My hope is that Montanans with Lyme disease will soon be able to receive care in Montana, no matter where they contracted it. There will continue to be repetition of this point in posts here, as well as the issues surrounding that point.
I also hope, however, that contractions in Montana will VERY soon be acknowledged, evaluated, and documented. Otherwise we will remain in the “until there’s a documented case in Montana, these cases aren’t Lyme disease because there’s no documented case in Montana” loop. This is a costly, devestating, life-threatening loop.
I’ve read rebuttals in Montana articles (covering misdiagnosed patients) from health officials stating that they “humor” patients every year who think they have Lyme. I propose that those claims be evaluated instead.
I even recall in an article that is no longer posted on the Great Falls Tribune website an official stating that he humors groups of women in northwest Montana each year that “think” they have Lyme.
Isn’t this a “cluster” and doesn’t it warrant attention?
Having contracted Lyme in that part of the sate AFTER he made that statement (but years before reading it), I certainly wish he’d done more than humor them. Humoring them wasn’t enough to save my health, my quality of life, our life savings, or my career. I’d propose he do something a bit more. And it seems to me, as a professional federal biologist, to be a reasonable expectation.
As this site evolves, there will be lists of Montana articles posted on the resource pages and in further articles.
But infections are not as uncommon as health officials claim, and I have met many people who contracted Lyme in Montana in their childhoods and as adults. A very few lucky patients were diagnosed and treated here in Montana. Yet the CDC chart of reported cases still states that all cases were contracted elsewhere.
Most patients that contract Lyme here are misdiagnosed largely on the basis of the assertion that it cannot be contracted here (which is what I was told for the first 3 years, even during facial paralysis following the tick bite). Even diagnosed patients that move to Montana are out of luck in terms of Lyme-educated and experienced MD’s to provide care—there are none in Montana.
Cases are not recent, either. They pop up occasionally in the media, but far less often than in real life.
Here are just a few examples of headlines from recent decades:
Montana Lab Tries to Identify Tick Born Disease
Lyme Disease in Interior Western States, November 2010
Mysterious tick disease afflicts Montana