For many years I have had a vision of hope for the time when Conventional and Alternative medicine might bridge the gap, let go of their prejudices and arrogance and realize the value in both schools of thought. The day when all Medical and Nutritional practitioners communicate and work together with a focus on the person as a whole will be a great day indeed.
Until that time, we have to be the bridge, the filter, and the line of communication between them all. We have to learn for ourselves what feels right, what works, and what doesn’t, and be willing to express this to our physicians. Each aspect of the “healing arts” has its place, its merits, and its limits. Sadly, the need to be the only one, or to be right at all costs, is common and counterproductive.
When it comes to treatment for any illness, I cannot stress enough how important it is to be your own advocate. There is no doctor that knows everything, and there is no one who knows your body better than you. It is incredibly important to learn to listen to your body, and to educate yourself.
Having said that, I feel I should warn you that with the internet these days you can look up almost any symptom and have a thousand different diseases and think you are on the verge of death. It also creates the false sense that we are capable of diagnosing and treating ourselves. This can be incredibly dangerous.
I often hear people asking what protocol or what treatment other Lyme patients recommend. There is so much more to this disease than that. It is a very complicated and stealthy disease. Success involves more than just a protocol (See After Treatment and Success Stories pages). So, take the information with a grain of salt. Learn as much as you can, always consult with a licensed physician, and try to think creatively and critically.
As silly as it may sound, if you ask your body what it wants or what it needs, and you learn how to listen to it, it will tell you. That goes for nutrition, too. You may need to eat one way for a period of time, and change that later on. The same goes for treatment of illnesses. Every person is different, and every person’s body changes over time. This is especially true for Lyme disease because it can affect the body in so many different ways and for such long periods of time. I’m a firm believer that there is not “one way” for any treatment.
This is why it is important to pay attention to the person as a whole: body, mind, and spirit (whatever that means for you). All of it affects our health and works as a system. Start by learning about you.
The next step is learning how to talk to your doctor and ask questions. If your doctor has one foot out the door before he/she even says hello, find a new doctor. You are not seeking medical attention to have them stare at a few notes, spout quotes from medical school, write a prescription, and tell you that you are fine.
Find a doctor that will actually sit down, listen, and ask questions. Make a list of all of your symptoms and questions before you go (you can use the Symptoms Checklists to make it easier!) Listen to what your doctor has to say, but don’t be afraid to question your doctor, and don’t hesitate to tell him/her when you don’t agree with their assessment or assumptions. Open dialogue will help them understand you and your symptoms, and help you understand what might be going on. Be willing to listen to them and consider their suggestions. Remember, you know your body, and if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
There is no one way, no magic bullet, no cure.
Each person is a unique puzzle.