It's Lyme Disease awareness month, and since so many of my readers deal with Lyme and dozens of other similar, horrific illnesses, I want to bring awareness to chronic invisible illness in general. I will be writing posts weekly for the rest of the month to help combat common misconceptions about people living with chronic invisible illness.
I hope many of you can share these posts on your social media to
raise awareness about the hidden, grueling, and isolating battles caused
by Lyme, CFS, CIRS, Fibromyalgia, POTS and so many more insidious illnesses.
of the Health Warrior's most difficult challenges is navigating the
common, noisy misconceptions others have about their illnesses. Today,
I want to address the pervasive fallacy that a doctor's inability to
diagnose or effectively treat an illness is an indication that the
illness is not real.
Because we live in a world of
advanced medicine, it can be easy to assume doctors have all the answers
to our medical quandaries. And yet, just a few decades ago scientists
referred to the immune system as "the black box" because there was so
little known about it.
Think back to the year the Health Warrior you know got sick, and then google "medical advances in [enter the few years after
they got sick]" and you'll find a profusion of breathtaking medical
discoveries from that time period. Then search for medical discoveries
in the few years after that period, and, if you can, search for medical
discoveries in the few years after that. The point? Medical practices
are always changing with new discoveries, and there is still an
extraordinary amount we need to discover about the human body and our
environment before we can assign infallibility to our doctors.
example, it's only been in the last several years that scientists have
effectively dismantled previous theories of the brain having fixed
hardware. They are still exploring the implications of newly-discovered
neuroplasticity for healing chronic disease.
relevant gaps in medical research include confusion about the nature of
the link between the Epstein Barr virus and a constellation of diseases;
uncertainty about why 40% of patients infected with bacteria causing
Lyme disease do not recover after the standard round of antibiotics; and
the need for a cure for something as commonplace as a virus.
medical community is a tremendous resource, without which I would not
have seen incredible improvement in my health. Moreover, some of the
best cheerleaders on my long journey of diagnosing and treating my
illness were doctors. And yet, it is helpful when a Health Warrior's
community acknowledges that the mysterious, idiosyncratic complexities
of the body, when paired with the large gaps in medical research, make
it entirely possible, perhaps even plausible, that your Health Warriors'
undiagnosed challenges stem from real illness, despite a doctor's
inability to diagnose or effectively treat.
Are we friends on Instagram and Facebook yet?!
© by scj