Need for Lyme literacy


I assumed I knew everyone in Malibu with Lyme Disease, but Katherine (Morrison) is new to me.

There is a northern California physician who flies down to Malibu to treat local patients and others in the immediate area. He is often in his office until 1 p.m. due to patient overload.

It is unfortunate that I am a Lyme patient who looks well, thus there is the perception that Lyme is easily cured. Currently, I am in an all-too-common relapse phase. The bacterium is in my brain, and the pressure in my head and ears is unbearable. I have an appointment with a specialist in San Francisco. His waiting wait list is two years long. He treats the author Amy Tan and many of our state biologists.

I have lost four friends to Lyme, the most recent a mother my age who died of a heart attack caused by the bacteria lodging in the heart. Other patients are blind, deaf and in wheel chairs. As dramatic, but much less noticed, are the children who are routinely misdiagnosed, since many times children cannot express how they feel and are often not believed.

I hope that The Malibu Times will continue to publish articles on Lyme Disease. People frequently tell me they read articles that include lists of symptoms, recognize the symptoms and seek out a Lyme literate physician. Articles can literally save lives.

Barbara Barscocchini