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Opinions expressed by contributors are their own. Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. Her work has appeared in local and national publications including Harvard Health Publishing and The Boston Globe. As a GLA columnist for over six years, her work on GLA.org has received mention in publications such as The New Yorker, weatherchannel.com, CQ Researcher, and ProHealth.com. Jennifer is a patient advocate who has dealt with chronic illness, including Lyme and other tick-borne infections. Her memoir about her medical journey is forthcoming. Contact her via email below.

Email: lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com

Articles

Anxiety and Lyme Disease
July 12, 2021
Tick-borne illnesses can not only exacerbate underlying anxiety, but also cause it. I have always been an anxious person. My mother says that as a child, I looked carefully around any new environment,...
The Value of Independence for the Chronically Ill
July 2, 2021
"I needed help with everything: cooking, cleaning, even washing my hair. As medical bills mounted, my savings quickly dwindled, and along with it, my precious independence." When my friend’s son was a...
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help!
June 28, 2021
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com.
Gastrointestinal Issues with Lyme Disease
June 21, 2021
When patients consider taking long-term antibiotics for persistent Lyme disease, they need to weigh risks and benefits of treatment. Gastrointestinal risks can include the possibility of a C.diff infe...
The Danger of “Waiting and Seeing” With Lyme Disease
June 14, 2021
When someone finds an engorged tick, their doctor may tell them to “wait and see” if they develop a rash or other symptoms. This approach is downright dangerous. Here’s why.   Though ticks are a year-...
What Helps Improve Cognitive Function for Lyme Patients?
June 2, 2021
  When Lyme disease bacteria ( spirochetes) cross the blood-brain barrier, they can cause myriad neurological impairments and nervous system inflammation. Neurological Lyme disease can manifest as bra...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Pulsing Antibiotics, Rashes, and Insomnia
May 26, 2021
Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com.   Is it helpful to pulse...
Did You Pull a Tick Off of You? Here’s Why You Should Keep It
May 20, 2021
Ticks can carry multiple disease, including Lyme disease and other co-infections, which is why you should save the tick and send it out for testing.   Recently, a friend texted me a photo of a tick sh...
The Lyme Diet
May 12, 2021
Tips for what to eat when you have Lyme disease Many patients write to me asking about what is commonly known as “The Lyme Diet.” Since I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I stick to a low-sugar, gl...
5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Lyme Disease
May 4, 2021
"The fact is, everyone should care about Lyme disease. Here are five reasons why." May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Some people may think, “Oh, I already know about Lyme disease. You only have it ...
Lyme Symptoms: Nervous System Inflammation
April 26, 2021
We patients must remember that Lyme is an inflammatory disease. Flare-ups often involve increased inflammation.
Tips for Time Management When Living with Chronic Illness
April 16, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal Time management is not easy for the chronically ill, but these tips have helped me to make my life not just manageable, but also enjoyable. During my acute phase of Lyme disease, b...
The Impatient Patient
April 12, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal When would I get better? Why was I not seeing improvement every day? Recently a friend’s toddler son asked her for a snack. Holding his baby sister, my friend told her son he’d nee...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Anti-Inflammatory Diets and GLA's Peer to Peer Mentorship Program
April 6, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal Every few months, Jennifer Crystal devotes a column to answering your questions. Do you have a question for Jennifer? If so, email her at lymewarriorjennifercrystal@gmail.com. Why ...
Saving Spoons: Not Just of Energy, But of Time
March 22, 2021
The “Spoon Theory” has become well-known in the chronic illness world. Originally coined by lupus patient Christine Miserandino, the theory stems from a conversation she had with a friend in which she...
Long Haul COVID-19 Brings Attention to Persistent Lyme
March 1, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal This past January, the New York Times published an article entitled “ What if You Never Get Better From Covid-19?”. Many Lyme patients sent it to me in frustration. “This is just l...
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help!
February 22, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal
Could You Be Co-infected With Bartonella?
February 18, 2021
 
I Have Lyme Disease. Should I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
February 8, 2021
Sometimes the Memory is Better Than the Real Thing
February 1, 2021
By Jennifer Crystal
Lyme and the Limbic System
January 19, 2021
By Jennifer Crystal
Staying the Course When the End is in Sight
January 11, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help! Rheumatoid Arthritis, the CD-57 Test, and the Use of Sleep Medication
January 4, 2021
by Jennifer Crystal
2020: The Lyme Year in Review
December 29, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Holidays: Ways to Participate When You Can’t Be There in Person
December 21, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal As the holidays near and COVID-19 numbers spike, people are scrambling to figure out plans. Should they travel? Can they see family? If not, will the holidays still be the holidays...
The Role of Technology for Lyme Disease Patients
December 14, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Lyme and Memory Loss
December 7, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Lessons from Lyme: Lockdown Isn’t Forever
November 30, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior...Help! Lyme Disease Remission and Alzheimers
November 23, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Wondering What to Say to a Lyme Patient? Try These Conversation Starters
November 15, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Candida and Lyme
November 9, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Living With Lyme Disease: The Beauty of Adaptation
November 3, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
What Avril Lavigne's Virtual #FightLyme Concert Taught Me
October 30, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
My Lyme Disease Is In Remission. How Do I Keep It That Way?
October 20, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Lyme and Covid-19 Vaccine
October 15, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Living in the Present While Worrying About the Future
October 6, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Breaking Down Lyme Disease and the Blood-Brain Barrier
October 1, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
What Lyme Patients Can Teach Us About the New Normal
September 25, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Have You Heard of the Tick-Borne Disease Babesiosis?
September 15, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Intravenous Antibiotics for Lyme: Pros, Cons, and the Lived Experience
September 3, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Tick Bites, Being Bedridden, and Migraine Treatments
August 27, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Cooling Off When Swimming Isn’t an Option
August 19, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 4
August 13, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Differentiating Between Babesia and COVID-19 Air Hunger
August 5, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet
July 29, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Calculating Risks
July 17, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Finding a Job with a Chronic Illness
July 10, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
You Know Your Body Best
July 7, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Managing Burning Extremities
June 26, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Comfort of Solidarity
June 19, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Speaking Up for the Immunocompromised
June 17, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 3
June 11, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Antibiotics and Memory Issues with Lyme
May 28, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Importance of Being Vigilant
May 21, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
What a Difference a Year Makes
May 13, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Don’t Forget It’s Tick Season, Too
May 4, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Lyme and COVID-19 Panel: Follow-up Q and A
April 24, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme: Part 2
April 21, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Top Ten Myths About Lyme Disease
April 6, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Keeping the Big Picture in Mind: Don’t Overlook Your Other Health Issues
March 31, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Corona With a Twist of Lyme
March 26, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
The Importance of Digging Deep
March 24, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Lyme Brain: The Science and the Experience
March 18, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Herxheimer Reactions and Colleges in High Tick Areas
March 6, 2020
By Jennifer Crystal
The Leaps of Lyme
February 29, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Mixed Messages: Finding Your Truth
February 20, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Hugging it Out: How Physical Connection Helps Us Heal
February 14, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Stop the Itching! Lyme and Hives
February 13, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
When Nothing’s Funny, Even Simulated Laughter Can Be Good Medicine
February 6, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
No Set Protocol
January 28, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Anxiety and Chronic Symptoms
January 14, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
2020 Vision For Lyme Warriors
January 3, 2020
by Jennifer Crystal
Tick-Borne Disease: The Year in Review
December 29, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Dealing With Brain Fog
December 24, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Risk-Benefit Analysis of Tick-Borne Disease Treatments
December 16, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Gratitude for the Long Game
November 27, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Migratory Pain and Chronic Lyme Disease
November 21, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Lyme: The Differential Diagnosis
November 15, 2019
By Jennifer Crystal
Highlights from ILADS 2019
November 7, 2019
By Jennifer Crystal
On Disclosure: When and How Much to Tell
October 31, 2019
By Jennifer Crystal
The Difficulty—and Importance—of Asking for Help
October 22, 2019
Why is asking for help so hard? Sometimes it’s necessary, especially when you are chronically ill
Unraveling Spirochetes
October 15, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Mental Health and Antibiotics
September 26, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Rest: The Most Important Message of My Dreams
September 20, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Traveling With Tick-Borne Illness
August 5, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Memory Loss and How to Travel with Lyme Disease
July 24, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
The Aches and Pains of Tick-Borne Illnesses
July 23, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Building Resilience
July 16, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Not All Lyme Rashes Are Created Equal
July 8, 2019
Lyme disease: that’s the illness you get when you find a bulls-eye rash, right?
REGAINING CONTROL …of your day, life… Why agency is important for Lyme warriors
June 28, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Stop the Music! How to X Out the Songs and Words That Keep Playing in Your Head
June 14, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Reframing Restrictions
May 26, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Not All Headaches Are Alike: What’s Causing Yours?
May 17, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
The Time Warp of Tick-Borne Illness
May 3, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Treating Instead of Denying Yourself
April 19, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Dear Lyme Warrior…Help! Herxheimer Reactions and Lyme Depression
April 12, 2019
By Jennifer Crystal
Spring REALLY Will Come
April 11, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
Be a Victor, Not a Victim
April 2, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal
What Does it Mean to Herx?
March 15, 2019
Sometimes when I’m describing tick-borne illness, I feel like I’m speaking a foreign language. Most people have heard of Lyme disease—though too many mistakenly call it “Lyme’s” when there is actually...
Lyme Isn’t a Choice
March 3, 2019
by Jennifer Crystal