Living With Lyme
Dealing with an undiagnosed debilitating disease
Sometimes it’s hard to walk. Sometimes it’s hard to think. Sometimes the familiar drive home becomes a dizzy confusion. She has felt her body and her mind slipping away, and for years doctors could not tell why—some did not believe her. Porochista Khakpour has late-stage Lyme disease. On Aug. 17, 2018 she will come to the Mount to talk about her new memoir, Sick, and her experiences with chronic illness.
Lyme disease has been spreading across the Northeast for decades, says Anastasia Whalen, PR manager at the Mount, who has collaborated with journalist Kate Bolick to invite Khakpour. But it is often ignored.
“That someone took the time to see this as an important issue and share the difficulty of it is powerful,” Whalen says. “I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t know someone affected by it.”
Lyme disease can be hard to detect. It is often treatable with antibiotics if it is caught early, but tests for it can come back negative even when it is present. If gone unchecked, it can provoke many varied and apparently unrelated symptoms. “The hardest part of living with Lyme disease for me,” Khakpour writes, “has always been the lack of concrete ‘knowns’ and how much they tend to morph and blur over the years, with the medical community and public perception, and even within my own body.” edithwharton.org