We've achieved that momentous first step! An individual in a position of power in this country has taken notice of this horrendous Lyme disease situation, and is going to help us! Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader, has introduced a truly non-partisan bill, calling for the development of a National Lyme Strategy to address this situation.
But there is still so much more work to do. If you are reading this, I urge you to contact your MP and tell them that we need to have this bill passed. If you are a Lyme sufferer, tell your MP your story. If you are the friend or acquaintance of a Lyme sufferer, tell them that you know someone with the illness and what they have had to go through. Tell them that this situation needs to be corrected.
This is not just for current Lyme disease sufferers. It can happen to anyone, at any time, and can literally ruin your life. This is not fear mongering. It's just the truth. A colleague of mine pulled a tick off his leg a couple of years ago. His car had broken down and he was simply walking in the tall grass by the side of the road in our city here. A classmate of my son's recently had a tick removed from her scalp. And then there are many individuals like myself, who don't recall a tick bite. Ticks are everywhere, and they are particularly bad this year. Be sure to protect yourself! (See my Protect Yourself tab.)
Once you are infected, there is NO proper treatment in Canada, and good luck getting a proper diagnosis or postitive lab test from the Public Health Lab. The ELISA test is completely unreliable, resulting in a great percentage of false negatives.
You can tell your MP that we need:
- Access to proper testing for Lyme disease, from specialized labs (such as IGeneX in the U.S.)
- Family doctors and specialists who recognize the symptoms of late-stage Lyme disease (because right now, they just don't. That is why so many people are misdiagnosed.)
- Access to the treatment that best suits our condition. (In most cases, that involves antibiotic treatment longer than the current IDSA recommended 2-4 weeks.)
- Recognition of this illness, so that Lyme patients have access to Long Term Disability while they are recovering.
- Protection for doctors who should be able to choose the treatment that best suits the patient. (Currently, doctors' licences are threatened if they treat with long-term antibiotics. That's why you can't find a single Lyme doctor in this country now. We had 3 not too long ago, but now there are none. In the U.S., there are now 12 states that have laws in place protecting physicians who treat Lyme disease.)
It's easy to contact your MP. You can do so by e-mail. Find the name and address of your MP here.