How to help a friend suffering from Lyme/bartonella?

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applekat
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/23/2011 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,
I wanted to ask you all if you had any suggestions for how to help a friend suffering from bartonella brought on Lyme. He's been sick for about 7 years now and recently seems to be doing a bit worse, so I wanted to get your opinions on what some things I could do for him are, or things I can say to be helpful.
Thanks so much. :)

Alaskah
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 10/23/2011 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Listen to him. Like, *really* listen, don't cut him off or do other things while he is speaking. Don't make him feel like he is a burden on you or he will bottle it away. Offer to help him do things, but don't make him feel useless - let him do what he can. I just wish I had someone in my life who would listen and understand.

Also, not all symptoms are physical. Many are neurological and may include difficultly with short term memory, depression, anxiety, "brain fog," etc. They are often more difficult to cope with than the physical pain. Offer to help him seek counseling if needed, or to locate a good LLMD if he isn't seeing one already. Maybe go to dr. visits with him if he seems nervous or depressed going alone. But if he prefers to keep certain things private, respect that.

But don't always focus on the disease. Be fun and upbeat if he is feeling well and take his mind off of it.

yogilymie
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 10/23/2011 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I can already tell he's very lucky to have you as a friend! Depending in how high functioning he is, you could offer to drive him to appointments or run an errand, go for a walk together if he's up for it, cook a meal for him, bring over a funny movie to watch. Those day-to-day things are huge for someone with a tick born illness. The most important thing is just to let him know he has your support. Ask how he's doing and really mean it, let him vent, validate what he is feeling, and maybe have a couple funny stories to tell him when he's sick of talking about his disease :).

applekat
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/23/2011 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both so much for your input! I really appreciate hearing from you.
Alaskah, if you ever want to bounce thoughts of off someone new, feel to send me a message. I might not know all the right things to say, but I'll definitely listen to what you have to say.
I really wish the best for both of you, too - I have chronic illnesses too (thought not Lyme-related) and I know how tough it can get - so stay strong and be well. :)

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36298
   Posted 10/24/2011 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Depending on how close you are with this friend - learn about these infections! There is nothing like someone who actually understands something about what we are going through! I'm sure you can relate since you have chronic illnesses as well! What a good friend you are for this person!

If you can find a way for this friend to read our "New to Lyme?...Start here!" thread as it is packed full of really great info! Also feel free to use our search function for here on the site. It'll help you and your friend understand or maybe even find something that will help!

And, as has already been said - get your friend to get treatment from an ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) trained LLMD(Lyme Literate Medical Doctor). If the doc that your friend is seeing is trained using all of the scientifically based medicine, he will stand a greater chance of recovery.

And last, come back an visit us lots!! We can help both of you understand some things, and we can always relate our experiences, and give tips and hints as to what got us through this or that!

Nice to meet you Applekat! Hope to see you again soon! smilewinkgrin
Co-Moderator, Lyme Disease ;)

Treating with Acupuncture, Traditional & Modern Chinese Medicine & Western Herbs. Before tx, I had all but 20 of the symptoms on the "Master Symptom List"

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP

I break up my post because my eyes have been effected by TBI's as well, making long paragraphs very hard to read.

applekat
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/24/2011 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your response, Traveler! I've been doing my best to educate myself about Lyme and bartonella so I can understand what's going on when he talks about his symptoms and medicines. (: He's got a particular strain of bart that is really rare and unresearched, so his healing is taking quite a while and it's hard to know what's right for him. He has an amazing LLMD though, and his mom even researches bart professionally. (:

I'll definitely stick around the forum and do my best to educate myself and hear what you guys have to say. Thanks! :)

Carrie48
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 10/24/2011 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Applekat: I'm sure all people with lyme wish they had a friend as thoughtful as you!!!
DX with Lyme and Erlichosis in January 2010. January-August: Biaxin and Amoxicillian. September 2011 - ? on Rifampin and Zithromax. Symtpoms mostly neuro and have 20 small lesions on brain.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36298
   Posted 10/25/2011 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I know I do!!! smilewinkgrin
Co-Moderator, Lyme Disease ;)

Treating with Acupuncture, Traditional & Modern Chinese Medicine & Western Herbs. Before tx, I had all but 20 of the symptoms on the "Master Symptom List"

"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP

I break up my post because my eyes have been effected by TBI's as well, making long paragraphs very hard to read.

applekat
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/25/2011 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Ahh, thank you guys so much, that's so kind of you to say! I'm just trying to be supportive and help out however I can. :)

LymieAngel
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 466
   Posted 10/27/2011 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
wow.....if just one person in my life would read up on this and educate theirselves...what an awesome friend to do this....it would feel so good not to have to explain why or why im not doing something...or what my facial expressions mean when im trying to get up from a seated position....u have given me hope that maybe in the near future someone will do this for me also....
lyme, rocky mountain spotted fever, typhus, babesia.....adrenaline defecient....on lots of dang meds...sheesh...and doxy is evil...lol

applekat
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/27/2011 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much, it means a lot that you think so. :) I really hope you can find someone in your life that will help support you. You can always message me, too, if you want to talk. I might not be able to relate, but I'll certainly listen. :)
Depression/Anxiety/OCD

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

LymieAngel
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 466
   Posted 10/27/2011 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
my gosh applekat...u r jus awesome......
lyme, rocky mountain spotted fever, typhus, babesia.....adrenaline defecient....on lots of dang meds...sheesh...and doxy is evil...lol

applekat
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/27/2011 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much, but really, it's nothing! Just trying to be a good friend. :)
Depression/Anxiety/OCD

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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