Queens Chick Fixed Tick Glitch for Hicks in Sticks... LYME NYC

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by victoria, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I just had to keep the title on this story, what a tongue twister!

    New York Daily News
    Tuesday, August 28th 2007, 8:12 AM

    Queens chick fixed tick glitch for hicks in sticks.

    Still, I didn't go to "the country" on my summer vacation. I stayed right here in Queens. I won't go anywhere near where the deer and the antibiotics roam. Because where there is Bambi, there is a little monster called a Lyme tick.

    According to Assemblywoman Nettie Mayerson (D-Flushing) - who co-authored a 2005 State Assembly bill that demanded HMOs and the State Office of Professional Medical Conduct stop harassing doctors who treat Lyme disease as a chronic illness - New York State has the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the nation.

    So if I have to spend the rest of my life dodging killer traffic on Queens Blvd. as opposed to frolicking in the deer-dotted meadows of "the country," I will consider myself one lucky city slicker.

    See, I have a niece who has chronic Lyme disease. Cara was bitten by a dirty little deer tick in Rhinebeck, N.Y., when she was 7.

    She's 26 now and the last two decades of her life have been a living hell of pain and suffering, mega doses of antibiotics, wars with bloodless HMOs, alternative medicine treatments, lethargy, scary weight fluctuations from drug bloating and loss of appetite, and an almost spiritual quest for lasting relief.

    "It took us six years to get Cara diagnosed," says Betsy Jacaruso, Cara's mother, a well-known Hudson Valley painter who also is a chronic Lyme sufferer. "Some doctors don't even believe in chronic Lyme disease because it doesn't always show up positive in a blood test because when Lyme mutates, it can change structure into cyst forms and hide deep in the immune cells. But simple stress can make it flare."

    As a child, Cara's chronic Lyme disease often forced her to leave school mid-term. This incurable disease also has affected her adult working life, as some days she is simply unable to get out of bed because the infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria called spirochetes causes severe headaches, fatigue, pain, insomnia, nausea, general malaise.

    Chronic Lyme disease can leave some people completely disabled.

    And, of course, instead of trying to help these victims through a life of despair, the HMOs, those towering institutions dedicated to bottomless greed, have spent millions on lobbyists and lawyers who pressured the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct to harass doctors who treat Lyme disease as a chronic illness.

    "I represent Flushing, where we don't have a huge Lyme problem," says Mayersohn, a member of the Assembly health committee. "But I had an intern who went off to graduate school and the work world; then I received a very disturbing letter from her saying she'd developed chronic Lyme disease."

    Mayersohn says the disease had attacked the young woman's central nervous system, her ability to think clearly and her memory. "She had deteriorated from a beautiful, bright young woman with her whole life in front of her to a point where she could not function," says Mayersohn. "She also told me about the whole debate about Lyme disease and how it was affecting her ability to find a doctor to treat the disease."

    So this city slicker state rep took her Queens street smarts and looked into the upstate Lyme situation and found that the Office of Professional Medical Conduct was targeting those doctors who treated chronic Lyme victims with prolonged antibiotic treatments.

    "One 27-year-old woman, named Lia, was so afflicted that she was wheelchair-bound," says Mayersohn. "They wanted to put her into a nursing home. But once she received long-term antibiotic treatments, she was able to get out of the wheelchair. Today she rides a bicycle because, obviously, prolonged antibiotic treatments work. But the insurance companies didn't want to pay the costs so they brought pressure on the OPMC and one doctor actually lost his license."

    So the outraged gentlewoman from Queens co-authored her legislation which passed the state Assembly and the state Senate. Gov. Pataki, dedicated to protect and serve the insurance companies, vetoed it.

    "But he did have the state Department of Health send out a June 15, 2005, memo demanding that the harassment of Lyme doctors cease," says Mayersohn. "It did. Still, that one doctor never got his license back."

    Mayersohn says if the harassment of Lyme doctors begins anew, she'd consider drafting new legislation for Spitzer's consideration. Amazing that it takes a legislator from Queens to spearhead change to a raging upstate health problem.

    "But it's no different than my legislation on AIDS and stroke victims," says Mayersohn. "I'm not a doctor but I have common sense. If a woman suffering from chronic Lyme disease can go from a wheelchair to a bicycle on prolonged antibiotic treatment, it must mean it works."

  2. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    So many people are getting infected now. Soon the numbers of Lyme victims will surpass AIDs victims. When that happens there will be marches on Washington. I pray that the ugly truth about this disease becomes known to the public.

    The problem with a march on Washington, DC is that too many Lyme patients are too disabled. Most people can't get worked up about a disease that doesn't kill you. There doesn't seem to be that element of fear about Lyme that there is with AIDs. Lyme is viewed to be less serious than AIDS until you get it.

    After the whole ordeal most would just forget they ever had a brush with a tick that changed their life forever. Very few turn into activists unless they were activists to begin with.

    Wouldn't it be bizzare if they announced The First Lady, Laura Bush, developed Lyme? Unless she goes to Maine to mountain bike with Mr Bush, there's only one way she could have been infected.

    Have they ever studied the STD transmission angle? Out of Africa is one of my favorite movies. That moove and book touches on the problems with syphillis treatment. If syphillis is transmitted via sex than it stands to reason that Lyme spirochetes can be passed to your partner.

    Lyme and some of the coinfections are in our blood supply.
    No one is safe. It's not a question they delve into when you donate blood. Here's the criteria from the Red Cross:
    http://www.redcross.org/services/biomed/0,1082,0_557_,00.html

    I was very touched during the GMA interview when the Brooke Landau mentioned children who were bit as toddlers who have never known a day without pain. I worry every day that I may have unknowningly passed Lyme to my child while breastfeeding. So far she's very healthy.

    We as parents are supposed to keep children safe but in reality the world harbors many things we as parents can't protect our children from. Lyme disease shouldn't be one of these things.