Sick, Porochista Khakpour’s memoir of illness, is a well-written and unsettling account of being a woman, an immigrant, and someone who is chronically ill with Lyme disease. Her experience of debilitating illness was and is worsened by various caregivers’ refusal to believe her about her illness.
While Khakpour’s experiences of racism and sexism definitely play into that, it is currently a risky thing for anybody to identify themselves to a health care provider as having chronic or late-stage Lyme disease. We get that, and we believe our Lyme patients. We believe them about the symptoms they experience and we believe them about the reason(s) for their illness.
We’ve seen community acupuncture help Lyme patients with headaches, sleep, stress, mood and concentration problems, and arthritic pain. We’re not going to cure Lyme disease with acupuncture, but we can help with some of the symptoms—and we won’t re-traumatise anyone by not believing them.