The story of Dr. Bleiweiss
Dr. Bleiweiss was a good doctor. He was also my doctor. ...And friend to many who suffered from lyme. He, too, was a lyme sufferer, and as a result, knew this illness intimately.
He was one of the early pioneers of correct lyme treatment (which is to say that there is a long-term component to this infection, and that it needs to be treated as such—usually with long term antibiotic treatment.) Because of this he ran into intense opposition from the insurance community, and then as a result, from some within the medical community.
Well, it’s now come to pass that it’s understood that he was correct (by most, at least). And there are now a number of doctors who will treat lyme as a long-term illness. But early on, he was viewed as one whose opinions and practices regarding this needed to be squelched quickly. As I believe it happened, the insurance community sought supporters in the medical community. The Board of New Jersey’s Medical Examiners brought him under investigation (for over prescribing). They used as support—against her will—one of his former patients. And ultimately, he faced the loss of his medical license.
It is for this very reason that one will commonly find that the lyme community is highly reluctant to give the names of good doctors over the internet. Dr. Bleiweiss was not the only target. Other doctors have also found themselves suddenly defending their medical licenses.
The medical community has polarized over this issue: There are some (and they are in fact "published" in this opinion) who advocate to all the world that all lyme is treated in 4-6 weeks. Anything that remains (in this mis-guided opinion) is hypochondriacal and needs to be treated psychiatrically. Further, there are now a body of doctors who quote these published M.D.'s, leading to the further physical and social damage that results from the non-recognition of lyme.
On another hand, there are a large group of doctors who recognize that lyme does indeed exist in the chronic state, and therefore need to be treated as such — long term. It's my hope that these are now in large enough number to see an end of some of the types of persecutions as described above.
One would normally assume the scientific medical establishment to be universally in pursuit of ultimate medical truth, and that the community, as a whole, would and should be in accord on major issues regarding health. This is not, however, the case with lyme; and the "camps" are so diametrically opposed that it leaves us only trying to wonder what dark force could be behind such persistent conflict.
In my own mind, I have no doubt — it's greed.
Notes on the "When to Suspect Lyme Disease" essay
The outstanding essay on When to Suspect Lyme Disease is a resource used throughout the medical community -- or should be. One of the great challenges to this condition, often elusive, is obtaining the correct diagnosis. Anyone reading through this essay, whether lay person or professional, will have the single best compendium of information to know, with almost certainty, whether or not the diagnosis is lyme.
This essay, now broadly distributed on the Internet, was handed to me personally by Dr. Bleiweiss and is a different version of what was released for publication. As this website has now experienced its long-awaited re-write, it includes the much-wanted survey, to gather enough data to get a handle on what works, and not. Because this survey is just too important, I'm going to begin to ask those who have copied this essay to link here to the essay page (where people will be exposed to the survey opportunity), and not to copy and paste this to their sites. I appreciate this courtesy.
In the original process of transcribing, I made three punctuation changes from the originally handed copy. Consequently, any version of this essay that contains those minor changes, was originally copied from here, and therefore, documentably under copyright. In light of the survey and other important information here, I'm going to begin to enforce the copyright -- for the sake of all in the lyme community.
--Don Chinnici 3/4/2015