Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why Mitt Romney's Lyme Disease Mailers Are Good

A highly influential social conservative in Virginia, Michael Farris, believes that people can contract “chronic Lyme disease” that must be treated with long-term antibiotics. The Center for Disease Control says there is no such thing as “chronic Lyme disease” and “long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease has been associated with serious complications.”

Well, the actual title of this article was:

Why Mitt Romney's Lyme Disease Mailers Are Dangerous, but in my opinion, and the opinion of ILADS, it's great news. Too bad Obama isn't saying these things about treatment for chronic Lyme. 

Sep 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

The Romney campaign is sending out a flyer in Northern Virginia pledging to fight Lyme Disease, which it describes as a "massive epidemic threatening Virginia":

Friday, September 28, 2012

Romney and Lyme Disease

Stranger than Fiction:

Romney's Plan to Win Virginia: Lyme Disease

On Thursday evening, Anahita Nemat, a conservative PR specialist living in Northern Virginia, tweeted out this photo, with the description: "Received my first mailer from @MittRomney & @PaulRyanVP today. It talks about Lyme Disease. Huh? I'm confused! Why?"

See rest of the article: 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Press Release about new Lyme culture test


Advanced Laboratory Services, Inc. announces additions and refinements to their revolutionary Borrelia blood culture test, to be available by August 1, 2012. In addition to confirming cultures by using polyclonal immunostaining, they will now offer two additional options: confirmation by monoclonal immunostaining, and confirmation by nucleic acid testing, using a combination of DNA PCR plus DNA sequencing. Below is the currently available test menu plus an explanation with examples of what these tests offer:


Blood samples are placed into a short-term culture upon receipt, and are assessed after approximately one week. If no Borrelia are observed, or if the results at this point are inconclusive, the sample is then transferred into a long- term culture, and read at eight weeks. All positive cultures are confirmed by growth characteristics, dark-field examination, and by Borrelia-specific polyclonal immunostaining. In some cases, the ordering practitioner may prefer to specify that immunostaining be performed using a monoclonal antibody-based immunostain. The explanation and application of these two complementary types of immunostains are outlined below. 

Read the rest of the press release about the new Borrelia culture test by Advanced Labs:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the CD-57 Test But Were too Sick to Ask

by Ginger Savely, RN, FNP-C

From coast to coast, frustrations abound among patients and clinicians regarding the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease. Misinformed health care providers in Texas and surrounding states consider the infection rare and non-endemic.

They are inclined to rule out Lyme disease based on the negative result of a laboratory test that, unbeknownst to them, is highly insensitive. In the absence of a reliable laboratory test or adequate experience in the recognition of the varied and complex presentations of the illness, most clinicians are ill-equipped to diagnose chronic Lyme disease. Many patients suffer needlessly for years, hopelessly lost in the maze of the health care system, looking for answers and enduring the skepticism of practitioners inexperienced with the disease’s signs and symptoms.

What is needed is a better Lyme test or some other objective measure to persuade the practitioner to consider the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease.

Enter the CD57 test! You may have heard the term “CD57” tossed around on chat groups, or your Lyme-literate health care provider may have even explained the test to you in one of your moments of brain-fogged stupor. What is this number that sounds more like a type of Heinz ketchup than a lab test, and what in the world does it have to do with Lyme disease?

Let’s start by going back to basic high school biology. You may remember that white blood cells (a.k.a. leukocytes) are the components of blood that help the body fight infections and other diseases. White blood cells can be categorized as either granulocytes or mononuclear leukocytes. Mononuclear leukocytes are further sub-grouped into monocytes and lymphocytes.

Lymphocytes, found in the blood, tissues and lymphoid organs, attack antigens (foreign proteins) in different ways. The main lymphocyte sub-types are B-cells, T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells. B-cells make antibodies that are stimulated by infection or vaccination. T-cells and NK cells, on the other hand, are the cellular aggressors in the immune system and are our main focus in the discussion that follows...

Read the rest of the story...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Gems Worth Reading on 9/11

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the
window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the
Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple
breath that kept
him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you
must know sorrow
as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day
to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
--Naomi Shihab Nye
By Naomi Shihab Nye
Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been detained four hours, I heard an announcement: "If anyone in the vicinity of Gate 4-A understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately." Well - one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. "Help," said the Flight Service Person. "Talk to her. What is her problem? We told her the flight was going to be late and she did this." I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke to her haltingly. "Shu dow-a, Shu-bid-uck Habibti? Stani schway, Min fadlick, Shu-bit-se-wee?" The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for major medical treatment the next day. I said, "You're fine, you'll get there, who is picking you up? Let's call him." We called her son and I spoke with him in English. I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and would ride next to her - Southwest. She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for fun. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends. Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian poets I know and let them chat with her? This all took up about two hours. She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life, patting my knee, answering questions. She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies - little powdered sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts - out of her bag - and was offering them to all the women at the gate. To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the mom from California, the lovely woman from Laredo - we were all covered with the same powdered sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookie. And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers and two little girls from our flight ran around serving us all apple juice and they were covered with powdered sugar too. And I noticed my new best friend - by now we were holding hands - had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing, with green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere. And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought, this is the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in this gate - once the crying of confusion stopped - seemed apprehensive about any other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too. This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Light in your eyes - Consciousness

I just got directed to this by someone at the infusion clinic I go to (Inn Fusion). Interesting reading for sure. It's all about chronic disease and how concepts and resistance in the body/mind affect getting well.