Jennifer Crystal Archives - Global Lyme Alliance Jennifer Crystal Archives - Global Lyme Alliance

What Lyme Patients Can Teach Us About the New N...

by Jennifer Crystal The start of a new school year is usually a time of excitement: new pencils, new books, new teachers and classmates. While there’s always some trepidation for students, teachers, and parents alike, …MORE

Have You Heard of the Tick-Borne Disease Babesi...

by Jennifer Crystal Lyme disease isn’t the only illness you can get from a tick bite Babesiosis, a tick-borne infection caused by the parasite Babesia (most commonly, Babesia microti, though there are other species like …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at [email protected] Do you usually feel a tick bite? …MORE

Cooling Off When Swimming Isn’t an Option

by Jennifer Crystal Heat can take a toll when living with Lyme disease Summer is usually a time for celebration, relaxation, and fun in the sun, but 2020 presents special challenges. Due to the pandemic  …MORE

Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 4

by Jennifer Crystal As many of you know from my previous blog posts and my webinar with Daniel Cameron, M.D., I got sick with COVID-19 in mid-March. I have charted my progress with in Corona With …MORE

We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet

by Jennifer Crystal It’s finally Summer! The heat has arrived, the sun is out, and everyone wants to be outside. Before we begin to romp too freely in the great outdoors, however, we have to …MORE

Calculating Risks

by Jennifer Crystal When living with Lyme disease and making decisions in regards to your health, it’s important to weigh the dangers, benefits, and consequences. It’s called taking calculated risks. When I got my PICC …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at [email protected] I have tried several different medications for …MORE

You Know Your Body Best

by Jennifer Crystal …we grow up thinking of doctors as all-knowing. Whatever ‘the doctor’ said—be it the Primary Care Physician, the family doctor, or the ER doctor—was once deemed absolute. This doesn’t have to be …MORE

Managing Burning Extremities

by Jennifer Crystal Dealing with unexplained symptoms? Don’t rule out Lyme & other tick-borne diseases Last night I went to sleep about an hour past my usual bedtime. Revved up from a busy day which …MORE

The Comfort of Solidarity

by Jennifer Crystal When I was bedridden with Lyme disease, two tick-borne co-infections babesia and ehrlichia, and chronic Epstein-Barr virus, I often felt terribly alone. Friends and family did their best to try to understand …MORE

Speaking Up for the Immunocompromised

by Jennifer Crystal I live in a high-rise apartment building with a common laundry room for hundreds of apartments. The long, narrow room is lined with ten washers and dryers, with barely enough space for one …MORE

Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 3

by Jennifer Crystal Since writing “Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 1” and following up with a sequel a few weeks later, I’ve received many emails from those who wonder how I’m doing. In …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at [email protected] How do you know if antibiotics are …MORE

The Importance of Being Vigilant

by Jennifer Crystal From medication issues to prescription errors and medical bills, these areas require heightened vigilance when dealing with tick-borne illness In a recent blog post “Don’t Forget It’s Tick Season, Too”, I discussed …MORE

What a Difference a Year Makes

by Jennifer Crystal When I was little, my grandmother used to sing the Dinah Washington song, “What a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours…” Later, memories of her singing those lyrics carried me through …MORE

Don’t Forget It’s Tick Season, Too

by Jennifer Crystal While everyone is quarantined at home people have one illness in mind: COVID-19. It’s why we wear gloves and masks, why we sanitize anything we touch, and the reason we practice social …MORE

Lyme and COVID-19 Panel: Follow-up Q and A

by Jennifer Crystal Last week, I had the opportunity to talk about my experience as a Lyme patient with COVID-19 on a panel with leading Lyme specialist Dr. Daniel Cameron. Thank you to everyone who …MORE

Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 2

by Jennifer Crystal I have been battling COVID-19 symptoms for almost five weeks. I have had Lyme disease and two tick-borne co-infections—babesia and ehrlichia—for twenty-three years, though my tick-borne diseases went undiagnosed for the first …MORE

Top Ten Myths About Lyme Disease

by Jennifer Crystal Lyme is an enormously complex disease. To properly understand its symptomology, diagnostic issues, and treatment options, you’ve got to do a good deal of research. And that’s just for Lyme; there are …MORE

Corona With a Twist of Lyme

by Jennifer Crystal Our nation is in a crisis about novel coronavirus COVID-19, and no one is more fearful than those with pre-existing conditions. These patients, along with the elderly, are at high risk if …MORE

The Importance of Digging Deep

by Jennifer Crystal I was a telling a date last night about my Lyme journey. He responded, “I read an article that said Lyme can be cured, but then I read another that said it …MORE

Lyme Brain: The Science and the Experience

by Jennifer Crystal At the 2019 International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) conference in Boston, infectious disease specialist Francine Hanberg, M.D. gave a talk about the causes and manifestations of “Lyme brain” called “Neuropathology …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

By Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Below she answers some that she’s recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at …MORE

The Leaps of Lyme

by Jennifer Crystal This year is a “leap year”, meaning that every four years we add February 29th to the calendar. This leap year got me thinking about the many leaps that are involved in …MORE

Mixed Messages: Finding Your Truth

by Jennifer Crystal Why is there so much conflicting information on Lyme disease? Here are a few tips on how to cope One student in the “Writing to Heal” course I teach recently wrote a …MORE

Stop the Itching! Lyme and Hives

by Jennifer Crystal Do you get unexplained hives? Could it be Lyme disease? Four years after I was bitten by a tick—and four years before I would be diagnosed with three tick-borne illnesses: Lyme, babesia, and …MORE

When Nothing’s Funny, Even Simulated Laughter C...

by Jennifer Crystal In 2016, I wrote a post called “Laughter Really Can Be the Best Medicine”. In it, I discussed the health benefits of laughter: it reduces stress and anxiety, decreases pain, strengthens resilience, …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Below she answers some that she’s recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at …MORE

2020 Vision For Lyme Warriors

by Jennifer Crystal Here are some things I now know for sure, things I wish I’d known, looking back on my Lyme Journey As the saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” It’s easy for us to …MORE

Tick-Borne Disease: The Year in Review

by Jennifer Crystal A few highlights on the advances in Lyme in 2019 The end of the year can be a time for reflection. What have we achieved? What losses have we endured? How have …MORE

Dealing With Brain Fog

by Jennifer Crystal What is brain fog, exactly? What does it feel like? What can a patient do to get rid of it? Writing a weekly blog post is a thrilling and rewarding process. I …MORE

Risk-Benefit Analysis of Tick-Borne Disease Tre...

by Jennifer Crystal Asking important questions when it comes to Lyme treatment. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? At the 2019 International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) conference in Boston, there was a lot …MORE

Gratitude for the Long Game

by Jennifer Crystal In the current political climate, one is often reminded of Martin Luther King’s quote, a paraphrase of abolitionist minister Theodore Parker, that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Here she answers some questions she recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at …MORE

Lyme: The Differential Diagnosis

By Jennifer Crystal With overlapping symptoms, how do you know that you have Lyme and not another disease? It’s important to consider all health factors A patient recently asked me, “How do you know you …MORE

Highlights from ILADS 2019

By Jennifer Crystal A RECAP OF THE 20TH ANNUAL ILADS CONFERENCE From November 1 to 3, I had the opportunity to attend the 20thannual International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) conference in Boston. Tick-borne …MORE

On Disclosure: When and How Much to Tell

By Jennifer Crystal Patients often ask me when, and how much information they should disclose about their illness(es) to employers, new or casual acquaintances, or dates. While there’s no set answer to these questions, my …MORE

Unraveling Spirochetes

by Jennifer Crystal Lyme disease is a complex illness, not just because it manifests in the body in different ways, but because it is also very difficult to diagnose. The Lyme disease bacterium itself, Borrelia …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Here she answers some questions she recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? Email her at [email protected] Can …MORE

Rest: The Most Important Message of My Dreams

by Jennifer Crystal Tick-borne illness and sleep disturbances One of the most difficult symptoms of neurological tick-borne illness is sleep disturbances. In addition to insomnia, I battled detailed, fast-paced, hallucinogenic dreams and nightmares that often …MORE

Traveling With Tick-Borne Illness

by Jennifer Crystal For many people, summer means travel, but for Lyme patients, vacationing is not as simple as it was in our healthier days. I miss being able to just throw a pair of …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column, “Dear Lyme Warrior … Help!”, to answering your questions. Here are her answers to questions she has recently received. Do you have a question …MORE

The Aches and Pains of Tick-Borne Illnesses

by Jennifer Crystal The first time I saw the award-winning Lyme documentary Under Our Skin, I was seated in the theater. In the film, a doctor who doesn’t believe in chronic Lyme was asked what …MORE

Building Resilience

by Jennifer Crystal Last spring was incredibly stressful for me. With adrenaline, good maintenance routines, and a bit of luck, I completed an intense amount of written work, a teaching load that included a lot …MORE

Not All Lyme Rashes Are Created Equal

by Jennifer Crystal Lyme disease: that’s the illness you get when you find a bulls-eye rash, right? It very well could be, but here’s the catch. The bulls-eye rash isn’t the only sign of Lyme …MORE

Reframing Restrictions

by Jennifer Crystal A few months ago, someone told me that my life has a lot of restrictions. From a certain perspective, this statement seems true. To thrive in the context of chronic tick-borne illness, …MORE

The Time Warp of Tick-Borne Illness

by Jennifer Crystal   I’d already lost three years of my life to illness. Then I got a taste of resumed independence and health, only to have those intimations of well-being quashed once more. The …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

By Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Below are her responses to a few recently received questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email …MORE

Spring REALLY Will Come

by Jennifer Crystal This time of year can be a tease. With daylight savings time, the sun is suddenly brighter, and there are hints of warmer weather coming, Not surprisingly, we start to think it’s almost …MORE

Be a Victor, Not a Victim

by Jennifer Crystal Many patients of tick-borne disease take years to get diagnosed. A lucky few ones find a bull’s-eye rash or an embedded tick, go to a physician who just happens to be Lyme …MORE

What Does it Mean to Herx?

by Jennifer Crystal Sometimes when I’m describing tick-borne illness, I feel like I’m speaking a foreign language. Most people have heard of Lyme disease—though too many mistakenly call it “Lyme’s” when there is actually no …MORE

Lyme Isn’t a Choice

by Jennifer Crystal Please don’t give in to denial and fear. If you think you might have a tick-borne disease and have been avoiding going to an LLMD, or if you have been diagnosed with …MORE

Don’t Settle For Good Enough

by Jennifer Crystal In life, we’re often told not to settle. We don’t want to take a job or enter a relationship simply because it seems good enough. Doing so might bring short-term gains, but in …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Here are her answers to some recently received questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? Email her at [email protected]MORE

Financing Tick-Borne Disease

by Jennifer Crystal Having Lyme disease is expensive. It can take a toll on you in more ways than one. Below are some resources and insights to help you or the patient in your life. …MORE

Can’t Versus Shouldn’t

by Jennifer Crystal “Should” is one of my least favorite words. Society gets us caught up in the idea of what we “should” be doing—we should work more, exercise more, take on more—and that puts …MORE

Starting Small in the New Year

by Jennifer Crystal New Year’s Day is supposed to be a time of renewal. People celebrate and make resolutions for a fresh start. But for Lyme patients and those with chronic illness, New Year’s can …MORE

The Value of Visualization

by Jennifer Crystal When I was bedridden with Lyme disease and two of its co-infections—babesia and ehrlichia— people sometimes asked if I had tried meditation. Usually, tired of unsolicited advice from yet another person who …MORE

Avoiding Reminders Until You’re Ready

by Jennifer Crystal When I was very sick with Lyme disease and two of its co-infections—specifically, babesia and ehrlichia—friends invited me to a Warren Miller ski movie. Every season, the renowned filmmaker put out a …MORE

A Different Kind of Denial

by Jennifer Crystal In my recent post The Danger of Denial, I spoke about the consequences of denying symptoms or diagnoses when battling serious illness like tick-borne disease. For years I ignored my health issues, …MORE

Holidays: Relishing the In-Between Times

by Jennifer Crystal The build-up to Halloween is always an exciting time for kids. There’s so much anticipation—what will I be? What will my friends be? How much candy will I get? After the final …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior … Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Here are her replies to questions she has recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email …MORE

Scheduling Life with Lyme Disease

by Jennifer Crystal Flexible vs. rigid? How keeping to a schedule can impact one’s life with Lyme disease.   In 2007, I suffered a severe relapse of Lyme and two of its tick-borne co-infections Babesia …MORE

The Idea of Hope

by Jennifer Crystal Hope is a tricky concept for patients with chronic illnesses. It is something everyone—healthy or sick—wants, but summoning hope is not always easy when the world around you looks bleak. Someone can …MORE

The Danger of Denial

by Jennifer Crystal One of the many rewards of writing this weekly blog is connecting with patients and caregivers all over the world. I receive emails from people telling me their stories and asking me …MORE

The Spectrum of Lyme

by Jennifer Crystal Just this week, I heard from yet another friend who had found an engorged tick on her child. With tick populations soaring, it’s not surprising that so many people are being bitten …MORE

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

by Jennifer Crystal GLA writer and Lyme Warrior, Jennifer Crystal writes about her experience with “crazy dreams” as a result of neurological Lyme disease Last night I had a dream that a college friend and …MORE

Enjoying the Summer While Living with Lyme

by Jennifer Crystal When I first moved to Boston, I took a Duck Boat tour of the city. As the amphibious vehicle cruised the Charles River, the driver pointed out Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. I looked …MORE

Dealing with Lyme-related Fear

by Jennifer Crystal Last week I wrote about the well-founded fear of ticks which alarms us every summer, but especially now that infected tick populations are on the rise. Getting a tick bite that could …MORE

Managing Fear of Ticks During the Summer

by Jennifer Crystal I’m that friend. The friend who checks out your Facebook photos and comments “tick check!” every time you post a picture of a hike in the woods, or of your child rolling …MORE

Tribute to The Men of Lyme

by Jennifer Crystal In my blog post “Gender and Lyme: Is Tick-Borne Disease Different for Women?”, I cited a study by John Aucott, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University which found that more men than women …MORE

Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future

by Jennifer Crystal A friend recently shared with me the news that her grandmother had passed away. “She was 97,” she said. “It’s not like we didn’t know it was coming, but it’s still sad.” …MORE

Saluting the Caretakers of Lyme Patients

by Jennifer Crystal On Mother’s Day, I read a Facebook post that said “For the sake of equity, shouldn’t we show appreciation for mothers every day?” I agree. But if we’re talking equity, shouldn’t we …MORE

Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!

by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Here are her answers to questions she has recently received. Do you have a question for Jennifer? Email her at …MORE

Seasons of Lyme

By Jennifer Crystal The change in seasons is usually an exciting time for most, but the jump from season to season can be especially trying for Lyme patients In the past couple weeks, many people …MORE

What is Air Hunger, Anyway?

By Jennifer Crystal Chronic Lyme disease & its co-infections, like Babesia, can produce unique symptoms. One of them is referred to as air hunger.   Listen to the audio version of this blog here: When …MORE

Making the Holidays Work For You

By Jennifer Crystal Many people with Lyme disease don’t have the physical capacity to celebrate the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them! Here are some tips to work around your illness during …MORE

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