Letter From Julianna: Misunderstanding Lyme Disease Sufferers

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Dear Lymie,

As humans, we make a lot of assumptions. We assume that the smiles on people’s faces indicate happiness. We assume that if a friend stops coming around, they must be a bad friend. We assume that if someone is sick, we’ll be able to tell that they are sick.

That being said, the more I learn about Lyme, the more I realize how easy it is to make assumptions about people who have Lyme disease and how much hurt those assumptions can cause.

I can’t even imagine the physical pain someone endures when they have Lyme disease, but the most difficult thing for me to wrap my mind around is the emotional pain they now carry with them. I’ve recently learned about the countless doctor appointments someone may go to to receive a proper diagnosis. How doctors don’t always help them. How friends start to think they’re being lazy or making it up. And then there’s the grief they go through as they mourn the loss of their old life. It sounds lonely and hard and exhausting.

Here is my letter of apology for not noticing earlier on. I am sorry that you have to go through this. I am sorry that people don’t believe you and that people make assumptions, at the expense of your feelings and your health. I am sorry for assuming that just because you looked fine meant that you were.

Please keep fighting this awful disease. There are people who love and support you. I am now one of those people.

Sincerely,

A new Lyme advocate

During Lyme Awareness Month, we’re publishing #LymeLetters written by those affected by Lyme Disease. Be sure to check out the rest of the letters here and to follow us @LymeNow on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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