Acclaimed Young Adult Author Jame Richards Discusses Lyme Disease
Jame Richards, award winning author of the recently released Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of The Johnstown Flood recently released a statement on Lyme disease. Imagine we are all very famous people, the type of situation that would call for us to “make a statement” about something. That’s pretty much what it’s like. Except not really at all, it’s more like she’s a dear friend who wanted to help out with our Paint May Lyme Green campaign, and as we close out the month of May campaign she said this about her own bout with Lyme disease, as well as a warning for others:
“I’ve taken ticks off my husband and both my children, yet I’m the one who had Lyme. I never saw a tick on me, never had a rash. I was lucky to catch it early, only because I noticed a strange sensation in my hands and feet, like edema but without the swelling. But there must be as many different Lyme symptoms and scenarios as there are cases of Lyme: I would urge people to be conscious of unexplained sensations, random fevers, joint pain, etc. Be mindful AND get tested!”
Not only is Jame a great author, she’s also a great friend of mine. She has watched as my journey with Lyme disease began, and how it has continued. She has seen the struggle I’ve had before me to get the care that I need, and when I found that care, how I had to spend every last dollar I had to pay for it. So while for some in the medical community there may be a question as to whether Chronic Lyme Disease exists or not, Jame can tell you it does:
“If Lyme disease doesn’t really exist, and is just a fabrication on the part of people who are lazy and want to get out of working, explain why my friend Eric works tirelessly, longer hours than most people, to raise awareness about the disease and its prevention. And wedged in between, he pursues medical care, alternative treatments and ever-elusive relief from the debilitating pain he suffers every moment of every day. Eric, a vibrant, energetic guy who enjoyed his career and spending time with loved ones, was plucked from his own life by Lyme, reduced to an assortment of agonizing symptoms and the malfunction of one bodily system after another after another. Yet Eric gathers what dignity remains to fight on in spite of the pain, to unite Lyme sufferers, and to educate and protect the rest of us from a similar fate.
And yet, some would say Eric chose this path. Chose to give up his job, his home and every last cent in his bank account? Chose to fill his days with pills and injections, brain fog and memory lapses? And fill his mostly-sleepless nights with sweats, terrors, worry and sitcom reruns? Though Eric is someone who has the courage to walk a difficult path, to overcome obstacles and persevere, you could never convince me that he has chosen chronic illness, or that his experience is anything less than genuine.”
Thank you so much Jame on behalf of all of those who suffer with Lyme Disease for your powerful words. We appreciate so much those who stand up with courage to defend us, many of whom are too sick to stand and defend themselves.