A wise colleague once told me, “Everything you hear about Lyme disease is true.” I agree – I tend to believe each person or organization has some rational basis to their perspective on this debated topic. As one who seeks to reconcile rather than create or enhance conflicts, what then is our practice’s approach to Lyme disease, and especially “chronic Lyme disease” (more preferably termed Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, PTLDS, by the CDC)?
First and foremost, we are patient advocates. We bring no presumptions or biases in meeting a new patient and listening to his/her story about what has led that individual to seek consultation, and whether Lyme Disease may be the problem (or part of the problem) or not.
Secondly, we approach our evaluations as objectively and thoroughly as possible. We spend the necessary time to gather adequate information to create a thoughtful and complete conclusion or “gameplan”, which includes more accurate diagnostic testing for Lyme Disease and it’s co-infections, as well as comprehensive testing for other non-Lyme conditions which may be causing one’s symptoms, when warranted. When evaluating any given patient for Lyme Disease, it is obviously on our list of possibilities, but we are also evaluating for the possibility that a patient may be dealing with another condition (or other conditions) – possibly *instead* of Lyme Disease, or possibly *in addition to* Lyme Disease – if Lyme Disease isn’t the final conclusion.