My interest is based on an effort to be a student of the overall disease process, specifically to address an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease. I need to better understand the various parameters often associated with the disease, such as vectors, primary/secondary symptoms, diagnostic methods, immune response, and identification of efficacious treatment protocols. For over 10 years, I struggled with a seemingly intractable, advanced stage infection, with neurological dissemination and tertiary involvement. After initiating aggressive IV antibiotics during much of this period, I finally saw a stop in the progression and resolution of many symptoms. At the same time, I incurred permanent, systemic damage that has resulted in ongoing problems and has significantly impacted my function and quality of life. It is relevant that, in spite of meeting the "gold standards" of serological and clinical criteria, my diagnosis and necessary treatment were delayed. In addition, like many victims, decisions about my diagnosis/treatment were confounded by erroneous assumptions and lack of awareness--- by myself, by medical practitioners and other people who I was relying upon to guide me. As an ardent patient advocate, I want to be able to understand and better analyze the plethora of information which is circulated about Lyme Disease, much of which is often misconstrued, isolated out of context, misinterpreted, misguided, misleading, and, sometimes, potentially dangerous for potential victims of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne infections. So, I am trying to become a diligent student and greatly appreciate any help I can get with this endeavor.

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