Best Lyme Disease Doctors In Ny – “There is a longstanding pattern where chronic illnesses are initially treated as forms of hysteria and hypochondria,” said Ross Douthat ’02, author of “The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery.”
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat ’02 writes candidly about his five-year struggle with Lyme disease in his quirky and vivid new book, “The Deep Place: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery.” The Gazette spoke with Douthat about the lessons he learned about his own and other people’s suffering, the controversy surrounding Lyme and how he ultimately managed to manage his disease and recover. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
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DOUTHAT: There are two related misconceptions. First it is a simple thing to treat; All you have to do is take four to six weeks of antibiotics and you should automatically feel better. It is a common belief because it is true; 80 to 85 percent of people who get Lyme disease can treat it and recover quickly. But there’s a substantial population for whom that short treatment doesn’t work, and they end up with long-term symptoms that the existing scientific consensus doesn’t know how to treat. The fundamental problem is the gap between the simplicity of treatment for the majority and the incredible difficulty of treatment for a small but substantial minority.
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Another misconception is not just about chronic Lyme disease, but about chronic disease in general. There’s a sense, when you haven’t lived through this kind of experience yourself, that having a chronic illness is a slightly worse version of people’s everyday struggles. People with chronic illnesses will report that they have headaches or sleep problems or fatigue, and people without illnesses will listen to them and think, “Well, everyone feels like that sometimes.” And that feeds into the sense that people with chronic problems are bad, that they’re suffering from their own symptoms, that they’re hypochondriacs, and all these kinds of clichés and stereotypes. Obviously, sometimes those stereotypes fit, but in most cases of what we call chronic Lyme disease, you’re dealing with something devastating, not just the occasional fatigue or the occasional headache. It’s a pain that literally won’t leave you alone. One of the reasons I wrote the book was to try to express that reality more clearly. Going with any chronic disease, whether it’s Lyme or long-term covid or chronic fatigue syndrome or anything else, it’s a really devastating problem for people who suffer from it.
DOUTHAT: There are doctors who offer treatment for chronic Lyme disease, which basically involves you continuing to treat the disease with antibiotics until the symptoms subside, but you have to be willing to be treated with a combination of antibiotics, not just one antibiotic. You also have to do something a little weird called pulsing, where you go on antibiotics for a while, go off and go off again, and then go off again. This is a bacterium that has many ways of hiding in the body to avoid both your immune system and antibiotics, and the patient needs more complex and flexible treatment rather than simple treatment.
This approach to treatment is one I finally took after a long period of failed attempts. It took me a while to find a combination of antibiotics that helped me. I would not have clawed my way to anything close to health without this method. The challenge is that it is so complex and so tailored to the individual patient that it requires doctors who are essentially willing to use it from patient to patient and want to do things a little differently depending on how the patients respond. I am deeply disappointed by the failure of the medical system to recognize that this is the right way, but I also understand why it has been difficult to convince people that this is the best practice because it is beyond the kind of simplicity we see. for treatment.
DOUTHAT: There is an old pattern of treating chronic illnesses initially as forms of hysteria and hypochondria. Only over a long period of time are they recognized as having pathogenic and physiological concepts. In the early days of studying multiple sclerosis, many people assumed it was a hysterical or psychosomatic illness. Similarly, with chronic fatigue syndrome, the medical system has had a long struggle to take doctors seriously. What we’re seeing with long-term covid is kind of an accelerated version of that. But even there, there is much doubt and uncertainty about the reality of long-distance symptoms. That is part of the nature of chronic illness. With Lyme disease, though, it’s a little bit specific, because with many other diseases, there’s a real struggle to figure out what might be causing them. With Lyme, there is no question. Lyme is a tick-borne disease. Many chronic patients feel that it should be easy to break through and receive care, but for some reason this fundamental and repetitive pattern has not been changed where chronic illness is met with suspicion and mistrust, no matter what form it takes.
My Chronic Fatigue Turned Out To Be Lyme Disease’
GAZETTE: You write about the history of Lyme disease in your book, and you include a conspiracy theory about how it spread. What do you think is the most plausible explanation for how Lyme disease originated?
DOUTHAT: We know that Lyme disease is a chronic pathogen that is present in various forms in both the United States and Western Europe. And there is, I think, a plausible story about its re-emergence in the 20th century that says it was a disease that was deep in the forests of the northeastern United States. When those forests were cleared by the first European settlers, habitat for deer and other animals that carry ticks was dramatically reduced. Then settlers moved west, and in the 19th century a lot of New England soil was abandoned, but then in the 20th century, with suburbanization, you got people building communities that were connected to deer habitat. This would explain the outbreak of Lyme disease around 1975. It probably starts in the suburbs, and then it’s accelerated by climate change, which creates shorter winters, which are better for ticks because fewer of them die. Lyme disease is more prevalent in America now than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
There is also a conspiracy theory, which centers on the fact that the epicenter of the Lyme outbreak in the Northeast is literally a bird flight from a bio-weapons laboratory on Plum Island, off the northeast coast of Long Island, New York. . We don’t know if any specific research on Lyme disease was ever done there, but we do know that there was research on ticks and tick-borne diseases. This seems like a strange coincidence just as the presence of the Wuhan coronavirus laboratory in Wuhan seems like a strange coincidence. I think this is not a crazy theory. The most intense areas of Lyme disease are northern Long Island, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and eastern Connecticut, and this is a strange coincidence. At the same time, Minnesota and Wisconsin have an apparent Lyme outbreak in the upper Midwest, and that would not be the result of a lab leak. I guess the most you can say is that if that had escaped the lab it might have created a slightly more virulent strain of Lyme disease, but basically the outbreak would have happened anyway. But if the conspiracy theory is right, maybe some sloppy science made it a little worse.
DOUTH: I think the weirdest thing I’ve tried is something called a “Rife machine,” which is a device that generates audio frequencies that essentially vibrate and shatter bacteria like the opera singer’s voice on the right. Pitch can shatter glass. This is something that is so clearly outside of the scientific consensus that when I explain it to people, I always preface it by saying it sounds like pseudoscience. There are some suggestive studies surrounding this stuff, but it’s highly speculative. It’s not something the FDA will recommend tomorrow (laughs), but I would buy a machine like this. I used it. And I think that helped me. But when you use it, you feel like you are participating in a weird science fiction movie. You’re far from the realm of normal when you’re doing this, but it’s worth trying to change your perspective on what’s worth doing and in ways you didn’t imagine before you got sick.
Developing New Guidelines On Lyme Disease
But some version of pain or suffering. When I was sick, I lost my filter. I don’t write about it, but I tell someone how I’m doing, and they probably get a lot
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