What is outrage but a powerful, often overwhelming feeling of resentment and anger triggered by what we experience as an injury, an insult, or an injustice. Those of us in the chronic Lyme world are indeed outraged — chronically outraged — Lyme sufferers and advocates alike.
We are outraged by the lack of medical care and support. We are outraged by the lack of reliable and stable diagnostic testing. We are outraged by the outright negation of this disease and its effects on millions worldwide, for more than four decades now. We are outraged that there are a group of professionals — medical professionals — who seem to be personally benefiting and capitalizing on an extraordinary amount of human suffering which we can easily conclude by their daily and widespread dismissal and mockery of the ill and infirm. We are outraged by the personal costs of this disease, a disease which continues to go unsupported by the allopathic medical community, the government, and insurance companies alike, causing many to go without medical care, stay ill for a lifetime, go bankrupt, lose their life’s savings, their health, their relationships and sometimes their lives.
Our outrage does not stop here.
We are outraged by the fact that the Director of the Centre for Disease Control, was on camera this week, during Lyme disease awareness month, shedding a tear for those with Zika calling it ‘an extraordinary and unusually urgent crisis’ and, at the same time, refusing to address chronic Lyme, where there are hundreds of thousands, realistically millions, suffering without care or support. We are further outraged by the fact that, according to the Huffington Post, “his ‘jaw dropped’ when he realized how long it would take Congress to move on the issue. “Three months in an epidemic is an eternity,” he said.
Three months? Lyme sufferers have been waiting for medical attention for forty years while the number of cases has mounted to a pandemic.
We are outraged because on a recent radio show a doctor with the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease of Canada (AMMI) said, “I want to stress again, that as tragic as these stories are, these folks, by and large, do not have Lyme disease, and have never had Lyme disease and so there is this misplaced focus on that label, primarily because of this lab in the United States that results have no meaning, but also this tendency of some so called Lyme-literate physicians to diagnosis this on the basis of clinical grounds”.
To all doctors, researchers, politicians, bureaucrats, and insurers who negate and dismiss and even mock the suffering of Lyme patients, we beg of you to STOP.
Stop negating the suffering and illness of so many. Stop using your time and medical expertise to harm and invalidate. Not only are you not helping Lyme patients but you are making their struggle exponentially more challenging as they are left to diagnose, treat and heal it themselves. And thanks to the widespread denial of this disease, Lyme sufferers are left to deal with an uncontainable amount of deserved outrage and anger as they are forced to become their own microbiologists, immunologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, medical researchers, and more. As they have been forced to navigate this long, arduous, frightening medical journey with little access to medical support.
The outrage is hard to contain. Not because Lyme sufferers and advocates are ‘crazy’ or have nothing better to do as our naysayers and denialists would have the world believe. We are outraged because millions are sick without answers, because we have been treated unjustly for far too long, and because we have been confronted by one roadblock after another, including the long-term promulgation of falsehoods, political doublespeak and obfuscations.
So we are left with no choice but to hold strong and fight back. Our voices are rising. Our actions are soaring. Our power is escalating.
We are not anti-science. As CanLyme so eloquently says, “Lyme researchers are advocating for a more complete, open and transparent examination of the illness, and a continued re-evaluation of guidelines as new evidence comes forward. Evidence is abundant that the status quo is harmful.”
Above all, at this critical juncture in the Lyme Wars, as things are slowly shifting and our power is surely mounting, what we hope for is that those who are notyet affected by chronic Lyme disease and are listening to our pleas will join us in this outrage. This is a war that affects us all. And when it comes to chronic Lyme, our outrage is more than an appropriate response.
Our outrage fuels our activism which will effect change.
Lori Dennis is the author of Lyme Madness™ coming soon on Amazon.