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MacLean’s magazine – The truth about Lyme disease

 Lyme disease can masquerade as MS, ALS, even dementia and its numbers are growing tenfold. So why is Canada lagging behind in treating and diagnosing it?

by Anne Kingston  [March 2014]

For decades, Gabriel Magnotta, the well-known Ontario wine-industry firebrand, went hunting with a group of friends. These expeditions took them into the wilds of almost every Canadian province. In time, three of the men would share something else: symptoms associated with “neurological” diseases—numbing of limbs, tremors, dizziness. Two were diagnosed with Parkinson’s when only in their 40s. Magnotta—co-founder with his wife, Rossana, of Vaughan, Ont.-based Magnotta Winery—was not as readily diagnosed. He began having balance problems in 2003, but test after test in Canada and the U.S. came back negative. Meanwhile, his health deteriorated—he had difficulty walking and talking, cognitive fog, double vision and intense joint aches.

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  1. I too contracted Lyme in Toronto, Ontario in 2009. Life has not been the same since; the onslaught of symptoms, ranging from debilitating fatigue, confusion, cognitive impairment, diminished eye-sight, on and off paralysis, inability to have brain signal hand to write or type, numbness on right side of entire body, degenerative disk disease, joint pain and anxiety and depression are a small percentage of the symptoms I experienced and some of these symptoms are still affecting me and some are permanent. The lifestyle change which this creates adds a whole other layer of stress as activities you previously shared with others, you can no longer partake in due to certain physical limitations and your friendships, careers and hobbies disappear as you can no longer do them – running a business, gardening, any sports (had knee surgery from degeneration-with permanent limiting damage after Lyme). After a year of heavy antibiotic usage, most symptoms disappears, not the permanent damage though. My doctor was not quite finished treatment with me when the College of Physicians and Surgeons began an investigation which, from all past experience with doctors in Canada, would have led to him losing his license. He cut all his patients loose at that time. I cannot afford to go to the States for treatment and just try to tell myself every day that the system will change and we can gain access to required treatment and that we will all be well again. You can get tetracycline for Acne – ongoing, antibiotics for 4 years for Leprosy but you can’t get more than 4 weeks of antibiotics to kill Lyme. Let’s get our heads around the disconnect here. Lyme is a killer and antibiotics appear to be the cure at this time. Mary

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