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by Sybil Hoffman
Posted on January 30, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Monday, Jan 30 at 10:41 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Doing something as simple as taking a walk used to be something Debra Grizzle didn’t have the strength for.

“I got to the point where it was so hard to get out of bed,” she said. “No energy. I couldn’t exercise.”

Unfortunately, Grizzle’s fatigue and joint pain lingered on. Doctor after doctor told her nothing was wrong.

“I knew something was absolutely wrong,” she said. “That was kind of the fight in me, I kept this fight, to where I knew I was sick, I had to find an answer and so I had to keep searching so that’s what I did.”

“It is very difficult to diagnose this disease,” said Dr. Martha Grout with the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection first discovered in Lyme, Conn., in the 1970s. Most patients get a rash but for many others, only internal symptoms develop.

“They’re not testing for it,” Grizzle said. “They’re not looking for it. It’s not on their radar screen.”  

Currently, the Infectious Disease Society of America recommends doctors give patients an Elisa test, which only screens for Lyme disease.

“All their bloodwork will be perfectly normal,” Grout said. “Their urine tests will be perfectly normal. Their joints will look just a good as my joints. They won’t be swollen, they won’t be inflamed, none of that, OK, but they can’t move in the morning.”

Studies show in 56 percent of the cases, patients whose screenings come back negative are later proven to have Lyme disease, which is what happened to Grizzle. It wasn’t until she got a different kind of test.

“So six and a half years into it, I got tested with a Western Blot for Lyme and I showed up positive,” Grizzle said.

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 “The doctors have a big apology to give the general public,” he says. “Infectious disease doctors don’t even believe that chronic Lyme disease exists. Their knowledge is way, way behind.”Even if doctors are convinced a patient has Lyme disease, they are reluctant to treat it if it has advanced beyond theinitial stage that requires only a few weeks of antibiotics, says Murakami.“Doctors in Canada are petrified to talk about Lyme disease,” he says.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

By David Cubberly, Special to Times Colonist


It’s astounding that a single Victoria veterinarian sees more Lyme disease in dogs yearly than are “confirmed” by the Centre for Disease Control for humans across B.C. (“Tests spot tick-borne disease in retriever,” June 26).

How can it be that we see only four to six cases a year of Lyme in humans if one vet sees a case a month of tick-borne disease in dogs (and most often Lyme)?

I hope the standard of care given Annie the retriever will one day be available to people in B.C. Right now it’s not. Annie’s vet suspected tick-borne illness, recognized the need to test for Lyme disease and knew enough to also test for other tick-borne illnesses.

Humans come to doctors with known symptoms of tick-borne illness, yet often face incomprehension or worse.

VANCOUVER – What if you picked up a crippling bacterial disease, but your doctor says it’s virtually impossible you have it? Or the doctor agrees you’re sick, but won’t treat you for fear of being drummed out of the profession?

Lyme disease patients in British Columbia say that’s what’s happening to them, and they’re being forced to look outside the mainstream medicalsystem for help.

While health officials say a few hundred Canadians contract Lyme disease each year, patient advocates claim that’s a drastic underestimate.

They say they’re given inadequate tests, denied medical treatment or told something else is causing the muscle and joint pain that leaves them unable to walk. And the few doctors willing to treat them with long-term antibiotics — sometimes administered for months intravenously — fear repercussions from their licensing bodies.

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 March 2010

Critics and Lyme disease sufferers say their illness isn’t taken seriously enough and the ‘ignorance’ and ‘arrogance’ of Canadian health agencies has driven them to desperation.