Mar 102008
 

In Friday’s post I responded to a comment by “Anonymous” (Anonymous deleted the comment) with another comment questioning her knowledge of Lyme pathology. Following is part of her response (Anonymous deleted the full comment):

I know enough about Lyme. I have a close friend who claims to have “Chronic Lyme” but who I actually believe is probably suffering from either Munchausen Syndrome or hypochondria. The “dissenting research” to which you made reference has all been published by so-called “LLMDs”—the same people who stick patients on unending IV antibiotic regimens (in some cases killing them, after which, at autopsy, no sign whatsoever of Lyme Disease or coinfections is found) or prescribe quack treatments ranging from “magical lasers” (LMAO) to fad diets to herbs which, when scientifically tested, were shown to have no effect on people.

I don’t know Anonymous’ close friend so I certainly can’t speak to that specific situation. Either way I thought there are some things that can be discussed about this comment. On a side note Munchausen Syndrome and hypochondria are very different mental disorders that present very differently. Anonymous should consider looking over the DSM IV on those two issues; I’m sure the school library has a copy.

First, since Lyme was the point of comment, Lyme can be diagnosed clinically. Proceeding with antibiotic treatment with clinical signs is a reasonable course of action. Antibiotics do kill people, but that usually has more to do with an allergic reaction. An autopsy would not test for Lyme, but if the body was donated to a medical school that could be part of some research. There was no citation so nothing more to really comment on. As to the quack, or questionable treatments that certainly isn’t unique to Lyme. 😉 Certainly after many years of MVT I’m still having problems!

The bigger issue is the invisible nature of many problems. This invisibility issue affects many diseases; though MS and Lyme are noteworthy here. Anonymous’ comment about Munchausen Syndrome should hit home to many MS’ers who’ve heard the “but you look so good.” Taking a look again at the NMSS site: You can’t see fatigue, depression, cognitive issues, emotional issues, depression, headaches, burning, pain, numbness, itching, etc. Furthermore, there’s no test confirming you are having most of these problems; it is just your word. It appears that Anonymous is early in her MS journey, and maybe has not encountered the difficulty of symptoms that are unseen. Hopefully she will not have to. Regardless, I hope she did not slap the Munchausen Syndrome label on her friend for problems she could not see.