"About 95% of our patients see significant improvement with this therapy."
"You won't be disappointed."
"I promise this will work for you, just try it."
"Most of our patients get well."
For every single Lyme disease protocol I have tried, when I have inquired about and probed for statistics regarding the success of that protocol, invariably, I am given an answer that resembles one of the above. Whether the founders, or practitioners of these protocol are simply trying to be optimistic; whether they truly believe that their treatments work for a vast majority; whether they are afraid to be honest or can't objectively evaluate the results of their work, I am left with the same feeling; that the latest, greatest treatment for Lyme disease doesn't work as well as they say it does.
It wasn't always this way. As a naive newbie to the Lyme world, I used to embrace these statements with great hope and expectation, even belief that the next protocol was going to be "it" for me, especially when its founders, or practitioners, would offer strong reassurances that this was likely to be the case.
My experience has been that no protocol, by itself, brings total healing to the body, and that most often, a combination of strategies is necessary. I actually get irritated now, whenever I hear somebody--a health care practitioner,
or a fellow Lyme disease sufferer-- exaggerate the claims of their healing remedies.
Please, please, don't ever do this! People are crushed by despair when you promise that what worked for them will work for you, and it doesn't! Not to mention the fact that, if you swear by a treatment, some will spend endless dollars and months on that treatment, only to be disappointed when it doesn't deliver what you promised.
And to those health care practitioners who offer vague statistics on healing, such as, "Most people have been significantly helped by this therapy", I implore you-- be as specific as you can! People want to know if your treatments work, and if so, to what degree. They need to know, because many Lyme sufferers are living on food stamps and charity and can't afford to spend countless hours and dollars on unsubstantiated strategies.
A couple of practitioners with whom I have spoken have made claims that their protocol cure 90-95% of their clients, and I have found this not to be true. And not because they are greedy or have evil intentions; quite the opposite. Many truly want to help and heal others.
So why? I surmise these practitioners claim a high healing rate, in part, because they want to encourage their clients. But why give a person false hope? Do they not know that their work isn't as effective as they think it is?
I wish health care providers had a better way of tracking results in their patients. I wish more would take a hard, honest look at the efficacy of their stategies and offer solid statistics to those who are seeking their services. And in the absence of information, that they could simply say, "I don't know how well this works." It would be nice, too, if we Lyme disease sufferers took a less egocentric view of healing and realized that, just because something has worked for us, doesn't mean it will work for others.
Let's learn to look into our heart of hearts and be honest with others, no matter that we might lose some business or prestige. No matter that we disappoint our sick friends. False stats cause people to waste time, dollars and energy. It crushes hope and fosters mistrust. True love and concern for others embraces honesty, and stops to consider the powerful ramifications of words.
In the meantime, if you are a Lyme disease sufferer, I encourage you to swallow any healing stats with a grain of salt. Get as many opinions as you can about a particular strategy, before embarking on a journey that leads to thousands of hours and dollars spent. And keep your hope in check; it's good to be optimistic, but chances are, that new protocol isn't going to save your life.