’s mind or heart. In order to tackle certain topics such as financial issues, treatment options, or couple’s future, you need to be 100% honest.

 

Be open to suggestions. When your partner tells you something, or gives you feedback, don’t take it personally. Try to see how you can incorporate that into your daily practice/ routine.

 

Laugh more. Humour plays a key role in any relationship. It is well known that laughter helps improving the moods. “Till Lyme /MS do us part” does not sound anymore as a morbid joke. Dark jokes are welcomed. Humour has the ability to act as a stress hormone regulator, it enables the body to find a way to calm down. Improved oxygen consumption, slowed heart-rate, lowered heart pressure, and reduced stress are only a few of the benefits of humour.

 

Plan small. Whatever you are doing, plan small. Don’t overload your schedule trying to solve too many things within one day. Leave something for tomorrow. If you solve one thing per day, that is enough. Why getting yourself exhausted if it is not  a life threatening situation? Don’t feel guilty if some days you can’t perform  even that one task! Don’t be too harsh on yourself!

 

Exercise together. Performing a physical activity together, not only has the ability to make you achieve your fitness goal, but it can also improve the efficiency of your exercise. Working out together can increase your emotional bond and boost your romantic life.

 

Prepare/ plan meals together. Meal preparation can be a great way of spending time with your partner. Showing someone that you care does not mean you have to go out of your way and move mountains. No! It all consists in being kind, present and involved. Deciding what your weekly meals plan will look like can be practical and fun.