vanessa farnsworth's blog

The Long, Strange Trip to Publication

The Things She'll Be Leaving Behind
When Rain on a Distant Roof: A Personal Journey Through Lyme Disease in Canada hit bookshelves in 2013, it marked the first time my writing had ever been published in book form. That wasn't my intention. My first book was supposed to be a short story collection entitled The Things She'll Be Leaving Behind. It was the first book I had written and, by rights, should have been the first one to make it to print. But fate had other ideas.

The Perfect Storm: Why There Are Suddenly So Many Ticks in Canada

In recent months, various media outlets have been reporting that Canada is anticipating an explosion of ticks this year thanks to a mild winter that has failed to kill off resident tick populations in many regions. As with everything related to Lyme disease, the situation is much more complicated than what's being reported.

The Freedom to Speak

Sapling in sunshine
Section two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right of all Canadians to voice their opinions on any subject they feel the need to voice an opinion on without fear of recriminations. While some Lyme sufferers have been very vocal about their struggles, many more have chosen to remain silent. And always they give the same reason: They fear that if they publicly criticize their doctors, health authorities, or anyone else for failing to provide them with a satisfactory level of care that they will be subject to exactly the sorts of recriminations that the Charter makes illegal.

Top 5 Books on Lyme Disease

Man reading books
There are a lot of books on Lyme disease out there and it can be difficult to know which ones contain valuable information that can help you to better understand Lyme disease and which ones fan the flames of controversy without delivering much in the way of knowledge. Here are a few that I found helpful when I was sifting through a mountain of research trying to get my head around what makes this disease tick.

Tick-borne Illnesses in Canada - Part 2

Black-legged tick
This is the second of two posts looking at the tick-borne illnesses it's possible to contract in Canada. As you read though this post and the one I wrote in October keep in mind that our collective knowledge of tick-borne illnesses is far from complete. Some of the organisms that I describe in these posts have been known to exist for many decades and are well documented while many others are new to medicine and little is currently known about them. Still others have yet to be discovered.

Defining Moment: Should We Reconsider How We Are Defining Lyme Disease?

Forest path
One of the interesting things about Lyme disease is that it doesn't currently have a definition that's universally agreed upon, something that has led to a great deal of rancour, confusion, and wildly unproductive conversations. I've come across many situations where it hasn't been totally clear that everyone involved is talking about the same illness. I mean, they're all calling it Lyme disease, but often the name is the only thing they can agree on.