The problem with naturopaths is that they are often exactly like regular doctors, but treat with vitamins, herbs and tinctures instead of prescription meds. Their mindset is still far too often “treat the symptom” instead of going after the underlying cause. Both still tend to look at the body as a set of systems, instead of an integrated whole. Neither regular doctors nor naturopathic doctors were able to diagnose my lyme disease for TWENTY YEARS. Even doctors that were supposedly really on top of the latest research. It took a functional/ integrated medicine doctor 1.5 MONTHS to diagnose me. It is far more expensive to see them. They work on a “concierge” system where I pay a monthly fee to see them, on top of the costs of visits. They do this because the insurance industry is set up to get patients in and out in the quickest cheapest time possible, and they can’t truly understand what is going on with somebody in that set up. Every appointment I have is about an hour, and I go in every two weeks. Insurance doesn’t always cover all the tests needed either. My functional medicine doc ordered a billion tests when I first got there, and yes, I paid a lot out of pocket. Partially this is because it really makes a difference which labs do the work. A doctor sent the blood from the same patient to multiple labs to test for Lyme disease and got back wildly different results. If you compare how much I’ve spent at the functional medicine place, it is NOTHING compared to how much I’ve spent over the years on doctors, tests, supplements, and sick leave/ hours lost at work. I am so angry at the American medical system that is set up more to make money than truly help people with the best medicine. I am so deeply thankful that I was able to find a functional medicine doctor that understands Lyme disease (even if they are imperfect and I get frustrated with them too). I am so thankful that awareness of Lyme disease is making it’s way into mainstream awareness, both the general public and medical. There is a long way to go. Next month, May. I’m not sure what I want to do, but I feel like I need to do something, however small. I was considering doing a presentation on it at work, particularly since we work with some young adults who camp in the woods. But I’m just not sure I will have the energy to manage it, nor the brain power to pull it off in a coherent fashion. But no matter what, even if it’s just a retweet or like, every little bit makes a difference. Collective action, far more powerful than it’s individual pieces. Like shingles on a roof, small pieces add up and overlap, and help us all stay safer and drier.