Under Our Skin—A Look at Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, carried by ticks, has become a politically and medically controversial disease. Image source:
In early September, I received an email from one of my friends, with the following message:
Let's pack the theaters!! I'll be volunteering there all weekend!
Under our Skin is finally hitting the big screen right here in our city 9/18-9/24. You won't be disappointed… This is a film that everyone needs to see. It says more than I could in a lifetime, and way more eloquently. The number of people diagnosed has gone up 77% from 2006-2008.
It's not about me, it's about opening your eyes to the complexity and horrid reality of chronic Lyme and how you can prevent it! You will be glad you took the 104 minutes to see this film! It could save your life or of a person you love. Turn the Corner (TTC) is the official Outreach Partner for the documentary Under Our Skin and will receive proceeds from the film.
Please respond … and invite everyone you know!
Lyme disease has become a politically and medically controversial disease. Antibiotics are used in the early stages of treatment and usually cure early localized infection. However, fewer than half the people that contract Lyme recall a tick bite and of those fewer than 50% get the bulls eye rash. Many cases go untreated for months or years. In more than half of the cases that go untreated, antibiotics will no longer cure the disease. It is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United State making it more prevalent than AIDS, yet is it also one of the most widely misdiagnosed. Those suffering from Lyme disease are often misdiagnosed with maladies ranging from chronic fatigue syndrome to multiple sclerosis to Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Most often those with Lyme are mistreated and still suffer. This documentary goes into the nuances of Lyme; how devastating it has been to those suffering it and how our healthcare system has only put on a bandaid on a severely debilitating disease. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle features the film’s director and revives the discussion about Lyme Disease.
Many people only learn more about diseases when it touches someone they love. My friend Gayle, has been a light and an inspiration in this sense to family and friends. Her symptoms for a long time have been misdiagnosed. She was bit once when she was in her early teens. Her doctor and her believe her disease worsened when she was bit again a few years ago while camping in California and suffered co-infection. This past year, she was finally diagnosed correctly and has been undergoing intensive treatment. Her background is as an RN, and true to form she has been using her own experience to advocate and treat others. Most people with chronic Lyme show little improvement with a course of antibiotics. However, in the past few years, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been showing steady improvement in many chronic cases. She now works at a Hyperbaric clinic in the city. Most days, she gets up, receives her treatment and then spends the rest of the day treating others.
So for Gayle, this is my attempt to pack the theaters. The proceeds from this movie will go to The Corner Foundation for grants and research to support those suffering this disease and prevent more from doing so. It is a worthy cause worth writing about and a movie I will be attending.