Bloody Lymey

A Blog About Living with Lyme Disease

Can Lyme Disease Kill You ? Part II

on July 9, 2011

In my site stats, I’m seeing that this question is repeated over and over and over again and how it’s resulting in my blog being found by search engines.

The last time I wrote about lyme deaths, I mentioned that I found articles citing suicide as the number one cause of death.

I have done more reading and it is rare that lyme disease is listed on a death certificate as the cause of death. Some argue that this alone means it doesn’t kill anyone. In fact, many subscribe to this, looking no further.

In fact, if you google this question, many sites will simply say it’s “rarely if ever fatal.” Or “there is only one documented case of a human death from lyme disease.” Or “it probably won’t kill anyone.”

Other camps argue that people die from “pulmonary failure” but that the autopsying physician doesn’t list lyme disease as the cause of the condition. Some die from neurological complications and these complications are cited on death certificates as causes of death. However, these people were as healthy as can be until ticks bit them.

Lyme disease can complicate pregnancy (and if you’re reading this and you’re pregnant, then don’t worry too much. Make sure you have a great physician and specialist and keep doing what they say). We could get into a lengthy debate about when life begins and whether or not a miscarried fetus is in actuality a life, but … let’s pretend the grieving mother-to-be and mourning father-to-be and saddened grandparents-to-be are listening. To them, it’s a loss. It’s a loss of a life. It’s a loss of potential. It’s a death.

Meningitis is a symptom of lyme disease – and I’ve had it! In fact, my specialist thinks it may be what helped reduce my ADD symptoms over the past few years. Meningitis does kill people.

There are many ways to die from lyme disease. Many. However, no one looks beyond the “heart attack” or the “neurological issues” or the “respiratory failure.” Especially since many physicians won’t concede that lyme exists and fewer will concede how dangerous it is.

For a poignant list of people who have died of tick-borne illnesses, look at this site:

http://www.lymememorial.org/Fatality_Citations.htm

It contains a lot of medical jargon, but it makes a great point. I think what I like about it IS the medical jargon. Initially I thought its cool and clinical tone undermined the “memorial” aspect. In addition, I thought the absence of names and photos seemed to steal from the “human face” one-two punch that might have been thrown in the face of all the doubters. But the cool and clinical tone …. it makes you want to take it seriously. Its verbiage communicates medical knowledge of the disease, some level of expertise. The nameless people listed in this catalog of mortality are patients and treated as such. This is more of a reason to take this website seriously.

Toward the bottom, there are lots of fatality citations in animals – including dogs, cats and livestock. No one is invincible.

You may also notice in this site how widespread tick-borne illnesses are (and let’s think beyond lyme disease because there are many different infections and co-infections). There are deaths cited everywhere from Brazil to Thailand to the Sahara. A Japanese tourist brought home an American souvenir: lyme disease. Perhaps it was too exotic of an illness for the medical community in Japan? Perhaps it found her weakness and went for the jugular. The website says it took four years for her demise.

That’s the other problem with lyme disease as a cause of death. It impacts everyone SO differently and it seems to find the fast track to destroying people. If you’re vulnerable in the heart, it will go for you there. If your nervous system is just a smidgeon compromised, it will take up roots there. When someone dies from these complications, the doctor probably shrugs and said “there was a family history of heart disease” or “he had a neurologist for years prior to having lyme disease …. he was going to die from this anyway.”

Speaking from experience, I can say that if you don’t literally die from it, you die from it. You don’t die physically, but in no longer living, you die. Laying on a couch half asleep for hours on end isn’t living. Keeping your feet elevated for a couple of hours because you finally HAD to go to the grocery store isn’t living. Being unable to pick up the house properly and living in clutter is not living. Being unable to make plans to do anything at all – even having a coffee with a friend – is not living.

If you’re not living, you’re not necessarily a casualty. But you feel like one.


13 responses to “Can Lyme Disease Kill You ? Part II

  1. spigitz says:

    I personaly know of three people that have died from lyme. There death certificate doesn’t say that’s the cause though .. 2 of them died from heart complications from lyme and the other killed himself…I am dieing a slow death from lyme. I have already died in a way. I have lost my life savings my business my ability to think I have lost my friends and much more ..don’t go near the woods ..

    • Becki says:

      Spigitz, I am so sorry for your losses. I know how you feel about feeling like you’ve already died. I’ve felt that way – particularly with the fatigue and sometimes there’s something in my soul since it’s robbed me of my old identity – the athletic lady who loved to rush through the woods and up mountains.

      And yeah, it’s weird how Lyme doesn’t appear on death certificates but is responsible for people’s deaths and because it doesn’t make the “cause of death” with a mortician’s signature it doesn’t get the respect it deserves in “statistics.”

      Are you still being treated for it?

  2. Michelle says:

    I have Lyme, and at 25 years old I had a seizure that put me into respiratory failure. I had to be placed on life support, and I almost died.The seizures are directly caused by the Lyme, and they’ve almost took me out more than once. It happens way more than they realize!

    • Becki says:

      Wow, Michelle. I’m sorry to hear about this. I had seizures as a teen – not Lyme related – and they’re horrible. Then the unpredictable nature of losing total control of your body is just terrifying – from driving to taking a bath …….. It’s amazing how Lyme Disease changes us. That being said, I had no idea that seizures could be that severe. Have they found a way to control them? The sucky thing is that without their curing our CAUSE of our problems, we have to play games with the doctor where we just control our symptoms. Be well, and stay in touch. <3

  3. Elton says:

    trażnika, który codziennie informował o Elton
    postępach w pracy cieśli, rozkładających rusztowanie w branży.
    – To prawda, że w tym momencie zamykają? – spytał z rezygnacją rycerz.

    Zgodność z rzeczywistością – ożywił się
    Kr.

  4. Torsten says:

    c wzroku z twarzy Froda. Gdzieś
    w ogonie Torsten dobiegło potwierdzające mruknięcie.
    Niepośledni zamęt, Kirpiczew uśmiechnął
    się w charakterze hiena. – Istotnie naturalnie.
    .. Pogawarim…
    Frodo przeklinał swoją rozum, kable były pod dostatkiem rozwlekłe, bez
    bariery sięgały od chwili przetwornicy oraz akumulatorów awaryjnego zasilania!

    Kirpiczew bawił się krokodylowym zaciskiem, Sprężyna była mocn.

  5. Aezaq says:

    I’ve had lyme for a long time, don’t actually know how long, but since I was I little kid. The neuro symptoms have gotten substantially worse lately. I’ve been planning my suicide for a while now.

    • Becki says:

      Aezaq-

      I see an email address attached to your name. Is it okay if I email you? I would like to discuss your plans with you if that’s alright?

      I know there are days that I have wished it would just end, and honestly there were days I didn’t care how it ended. But you know what? I never would have had the bliss of enjoying a GOOD day. We have them. Even days with pain, even days when we can’t control our bodies or we’re exhausted and feel half dead anyway ………. there are days when we experience things that are priceless.

      But I would like to talk to you more privately if that’s okay?

      My email is buskahhh@gmail.com Would you please email me? I think this is such a lonely experience and no one understands and the medical people are so quick to dismiss us as hypochondriacs or attention whores. I think they dismiss us not because of us because they’re afraid if they don’t then they will have to admit that they don’t have a real plan for us. I completely understand why you would feel this way. I just want to get to know you better.

      Please email me.

      • Becki says:

        Could I also add that there is a suicide hotline phone number: 1-800-273-8255 . I know life sucks BAD with Lyme Disease and it seems like it gets worse rather than better. But there ARE good days, and it’s worth enduring the bad days to experience the good times. Please think this over.

        I’m thinking about you and hope you’re okay.

  6. Lymed Out says:

    Hi Aezaq-
    I’m pretty sure that many have been in your shoes, and all we can say is that there is hope. I am living proof that there is hope and that treatment works. Have you found a good LLMD? Are you in treatment? Please please take Becki’s advice and call the 1800 number.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel… THERE IS!!!

  7. Paul Von says:

    Hello Aezaq and concerned readers: I’ve had lyme for many years, and know how bad the seizures and spasms can get. There have been a number of days that my loss of body control makes me want to just pull the trigger. The primary thought that has kept me alive these last years, is knowing how many others are being destroyed by this treatable illness. I would like to help you all recover your life, and get better. PLEASE READ the following advice:

    Neurological damage from lyme disease is greatly exaserbated by electromagnetic radiation from cell towers, wi-fi mesh networks, portable DECT phones, “smart meters” installed by utility companies, digital television broadcast, and many other pulsed digital radiation sources. This is not conspiracy theory or idle speculation. I have an electrical engineering degree and 37 years of electronics technology background. EM radiation poisoning is no joke. It is very similar to nuclear radiation poisoning, and there is plenty of documented evidence.

    It is important to reduce or eliminate ALL EM radiation fields from your living environment, as they add significantly to your physical discomfort, and will impair your body’s healing process. EM radiation is a known class 2b carcinogen, causes single and double strand breaks in cellular DNA, causes birth defects and behavioral disorders, and is a major contributor to autoimmune disorders. Much of this information is specified in the 2012 BioInitiative Report. PLEASE read the information in this report, as it could save your life.

    There are shielding materials and helpful advice on web sites such as:

    http://www.electricsense.com/ http://emfsafetystore.com/ http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/ http://emfsolutions.ca/news.php and many others.

    I hope this information is helpful in assisting your recovery from lyme illness.

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