A New Look at Chronic Lyme

By Pamela Weintraub

“Many physicians who treat tick-borne diseases now combine conventional medicine with gentler integrative strategies — and more long-term patients are getting well.

In the summer of 1997, Jennifer Crystal discovered a red, splotchy rash on her arm. A 19-year-old counselor at a camp in Maine at the time, Crystal had grown up in Connecticut; both states are epicenters of tick-borne diseases like Lyme.

Yet no one thought much of that rash — not even later, when, back at her Vermont college, she developed flulike symptoms: joint aches, fever, headache, and extreme fatigue. “I could barely get to class,” she recalls.

In the years that followed, the cluster of symptoms persisted. Crystal doggedly pushed through, completing a semester abroad, finishing college, and moving to Colorado to become a ski instructor — her lifelong dream — until it all became too much for her health. She ended up moving back to Connecticut to live with her family.”

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