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A Hidden Epidemic


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This is a graduate project that I did on the topic of Lyme Disease. I hope that this project will help raise awareness for what I believe to be one of the fastest growing epidemics.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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A Hidden Epidemic

  1. 1. A <br />Hidden<br />Epidemic<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Hello. My name is Dawn and this is my story.<br />2<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />College life was great – <br />so many friends, so much fun.<br />
  4. 4. I dated a boy who was in a rock band.<br />4<br />
  5. 5. 5<br />We took a road trip to Minnesota to an outdoor rock festival - lots of music, fellowship and camping.<br />
  6. 6. 6<br />I came home sick with flu-like symptoms that would not go away.<br />
  7. 7. 7<br />Over a 3 month period, I saw many doctors, but received NO diagnosis. They said I would eventually feel better. I did (or so I thought).<br />
  8. 8. 8<br />My boyfriend proposed, and we got married on June 7, 2003. It was a beautiful day.<br />
  9. 9. 9<br />In 2004, I graduated from college. I was hired as the director/head teacher for a new preschool. It was my dream job.<br />
  10. 10. 10<br />We had so many plans for our lives.<br />
  11. 11. 11<br />Then I got very very sick. We saw over 20 doctors all over the country including a visit to one of the top diagnostic hospitals in the United States – still NO answers.<br />Michael Hicks, “img_0496" February 10, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  12. 12. 12<br />I actually had a doctor say “we’re not going to figure this out.” They gave up on me, but I did not.<br />
  13. 13. 13<br />As life moved on without us, I spent years researching my symptoms.<br />
  14. 14. 14<br />During my research I came across the possibility of a tick-borne disease.<br />Scott Bauer, “Adult Deer Tick" February 10, 2011 via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  15. 15. 15<br />I read about the early symptoms and realized I had experienced most of them after my camping trip to Minnesota.<br />
  16. 16. 16<br />I read about the long-term symptom manifestations and realized I had ALL of them.<br />
  17. 17. 17<br />I discovered that this disease is often misdiagnosed as….<br /> Multiple Sclerosis<br /> Fibromyalgia<br /> Chronic Fatigue<br /> Peripheral Neuropathy<br /> Anxiety Disorders<br /> Rheumatoid Arthritis<br /> Parkinson’s Disease<br />
  18. 18. 18<br />I sought out a doctor who specializes in tick-borne diseases and chronic illnesses.<br />
  19. 19. 19<br />After seven long years, I finally had a diagnosis…<br />Lyme Disease<br />
  20. 20. 20<br />Now, it was time to educate myself.<br />
  21. 21. 21<br />Lyme Disease is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria that is often found in a tick.<br />Name: Borreliaburgdorferi<br />Center for Disease Control PHIL ID#6631, February 10, 2011, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  22. 22. 22<br />The two main ticks that carry the bacteria are deer ticks and western black legged ticks. <br />Center for Disease Control, February 11, 2011: <br />
  23. 23. 23<br />Ticks also carry many other types of bacterium that cause co-infections.<br />Nemodus, “SOS Tick-I ain’t Afraid of No Tick" February 10, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  24. 24. 24<br />Transmission is through the bite of a tick; however, some physicians and researchers think it can be passed sexually and congenitally.<br />Trevor Bair, “Sarah-28 Weeks Pregnant" February 10, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  25. 25. 25<br />“She started showing signs her first day of life…and as her mom, I knew something was wrong. As I begged God to take it away and give it to me instead, I could have never imagined the nightmare that was about to unfold…”<br />-Brandi<br />Lyme Disease Survivor<br />
  26. 26. 26<br />Along with flu-like symptoms, in the initial stages a red bull’s eye rash might appear.<br />Hannah Garrison, February 10, 2011 via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  27. 27. 27<br />However, less than 50% remember a tick bite or a bull’s eye rash. I fall into that category.<br />Deer ticks can be the size of a poppy seed. No wonder people miss them!<br />David Van Der Mark, “Teek-Tick" February 10, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  28. 28. 28<br />The common diagnostic lab tests are….<br />ELISA – only 65% accurate<br />Western Blot – only 70 to 80% accurate<br />Did you know a diagnostic test has to be 95% accurate to be considered successful?<br />
  29. 29. 29<br />Only certain labs that specialize in tick-borne diseases obtain the best results:<br />Igenex <br />Stony Brook <br />MDL<br />
  30. 30. 30<br />Since the tests are NOT reliable, it is important to seek out a doctor that specializes in diagnosing tick-borne diseases. They are often referred to as…<br />Lyme Literate Medical Doctors <br />(LLMD)<br />
  31. 31. 31<br />What is the treatment for Lyme Disease?<br />Well, that is controversial.<br />
  32. 32. 32<br />Standard IDSA treatment protocol: a 14 day course of oral antibiotics for patients bitten less than 30 days ago.<br />IDSA = Infectious Disease Society of America<br />Keith Ramsey, “Pills" February 10, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  33. 33. 33<br />If bitten more than a month ago, then a 30 day course of oral or IV antibiotics is recommended.<br />
  34. 34. 34<br />I did that protocol, but I am still very sick… <br />
  35. 35. 35<br />…and so are they<br />Great job today! Thank you for being so willing to learn! People who are hungry to learn are the ones that are the most successful in life! Here's "Today's Tip of the Day":<br />In reported speech go one step back into the past and change the time signifier as well as the pronoun.<br />Example Sentences: <br />"I'm going to the supermarket. => "He said he was going to the supermarket."<br />"She's seeing him tomorrow." => "She said she was seeing him the next day."<br />See you in class tomorrow!! :) <br />
  36. 36. 36<br />…and so is she.<br />
  37. 37. 37<br />Lyme Disease physicians have realized that long-term therapy (3 months to 3 years) is necessary for individuals who have had the disease longer than 30 days.<br />
  38. 38. 38<br />This conflicts with the IDSA’s recommendations, so insurance companies often refuse to pay, causing patients to spend 25K to 150K per year.<br />Daniel Borman, “Money, Money, Money" February 10, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  39. 39. 39<br />How can you protect yourself and your loved ones?<br />
  40. 40. 40<br />Avoid tick infested areas including tall grasses, forests, logs and piles of leaves.<br />Melanie Holtsman, “24-Jumping In" February 11, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution<br />
  41. 41. 41<br />If you will be in a tick-infested area, dress in light-colored clothing.<br />
  42. 42. 42<br />Wear long sleeves and long pants.<br />
  43. 43. 43<br />Tuck pants into socks.<br />
  44. 44. 44<br />Use DEET on skin and pre-treat clothing with spray containing permethrin.<br />
  45. 45. 45<br />There is…<br />hope<br />Knowledge and prevention is key.<br />
  46. 46. 46<br />You can make a difference!<br />
  47. 47. 47<br />References<br />International Lyme and Associated Diseases:<br />California Lyme Disease Association:<br />