Finding an LLMD can present a fair amount of difficulty, especially if you are on a renegade search for instantaneous benefit from such a person. It took what is personally interpreted as "a while" to happen upon one such individual in my case.
As a patient of Lyme Disease, time is of great importance and one month could mean a bit of change to the next. I advise searching online and reading the interpretations of natureopaths, medical doctors, etc in order to get a feel for both them and what you may be looking for. Items of great importance when professionally responding to Lyme, aside from personal preference, include (in my experience) these main criteria:
1) Learned understanding of Lyme-based testing: Many doctors completely discount IgeneX as a Lab, claiming "all those who test from IgeneX test positive." This is not only illogical, but proven untrue. In fact, receiving a positive test for Lyme Disease is an act of disconcerting difficulty as the bacteria cycle in and out of your blood according to time of day and time of month. There are numerous forms of the bacteria, one of which has the ability to shift between cystic form (usually dormant within pockets of their own fruition) and L-shaped form (which can reside actively in your blood stream- think of your circulatory system as a bath house). Due to this fact, false negatives are regularly drawn alongside your vital fluid and must be recognized as a possibility. Aside from this specific issue, many strains of Borrelia have evolved (over 200) and are completely ignored by supposedly competent practitioners. The ELISA (governmental testing for Lyme Disease) checks your blood for one strand, Quest Diagnostics is also inadequate (fortunately less so, but barren of full accuracy). Thus, IgeneX is the one reputable clinic in the United States worthy of mass recognition and yet fails to procure it due to the informed ignorance of mainstream medicine.
2) Understanding of Lyme Disease and its nature: Lyme is a transformative and political disease. Much of the information widely accepted and spread only lends itself to mounting bacteria and problematic medical bills. An LLMD, first and foremost, must fathom and accept the fact that Chronic Lyme is A) real B) difficult to pin C) different between a wide array of individuals (due to difference in DNA) D) treatable through long-term use of antibiotics E) Informed understanding of the Herxheimer Reaction.
2) Acceptance and treatment of Lyme Disease co-infections: Many supposed LLMDs apparently have little patience for the lovely Borrelia cohorts, which include Ehrlichia (also known as Anaplasmosis), Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or Bartonella. Other common infections (Epstein Barr, Chronic Mononucleosis, Chronic Walking Pneumonia, Candida Infection, E Coli, HHV 6, etc) must be acknowledged as result instead of completely separate from Lyme itself. Lyme compromises the Immune System. As backwash, microbes of infested organism will have opportunity to take up residence (the apartment has now been pronounced rent-controlled). Many doctors (including the former medical physicians I worked with prior) may attempt to treat these diseases first through inadequate means (two weeks of antibiotics). The problem is not HHV 6 or heavy metal poisoning- its Lyme Disease, the sooner you treat the source of the issue, as opposed to its symptoms, the sooner you are enabled to rid your body of it's alternate burdens.
3) The multi-approach: Your disease may or may not clear from the use of herbs alone, but antibiotics can not be properly used as sole provider in order to eradicate the Lyme bacteria. Combination therapy, which uses supplements, herbs, multiple antibiotics, and mind-body medicine maintains the ability to target and kill the bull's eye blight. This requires your doctor to not only remain open to alternative medicine, but to utilize the most effective of what is available. Another imperative aspect of treatment is the combined use of differing antibiotics (for they target differing issues and are most effectively used in tandem). The curative quality of treatment is not guaranteed, so as many outlets as possible will aid in the long term.
4) Constant updates in informational research and admittance when knowledge is not available: Lyme Disease has not been confined to symptom or reaction to symptom, new information is under constant development. To find a doctor willing to acknowledge the unsteady quality of fact vs conjecture within the illness is absolutely imperative. Treat what is known, search for what is not, find a medical professional who will do the same. You will not heal if you are not truthful to the issue, at least not without a measure of luck. I've known many doctors unwilling to admit lack of control due to their own personal insecurities, I've heard of numerous (and dealt with myself) who, under the mercy of said practitioner, were diagnosed with character flaw as opposed to sickness. There was no testing, there was no capacity for construction when the answer became a concrete and cerebral: it's you, sweetheart. However, diagnosis does not ensure problem solving either, as confrontation of structural crunch rests within the methodology of the healer as opposed to the label itself. It's about the manner in which the issue is dealt, not the words in which confine you. A doctor of this sort is worth their weight in cosmetically rouged and market-oriented capsules.
5) Open to your input not only as a patient, but as a crucial element of treatment: Information is lacking and you are the sole source experiencing your body on an intimate level (if not, consider yourself lucky). A medical practitioner who consistently says, "Huh, that's odd," and leaves the issue as it stands is not an individual who you want to suffer bouts of Herxheimer with. Your body is capable of communicating with you, you of listening, and your practitioner of receiving such information. Use all resources available.
Other than this specific criteria, there are personal desires. There are maverick doctors and cautious doctors, there are natureopaths knowledgeable about the spiritual and mental element of treatment or those of fact-based refuge. I've found the most crucial element is grasp: without proper information, knowledge of the disease is lost along with the ability to mend.
I consider myself lucky to have found Susan, incredibly so.