Title of Presentation

Narratives of Women Navigating Chronic Lyme Disease

Presenter Information

Tessalyn MorrisonFollow

Presenter Biography

Tessalyn is an MD/MPH student at Oregon Health and Science University. Current research interests are chronic Lyme disease and gender affirmation surgery. Tessalyn will be beginning the MPH portion of her curriculum in September 2019 and looks forward to the opportunity to return to her background in medical anthropology with her project studying women living with chronic Lyme disease. Past medical anthropology research has included working with Mapuche and Amazonian Kichwa cultures experiencing rapid modernization in South America, looking at their connections with traditional and modern medicine.

Institution

OHSU

Program/Major

MD/MPH

Degree

MD/MPH

Presentation Type

Presentation

Room Location

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 294

Start Date

April 2019

End Date

April 2019

Abstract

Clinical recognition of chronic Lyme disease in allopathic medicine is a controversial issue because of its varied presentation and timeline and lack of a uniform definitive treatment. Chronic Lyme disease can manifest as a debilitating physical and mental disease whose symptoms change drastically with time. In this collaborative narrative medicine research project, 15 women living with chronic Lyme disease talk about their trials with navigating health systems to find the care that worked for them. This project provides a platform for women to communicate their experience of having chronic Lyme with the medical community. We aim to understand difficulties of navigating medical systems to receive medical care for chronic Lyme, reflect on how women with chronic Lyme experience care from the medical community, and learn how having chronic Lyme affects women’s ability to care for themselves and others. There is no one treatment plan or lifestyle change that worked for each of them; they had to seek multiple providers within and outside of allopathic medicine to find treatment. Their stories reveal cycles of frustration and relief and patterns of learning to find patient independence. This research addresses the question of what happens to patients when an answer from allopathic medicine, just one answer to chronic Lyme, falls short of what patients need and want. Patients with chronic Lyme disease are managers of their own care, and it requires an ecological view of health to understand our roles.

Comments/Notes

I'm happy to do either a poster or a presentation, however I would prefer doing a presentation.

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Apr 3rd, 5:14 PM Apr 3rd, 5:27 PM

Narratives of Women Navigating Chronic Lyme Disease

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 294

Clinical recognition of chronic Lyme disease in allopathic medicine is a controversial issue because of its varied presentation and timeline and lack of a uniform definitive treatment. Chronic Lyme disease can manifest as a debilitating physical and mental disease whose symptoms change drastically with time. In this collaborative narrative medicine research project, 15 women living with chronic Lyme disease talk about their trials with navigating health systems to find the care that worked for them. This project provides a platform for women to communicate their experience of having chronic Lyme with the medical community. We aim to understand difficulties of navigating medical systems to receive medical care for chronic Lyme, reflect on how women with chronic Lyme experience care from the medical community, and learn how having chronic Lyme affects women’s ability to care for themselves and others. There is no one treatment plan or lifestyle change that worked for each of them; they had to seek multiple providers within and outside of allopathic medicine to find treatment. Their stories reveal cycles of frustration and relief and patterns of learning to find patient independence. This research addresses the question of what happens to patients when an answer from allopathic medicine, just one answer to chronic Lyme, falls short of what patients need and want. Patients with chronic Lyme disease are managers of their own care, and it requires an ecological view of health to understand our roles.