June 28-July 4, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Long Way From Normal

Thank you so much for your article on Lyme disease ("Tick Talk," June 21). I can't tell you how important it is to those of us who have Lyme disease to have stories written about the suffering and difficulty that so many people go through. I personally lived with this illness from the time I was 25 until I was diagnosed at 49. It truly was the fabric of my life. I learned how to hide being ill for the four-to-five days I was very ill every month or two. It was kind of like being an alcoholic. You hide your illness so that you will not be identified as being "sick" and all the stuff that goes along with that.

Matthew Gollub, Santa Rosa

Recognizing Suffering

Thanks so very, very much to Joy Lanzendorfer for the excellent article on Lyme disease. I am a Lyme victim of five years and a patient of Dr. Stricker. Please write more on this insidious and debilitating disease on a regular basis. The public needs to know, and the medical community has to take Lyme more seriously.

Again, I can't thank you enough.

Marcia Datson, Petaluma

Back to Health

Thanks so much for this excellent article [on Lyme disease]. It is highly accurate, unlike most media's take on this horrible disease.

After trying to seek a diagnosis for seven years, seeing over 25 doctors at Kaiser, Stanford and even my own local health community, I got no help at all. Only through others with Lyme and its co-infections was I able to find a doctor who would work with me to regain some of my health.

For those of us with Lyme (and there are many!) this is a refreshing read.

Sue Davis, Mendocino

Sol with CDC

Your article on Lyme disease was a much-needed and welcome wake-up call on the harsh realities of this rapidly growing public health threat. The general public needs to become more aware of the dangers posed by Lyme, how to avoid it and how to get proper treatment if infected. The local medical community needs to take the illness more seriously and begin to treat it far more aggressively than the CDC guidelines prescribe.

As the spouse of a Lyme sufferer, I have seen firsthand how ineffective the CDC guidelines are for all but the most mild of cases. According to the CDC, my wife should have been completely cured four years ago! Thanks to the efforts of the local Lyme-literate doctors, my wife is on a long-term, heavy dose of antibiotic cocktails--both oral and intravenous--and is slowly on the road to recovery.

An interesting and provocative follow-up article could look into how insurance companies regularly refuse to pay for comprehensive Lyme treatment and how medical associations around the country come down hard on doctors for "over-aggressive" (read: "longer than CDC guidelines") treatment of Lyme disease.

Kevin B, Menlo Park

Further Omens

I'm just dying to read David Templeton's follow-up article (Talking Pix, "Holy Hell," June 14). You know, the one where Pazuzu shows up to claim his soul.

Andi Perry, Santa Rosa

That Darned Physics

Patricia Lynn Henley's Brief topic "RP Water Woes" (June 7) has vital ramifications throughout the West, not just Rohnert Park.

"Water basin" or "aquifer" seem like vague and esoteric terms compared with such practical and exciting ideas as building 3,600 much-needed homes.

Suggestion: Take a large wash basin and fill it to within, say, an inch of the top. Lay a grid--a barbecue grill will do--over the top. Insert a straw in one of the squares and start sucking.

Note that the entire water level in the basin falls, not just the water under the square. Yet, too often our attitude toward water is, "I own this artificially bound piece of land and all that's under it, including the water, so I should be free to insert a pump on my own land and fire it up."

Do you see the fallacy in this claim? Why, it's like chopping down 17,000 carbon-dioxide-absorbing pines to build a golf course, just because you "own" the land!

Don MacQueen, Santa Rosa

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