Road to recovery long, painful for Lyme victims
May 9th, 2014 by Amy Smart, Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
The first alarm bell went off for Dr. Ted Cormode when his daughter called from her car saying she was frightened. The Langford woman had numbness in her neck, going up the side of her face, Cormode said. His daughter, 43, has since been diagnosed with Lyme disease, an inflammatory infection spread by ticks, and is undergoing treatment, he said. But Cormode — a retired pediatrician — believes that a lack of co-ordinated action against the disease means she has suffered longer than she should. “I would say this is the most confusing and controversial disease I’ve ever encountered in my more than 45 years of practice. And I don’t understand why people aren’t working together to come to a conclusion.” Cormode said he is not an expert on Lyme disease, although he has done research. He is also a former coroner and was a member of the pediatric death review committee in Ontario. He plans to attend a day of awareness events called Let’s Talk About Lyme, to share his story as well as learn from others. Cormode’s daughter, an avid outdoorswoman, showed symptoms before she phoned her father. She had extreme headaches, light sensitivity, ringing and pain in her ears and extreme fatigue. She felt what she thought was a new mole on the back of her neck, but after a few days, it fell off in the shower. It looked like an engorged tick. The woman visited a doctor, who identified the symptoms as consistent with Lyme disease but only prescribed ten days of antibiotics. She felt better, but a few days later, the numbness came and she phoned her father. Cormode said the process has been one of inconsistencies and confusion. “Testing is extremely controversial,” he said.