deb elder, lyme activist

Deb Elder, Lyme Patient/Activist

deb elder, lyme activist
Deb Elder at the Mayday Protest Photo Taken by Rick Urbanowski

I met Deb last year in 2014 while working on the Worldwide Lyme Disease Protest. She volunteered to head up Oregon in the WWLDP 2014 and has been an amazing Lyme Disease Activist/Advocate ever since.

To talk to Deb, you hear a very compassionate, helpful, sincerely sweet woman who is very 11072607_888921044484006_671607265_nsupportive. But don’t mistake her caring or her being sick with multiple tick born infections including, Lyme Disease and Babesia for being weak. Deb is one of the strongest, smartest, go get them kind of people I have ever met. She burst onto the Lyme scene and has put together events, learned and educated others on various treamtents, such as Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) and worked with OLDN on the legislation (bill, SB 916).  Her goal is helping Lyme patients and the Lyme community in Oregon to learn about Lyme and other tick borne infections and be able to get proper treatment for them. She runs several Facebook groups and is known as “DiveGirl Deb.”

Certain people in this Lyme community have a knack for making change happen, and Deb is certainly one of these people.

Here’s to you Deb! Thanks for all you do!

Lisa Hilton

Click Here to Read Deb’s Lyme Story

Click Here to See Bill SB 916

What Deb is up to Now

* Deb is working on her new Lyme foundation:
The Flipping Lyme Foundation

* Stirring up some folks trying to make changes!

* Call to Action

Conversation between Deb Elder and the Infectious
Disease unit at PeaceHealth.
August 21, 2014

PH lady: There’s nobody that I know of in Lane County that currently treats for Lyme Disease.
Deb: So, I mean, you guys are the public health medical office for infectious diseases, right?
Lady: Correct.
Deb: And, so I guess I don’t understand. I have infections, and you are telling me that on Lyme disease, there is no
Lady interrupts:
Our doctors don’t treat for Lyme disease here …that’s just their choice.
They don’t feel there’s any current treatment for it, so they don’t treat for it. Um, the CDC doesn’t recognize it. I mean there’s other doctors
that do have ways they feel that they can treat it, but here it’s not something we want to take on, treating Lyme disease, it’s not something we practice here.
Deb: You just said the CDC doesn’t acknowledge Lyme disease.
Lady: There’s no diagnosis code for Lyme disease. They recognize it as being conditions or symptoms. That’s how they treat it for Lyme
Deb: Well, they found Lyme disease spirochetes. They’ve done DNA testing
Lady interrupts, starts to sound irritated:
I understand. It’s just that our specific office does not treat anybody
or see anybody for Lyme disease. It’s the doctors’ preference.
Deb: So, that’s the kind of the “F” word for your office so when somebody, you know, has that underlying infection, that’s our red flag that you won’t deal with us.
Lady: Um, it’s because we don’t currently have anything that we believe is (stutters, agitated/nervous), that we can treat you with, so that’s why we don’t treat it here because that’s the doctors’ choice.
Deb: Well, but you are part of the Trillium Health Plan which is part of
OHP, Oregon Health Plan
Lady interrupts: (sounding more agitated)
I understand! But what I am saying, we don’t treat it here so you would come here, we would tell you we can’t treat before and we won’t be able to do anything for you.
Deb: So is this a Peace Health policy?
Lady: Um, it’s just what the infectious disease doctors have decided, they really don’t treat for hepatitis (please listen here, can’t decipher).…I mean for Lyme disease.
Deb: Huh, so you are talking about the Infectious Disease Society of
America, IDSA?
Lady: I am talking about the infectious disease department here. The
doctors have all decided they don’t treat Lyme disease.
Deb: Wow. Do they treat Babesia?
Lady: I have never seen anyone here for Babesia, no.
Deb: Well OK, I have Babesia, which is a malarial-like parasite
Lady interrupts:
I pulled up your referral cuz it looks like Dr. Ormesher has seen you
previously in the past, um, and at that time she said there was nothing she could recommend for that, and then she did receive your…it looks like (can’t decipher here)…when we were talking, I pulled up your…it looks like something scanned on your computer and it’s a lie…. (can’t decipher here).
Deb: Right, right. I was asking you to look in the system and see if there was a referral.
Lady interrupts:
Which I was doing as you were speaking, and Dr. Ormesher actually
reviewed this and said there was nobody here that would be able to
see you for that referral.
Deb: So, Ormesher looked at my records again?
Lady: She did because they received the new referral, and on here it says you were clearly seeing Dr. Ormesher and (? can’t decipher here)… infectious disease ? You preferred not to see her again, and she was fine with that—but she consulted with other physicians, and they didn’t want to, based on what she has seen you in the past and your recent chart notes, they don’t believe they can do anything for you either.
Deb: OK, well, um….
Lady: But If Dr. (Cardin?) wants to try to find somebody maybe outside of the area, they might be willing to take you on.
Deb: Here’s the thing, Trillium has you guys as the only doctors in Lane County that treats for infectious diseases.
Lady: We are.
Deb: So your office is the only provider for infectious diseases, and you are part of the medicare system, then you are violating the rules. You are not allowing patients to get treatment
Lady interrupts:
No, our doctors can choose what they want to treat and can’t treat,
and based on Dr. Ormesher’s workup for me previously and from your recent chart notes, she still believes there is nothing we can do for you as far as treatment.
Deb: So, you’re refusing treatment for Babesia?
Lady: (sounding nervous and a bit of stuttering)
Uh, whatever she has the chart notes (nervous stutter) there is
nothing, no……nothing…no…, chart notes or no….(can’t
decipher here) or anything that to her opinion that we could treat you for.
Deb: OK, well, I’m going to file a complaint with the Oregon Medical
Board against your clinic and Ormesher because here’s the thing:
We know that I have a Babesia infection, and these infections have
clinical manifestations—not just blood tests that are done—but if I
had malaria, I could walk into your clinic and get treated, right?
Lady: Um, I don’t know, I have worked here for the past four years; I have never seen anybody come in for malaria.
Deb: Well, I mean, it’s an insect inside the red blood cell
Lady interrupts:
I understand, ma’am, I’m not trying to argue with you, but on your previous….on the chart notes, the doctor doesn’t feel we have
anything to treat you with.”

Several of Deb’s Accomplishments

Deb’s Facebook Groups

Lyme Disease Eugene Oregon

All Oregon citizens & friends , write on our behalf for ILADS guidelines

Apitherapy to treat Lyme and Co Infections

Apitherapy to treat Lyme & Co-infections Eugene OR


Worldwide Lyme Protest 2014 Oregon

Patient Protest at Oregon Health Policy Board Meetings

On the News

 Click to Play Lyme Ninja’s Skype Interview with Deb1911887_704180146291431_1596929600_n

6 thoughts on “Deb Elder, Lyme Patient/Activist”

  1. So proud of Deb for her work and determination! Thank you! We felt so close to you, as we watched the vigil.

    Just love the way you handled that phone conversation! xoxo

  2. I met Deb 2 years ago at a rally but took notice of her on Facebook before that. She’s a go getter and gets it done! Very proud to have her on my side.

  3. Thank you for all you do, Deb! Thank you for your pizzaz and personality that you bring to the Lyme community. Thank you for your commitment and being so friendly.

  4. Wow Deb, you kick butt and take names.. One of the things that is most admirable in This Crazy Lyme World.. Thank you, Thank you for your advocacy!

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