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Knowledge Base .: Archives Fiction and Non-Fiction Reviews .: Medical .: It’s All In Your Head -- Around the World in 80 Lyme Patient Stories

It’s All In Your Head -- Around the World in 80 Lyme Patient Stories

Author: PJ Langhoff

ISBN: 978-0-9654580-5-4

 

PJ Langhoff, one can say, knows the big names in Lyme disease country. Dr. Burrascano, one of the biggest of the biggest names, writes a powerful foreword for this collection. He admits reading this book “brings forth many emotions.” Emotions such as “empathy, sadness, anger, disgust, urgency.” He is not alone. He is also not alone when he admits that he’s “the father of a Lyme patient, the brother of a Lyme patient, and the son of a Lyme patient. In fact, I have been a Lyme patient too.”

There are millions who can relate to this physician’s relationships to Lyme disease. Dr. “B,” as he is fondly called, recalls how he started his march on the Lyme disease path. He began his medical career in 1981 and low and behold, he had patients with weird symptoms, “the worst of which were the confusion, speech errors, and memory problems.”

He says that it wasn’t until he went to a seminar where “the brilliant Alan MacDonald, the pathologist at my local hospital” explained a “new illness called Lyme.”  This lead to “another brilliant and very kind colleague, Dr. Bernie Berger, who really worked our the early knowledge of the EM rash (he is a Dermatologist).” Dr. Burrascano believes his patients and realizes that they are “not crazy” and “that it’s not all in their head.” He offers advice, too – very nice and right on the money!

 

We all know someone with Lyme, have read about Lyme or will be the next one to get Lyme disease.  In this book, we are quick to learn who the players are – Mr. Rhipicephalus sanguineus; Ms. Ixodes pacificus; and the Ixodes scapularis family. We are also privy to a brief but informative history of Lyme disease, the symptoms of Lyme disease, and the stages of Lyme disease. What I found most interesting in the beginning of the book are the various statistics, including the “misdiagnosis frequencies.”  Better yet, Ms. Langhoff touches on an extremely controversial part of Lyme disease, often missed in other books about this subject – that of biowarfare, antibiotics and testing.

 

The “humor” chapter would be funny – if it weren’t true. Instead of embracing the Lyme disease symptom checklist and investigating the patient’s complaints further, it seems some “doctors” would rather it be something easy – like the “chiropractor” who reviewed a patient’s symptoms and examined “his patient and concludes that the patient has ‘muscle tension syndrome’.”  Instead of Lyme disease, patients are misdiagnosed – pre-menstrual for a woman in her 40’s; antidepressants for a patient who never complained of “agoraphobia”; or, the Infectious Disease physician who confesses that he doesn’t believe in Lyme disease – the patient promptly tells the doctor that Lyme disease believes in her (as she just as promptly walks out of the office). The responses of some physicians are amazing – amazing in the fact that they say these things and still think of themselves as caring doctors (remember your oath Mr. M.D.?). It’s time the physician actually listens to their patients – it not all in their heads! In fact Lyme disease is in your head – your heart, your muscles, your tissues, your eyes, and any other part of the human anatomy. But your patients are not insane, malingering, or hypochondriacs. The are innocently ill with an infection.

 

The personal stories of Lyme diseased patients in this book cover 23 states in the U.S., “5 Canadian provinces/territories, and 11 overseas countries.”  Langhoff suggests that if you can read the stories with no emotion, you have become numb and you should go back and reread the stories with a more open heart.  If you’re disbelieving or numb, this reviewer suggests you may want to take a walk on the wild side of life to prepare you better to feel the Lyme disease stories here – a walk in the woods or a tumble with your unprotected canine after it has been in the grass outside your back door might just be your ticket to understanding – firsthand. If you’re not that brave or there is one shred of doubt about the existence of Lyme disease, you may want the safer way to seeing the big picture – read articles by true LLMDs (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors), sign up for a Lyme disease conference, or read the series, It’s All In Your Head, by PJ Langhoff. She has painstakingly collected stories, vital information, and presented all in a format that makes sense (it should make sense, the disease and patients are real!). What these patients have endured, I would wish on no one.

 

You, dear researchers and disbelieving physicians, know that chronic Lyme disease exists and the co-infections are real. The suffering is endless only because you have chosen to hold hands with the likes of each other rather than offering dignity in treatment by following the humanitarian guidelines (ILADS).

 

 The above review was contributed by: Sue Vogan: Sue is a Writer & Author of NCO-No Compassion Observed: To read more of Sue's reviews Click Here  

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