Engaging in community awareness

By Paula Jackson Jones | Aug 19, 2017

As a nonprofit whose mission is to raise awareness, foster education, advocate for change and provide local support to Maine’s Lyme community, we truly enjoy engaging with the communities and hosting or participating in events that help further knowledge of tick-borne disease. Plain and simple: We enjoy helping people get better!

Tick-borne disease can be confusing to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. Because many people think that a tick bite can only cause Lyme Disease, we are conditioned to look for the bulls-eye rash and if/when it does not present, we are left wondering why we feel so horrible. Because testing is unreliable, many people continue to walk around infected and don’t even know it. Many of them have a different tick-borne disease all together or co-infections that were never addressed. It’s during these community times that we get one-on-one connection with people, sharing our experiences, listening to their stories and concerns and giving resources and direction. People want real answers, tangible results, and they want restored hope that they can get better. Having been down that road and now in complete remission for more than three years, this is as real as it gets.

We engage locally with people as much as possible, because you can’t just go to the internet and get the answers. If anything, you come away feeling more confused and baffled by the variances among medical providers. Some go by a clinical examination, others strictly by testing, some follow outdated guidelines and treatment protocols, while others stay up-to-date with the current protocols and treatment options. Some medical providers say you’re cured after 14 days of antibiotics, while others understand the complexities of tick-borne diseases, including delayed diagnosis and the potential need for longer treatment and supportive measure to rebuild. Part of being out in the community raising awareness and sharing information is educating people, empowering them to take advantage of the options that are available to them and giving them control over their own health.

There are lots of avenues one can travel when ill, choosing from mainstream western medicine to alternative eastern medicine. The introduction of integrative medicine, using the best of both worlds, gives the patient the best possible outcome, from deciding which protocol to use to kill off an infection to implementing supportive medicines that help rebuild and strengthen. It’s allowed and accepted with other diseases ~ tick-borne disease should be no different.

We are fortunate to be networked with more than 100 medical providers in Maine who are highly educated in tick-borne disease and use a variety of treatment modalities. We like to say that seeing a provider who has a large tool box is your best bet as a patient to get better, because there is no one size fits all approach to treating tick-borne disease and no two patients present alike. Symptoms and medical histories vary, as well as genetics. Treating a patient with a tick-borne disease must be individualized, and no one understands this better than MLDSE.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.