Sunday, July 8, 2012

Under Our Skin

Under Our Skin is perhaps the most disturbing documentary I've ever seen- and for several reasons. First, it is a very somber study of a very serious disease that first made headlines in the late seventies and has managed to fall off radar while leaving an ever growing circle of despair and devastation. Lyme Disease is caused by a parasitic spirochete from the bite of an infected tick, that can conveniently burrow into any part of your body (just like its syphilitic cousin) and cause grave havoc wherever and however it chooses to manifest. This is one seriously scary bugger- and they're practically... everywhere!!!

Not only do the ever growing numbers of those stricken have to battle the infection itself (and its myriad of severely debilitating manifestations), for which the only treatment is massive and prolonged antibiotics- they also have the fight of their lives (literally) with the vast majority of the... US medical establishment. Meanwhile, the small minority of doctors who are, in fact, willing to treat patients (I'm very much tempted to say 'victims') properly are having their licenses revoked by the ruling doctors who are in bed with health insurance companies (1-3 months coverage and 'bye, bye') and private, for profit interests working on vaccines and completely unwilling to share information to hasten the control of this epidemic. Meanwhile, patients are dismissively ordered to see shrinks (by those who either should or do know better) while more and more of them are slowly and agonizingly suffering- and dying...

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