Still sick? Chances are you've been misdiagnosed

Chronically ill patients may still be sick not because their treatments don’t work, but because they are not being treated for the right disease: chronic Lyme disease.

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  • What it's like living with chronic illness

  • Chronic illness is more difficult to live with than most realize. Only those who suffer from chronic illness know the extreme pain and frustration of always being sick. It's not always the physical pain that makes every day difficult, but the emotional pain that comes from feeling constantly ill. It's draining and incredibly frustrating when you have to live with the uncertainty of how you'll feel tomorrow.

  • One patient of chronic illness said that she became discouraged when she thought her story of chronic illness didn't have a foreseeable end. People love stories with "a beginning, middle, and an end...[they] are satisfied with closure. But my story doesn't have an end. And people don't seem to like stories without an ending."

  • Patients of chronic illness are also often frustrated when friends, family, or acquaintances offer advice and support out of love, but it comes across as unsympathetic and demeaning. They suggest that the illness may just be in the patient's head, or try to give them hope with phrases such as, "Don't be sad, this will pass," when sometimes it doesn't.

  • Is there any relief for patients of chronic illness?

  • Why your chronic illness could be Lyme disease

  • Such patients may not be finding relief from their pain because they are paying for treatments not meant to treat the disease actually infecting them. Yes, there are cases where a chronic illness has been properly diagnosed and no treatment will help said patient. But there are also cases where chronic illness has been misdiagnosed, not giving these patients the proper opportunity for relief.

  • Chronic Lyme disease is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases, mainly due to the fact that its symptoms vary so much, from facial paralysis to fatigue. Lyme disease is known as "The Great Imitator" because its symptoms are so similar to that of other diseases, hence the large number of misdiagnoses.

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  • Reports of Lyme disease range in the hundred-thousands, with increasing numbers as people are becoming more aware of the possible symptoms of Lyme disease. When cases reported hit 300,000, ten times more than had been previously reported, Dr. Paul Mead of the CDC stated that this "confirms that Lyme disease is a tremendous health problem in the United States," a topic of debate among those in the health community. But the numbers and the signs show that this truly is an issue.

  • The scary fact is that even more unknown cases could exist because the disease is so often misdiagnosed. Often misdiagnoses include (but are not limited to) autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and even psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. With Lyme disease's symptoms being misattributed to other diseases, it is quite difficult to know for certain if a patient's chronic illness truly is what they were originally diagnosed with or something like chronic Lyme disease.

  • What do you do when you can't get feeling better?

  • Chronically ill patients are some of the strongest and most persevering people on the planet, but everyone has a breaking point. Don't let yourself or a loved one get there. If treatments have not been effective in helping with your chronic illness in the slightest, consider seeking out a consultation to see if you or your loved one might have chronic Lyme disease instead.

  • Schedule an appointment with the FAR Clinic, experts in Lyme disease, offering free consultations to see if your chronic illness misdiagnosis is actually chronic Lyme disease.

  • There is still help and hope ahead. This is not to say that the path for chronically ill patients is not going to be difficult and painful. But without hope to hold on to, life can feel much more miserable than it already does. When you're tired of being sick, find something to hope for. Sometimes, that's all that one can do to make it through the next day.

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Emily interned as a BrandView content writer with FamilyShare.com. She has also worked as a writing tutor and a volunteer creative writing editor. But if you want the more honest answer as to who Emily really is, she would describe herself as an avid bacon lover and film buff, with Grace Kelly class and an irrational fear of stairs.

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