Sep 16, 2013

Sorting through Lyme groups ~ Follow up link and lyme loonie commentary

This article is a good follow up to my last post, as it illustrates the roles of CDC, NIH, and IDSA.  This is all 'lyme 101' caliber info, certainly, but we all have to start somewhere in sorting all of this out.  And if you live in Montana or any state lacking basic lyme literacy, you've probably not had a whole lot of exposure to much of this.

NEWS: How CDC, NIH & IDSA work together to discredit idea of chronic Lyme - See more at:

The "lyme loonies" quote struck me as particularly funny when this article and issue first crossed my path.  I was newly diagnosed,  so the inter-workings and nasty politics were still new to me.  It also struck me as funny, as it followed an article about a Montana mom that included some very dismissive statements from a state official along similar lines.

Funny isn't quite the right term.  I guess it struck a chord because it was so arrogant and offensive, yet also so ironically out of touch with any science I'd come across.  The 'funny' aspect was the term lyme loonie itself; funny in more of 'punny' way, because I contracted my tick as a biologist in a state they claim doesn't have lyme, and loons themselves are one of many migratory species I come into (direct) contact with.

I admit this is not universally funny.  Just funny to me, in that it represented a bit of an eclipse in several inconsistencies I was struggling to get my head around and several thinly veiled negative sentiments toward lyme patients that were making the 'science' all the harder to stomach.  A few of those inconsistencies, mentioned in other posts, with a link to this "loonie" statement:

  • Why does the CDC feel so confident that migratory species drop their ticks before entering Montana?
  • How do we know deer ticks are not present here?
  • Why are we claiming to know that other ticks don't transmit lyme to humans, without evidence to support the claim?
  • When has lack of proof of occurrence ever been considered to inherently prove non-occurrence?
I guess loons themselves are one of many examples of species/scenarios that don't fit with what I read on the CDC website about why my residency in Montana somehow contraindicates lyme or makes adequate testing and treatment less appropriate for me as a Montanan.  The picture above is loon in tall grass....that migrates in and out of Montana, passing through and wintering in lyme endemic areas with deer ticks.  Loons may not be a primary tick host, but we know this how?  Why would a tick on a loon not survive into Montana?

Carribou make it down from Canada, and a recent visitor of that species (lyme is known to occur across the border in every direction from Montana, including Canada) came covered in ticks.  Louisiana claimed not to have deer ticks or lyme until a black bear study proved that Louisiana had both.  

This post a bit disjointed, but as I've mentioned in other blogs, recovery is a process, and I don't think my writing will continue to improve without writing, or that my cognitive function or muscle mass will recover through treatment alone.

Here are a few (more on point) lyme wars and lyme politics links for further reading.

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