Connie Strasheim is a medical journalist who has detailed her struggle to get well after contracting Lyme disease. She is the author of the newly published book Insights Into Lyme Disease: 13 Lyme-literate Health Care Practitioners Share Their Healing Strategies. She gives us more of her thoughts.
What treatment was most helpful to your recovery?
It’s hard to say. The cumulative effects of all of my treatments have benefited me. A healthy diet, hormonal supplementation , prayer and energy medicine (Bionic 880 device) have probably produced the most dramatic results.
What has been the financial cost of your treatments?
Thousands upon thousands of dollars. It’s hard to say. I probably spend an average of 1-2K per month on my health now. In my first years with Lyme, it was probablyÂ more like 2-3K per month.
How did you get the idea to do your latest book?
I decided that there wasn’t enough information out there from the experts on how to treat chronic Lyme disease. And because it’s such a complicated, difficult disease to treat, I decided that the more information I could get “out there”, the better off people would be.
How are you doing with sales?
It’sÂ so farÂ doing pretty well for a Lyme disease book.Â But what most people don’t realize is that most authors don’t make a living writing books–that is actually difficult to do, but they often invest a lot of time and energy into writing them.
This book was no exception. It was a tremendous project, but well worth it because I think it will help many. And if I make some money in the process, then great! I will be really happy about that.
What are you doing to promote your book?
I share it with people whenever I can.Â My publisher and I have a number of different marketing strategies in place and others that we are working on.
What would you change about your latest book if you could do it over again?
That’s a good question. So far I have no regrets. I would probably try to streamline the writing process a bit better.
It’s difficult toÂ involveÂ fourteen people, including myÂ publisher, in the editing process.
Lyme practitioners are notoriously publicity shy. How did you convince the people in your book to publicly disclose their treatment regimens?
I didn’t have to convince them. The doctors that participated in this bookÂ want to see people well. They are willing to take risks to help others.
But writing about treatments inÂ a book isn’t the same as giving random medical advice to people. The information in the book is for informational purposes only, it isn’t intended as treatment advice, and we put aÂ disclaimer at the front of the book that states this.
In turn, thisÂ protects the health care providers.
Are you concerned that you might be a target for a lawsuit if someone tries a treatment described in your book and has a bad outcome?
No, because I am not giving treatment advice. I am simply a provider of information, and again, the disclaimer at the front of the book makes this clear.
Do you have errors and omission insurance on your book?
No, I don’t.
Other than your books, what one single Lyme book would you recommend to your readers?
Good question. If you want to learn about the politics and history of Lyme, P. Weintraub’s book, Cure Unknown, is a good resource.
Dr. Singleton has written a good, comprehensiveÂ book on Lyme treatments. But all of the books out there have value.
Why is there such controversy in the treatment of Lyme Disease? How do you respond to some patients’ charges that there is a “conspiracy” to deny Lyme patients care.
Controversy exists because organizations like the CDC, Centers for Disease Control, as well as IDSA, the Infectious Disease Society of America, have a political agenda which prevents them from recognizing chronic Lyme disease and its prevalence, despite the fact that an abundance of evidence exists to prove that it is, in fact, a serious and widespread problem.
Testing guidelines are outdated and flawed, patients can present with over 300 different symptoms, further complicating diagnosis, and treatment is extremely expensive.
The cost of antibiotic treatment, which is, on average, $100,000 for a person with chronic Lyme, means that insurance companies are reluctant to recognize and treat it.
Other reasons for the controversy exist, too many to name here, so I would recommend P. Weintraub’s book for anyone who wants to learn more.
I can’t speak about whether a conspiracy exists to deny Lyme patients proper care, but nothing would surprise me, after what I have seen and learned over the past five years about this disease.
What is your next writing project?
Good question. Guess I need to ask God about that one.
I would actually like to write a book on spirituality, but I may end up doing another book on Lyme that addresses new treatments or areas of research that haven’t been given much attention.
What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
Growing stronger through my trials with Lyme disease, and surviving it with my sanity intact.
Click here for part 1 of this this interview.