Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic

Here's the third book which made for emotional December reading! I certainly didn't expect this book to make me emotional when I picked it up at the library. But, knowing two women in my life who've been affected by Lyme's Disease made this book more real to me than I expected.

Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic by Pamela Weintraub sounds like it could be a bit of a dry, scientific look at a notorious disease. However, it is everything but dry.

One reason why is because Weintraub herself, and her family, have all been - or currently are - patients suffering from Lyme Disease. The book is not all about her family's health struggles, but seeing life from their perspective helps put a face on the Lyme epidemic.

Weintraub also delves into the science, medicine and studies of Lyme Disease. I have to admit, I'm sure than scientists or medical professionals will get more from that part of the book than I did. I did read most of those parts, but I think my eyes glazed over a bit. The main thing I learned is that the research of Lyme have been colored by the professions/pursuits of the first scientists to study it, and by the medical establishment, to the detriment of Lyme patients across the country.

The parts of the book that moved me the most are the stories of the different families from all parts of the US who struggled to discover why their children were so sick for so many years - and the medical professionals who struggled to help them the best way they knew how, often rejected by their peers and the rest of the medical establishment, but adored by their patients. After reading their stories, struggles, small victories, I feel I have just a bit better understanding (certainly not a full understanding) of what the women I know are going through.

If you know someone who has (or had) Lyme, read this book. If you live in an area where Lyme is an issue (which is most of the US), read this book. If you're not sure what exactly Lyme Disease is, read this book. One of the reasons I picked this book up is because my friend's children also tested positive for Lyme. As we talked about it, I expressed concern for my family, and she recommended becoming familiar with the symptoms of Lyme and getting them tested if I saw any symptoms.

I've certainly educated myself on the topic of Lyme, and if I have any suspicions, I will be insisting on tests and treatments. I'd recommend you do the same thing - there is too much at stake.

1 comment:

Molly Sabourin said...

So I was hoping, since you read faster than anyone I have ever met in my life, that youe could stay educated on all of these issues and then provide me with the highlights. :) Speaking of health, Beth is planning on coming out the weekend of the Shaklee party, so yay for that!!