Living with Lyme Disease

One study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed the quality of life for people with chronic Lyme disease can be like that of patients with type 2 Diabetes or a recent heart attack. The study concluded “There is considerable impairment of health-related quality of life among patients with persistent symptoms despite previous antibiotic treatment for acute Lyme disease.”

Many Vermonters struggle with ongoing health problems after contracting a tick-borne disease. Those who were healthy before their illness can find it challenging to change their lifestyle and resume regular activities. Some Vermonters become unemployed or isolated if they can no longer work or participate in social activities. Parents with Lyme disease may find it challenging to care for their children.

Children with Lyme disease can have unique challenges that may affect their learning abilities, social interactions, and overall development. Many Vermont families struggle to find accurate information about Lyme disease and effective treatment for children with complex tick-borne infections. Children in Vermont have symptoms that may not be understood by teachers, caregivers, friends or physicians. Children with Lyme and co-infections may remain undiagnosed, or are misdiagnosed with other illnesses, learning disabilities, or emotional disorders.

Disagreements among researchers and physicians about the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, combined with difficulty accessing medical professionals with expertise in treating tick-borne diseases, can make the experience of a complex tick-borne infection extremely stressful for Vermonters.

You can help Vermonters with Lyme disease.

Learn more about ways you can support friends, neighbors and community members affected by Lyme and tick-borne diseases. 10 Things to Know About People with Lyme Disease.

What You Should Know

Symptoms of Lyme disease can be debilitating

Dr. Neil Spector, an Oncologist with Duke University Hospital, stated Lyme disease is “the infectious disease equivalent of cancer”(–Huffington Post).

People with Lyme disease may not look how they feel

Often someone with Lyme disease will appear to be healthy even when they are in pain or having neurological symptoms. Lyme symptoms can wax and wane, meaning a person can feel healthy enough for an activity one day, and be unable to do the same activity the next.

Lyme can cause more than health problems

Along with physical illness, Lyme disease may result in emotional, financial, logistical and work difficulties. The impact of tick-borne disease on an individual or family can be severe.

Tick-borne disease may cause uncharacteristic actions and behaviors

Neurological symptoms can include difficulty communicating, memory loss, dizziness, and trouble walking. Rage, depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity are other symptoms of tick-borne infections.