Growing up is overwhelming and for a child with a chronic illness such as Lyme disease, it’s even more challenging. As with any chronic illness, the impacts are felt differently by the child and their support network.

Children with Lyme will struggle with the unpredictable symptoms while parents too, will feel the pains of their children. Raising a child with Lyme can be difficult, more-so when a child faces social pressures at school for being sick.

This includes learning disabilities, depression, physical disabilities and neurological issues. But our strengths are magnified when we are prepared as parents & caregivers.

Here are some ways that you can prepare and play an important role in your child’s growth and development as they heal from Lyme or tick borne diseases.

May is officially Lyme Awareness Month and the time of year where our community tries to shine a light on this mysterious, often undiagnosed disease that affects millions of people worldwide. With over 300,000 new cases in the United States and more than 65,000 cases in the European Union each year, Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the world and can be found on almost every continent.

Ticks are migrating away from their natural habitat and can now be found in areas that have previously not been known to harbor these Lyme-infected ticks. We have a true worldwide epidemic on our hands and for those of us who have been infected, a life-altering event that has changed the course of our life.

There are some people that get Lyme disease, get treated and never have another symptom again. But there are many others who continue to suffer the consequences of this uninvited guest, even if they received early treatment. I was one of those people. I was treated within a week of my tick bite and was fine for about 8 months, but then started to relapse.

Once I realized what was happening, it took almost 3 years to get my life back. It was a long, difficult struggle, but I eventually reclaimed my life. Anyone who has been suffering from Lyme disease or coinfections knows the toll it can take on your job, relationships and overall being.

To add insult to injury, having an invisible illness makes it difficult for family, friends or even your spouse to understand what you feel on a day-to-day basis. When you “look fine”, it is easy for people to dismiss your illness or tell you “it’s all in your head”. There is nothing more frustrating to have days where you feel terrible and be marginalized by healthcare professionals, family, and friends.

For those of us who have been down this road, some for many years, we struggle on a regular basis to educate others about the effects of Lyme disease and how it impacts our daily lives. The reality of Lyme disease is not limited to one month, but often for a much longer period of time.

But if you or someone you know has been struggling with Lyme disease, I want to offer a message of hope. I was able to beat Lyme disease and it’s possible for others to beat it too. I want you to have the tools you need to help make the best decisions about your healthcare and treatments so that you get the most out of each therapy you use. Knowledge is power.

If you have been feeling hopeless or helpless, there is an army of fellow Lyme patients and practitioners who want to help you reclaim your health. I recently published The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Autoimmune Response and Beat Lyme Disease. 

This step-by-step guide can provide you with the tools you need to start your journey back to better health. I’d also like to personally invite you to join my Facebook group, where I share tips on managing Lyme disease, eating better and living a healthier lifestyle. You are not alone and there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.