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the book

In this improbable memoir unfolding in real time, Sit Down Before Reading author Dave Bexfield—misdiagnosed for 17 years with multiple sclerosis—takes readers along on his quest to unravel an epic health mystery. Will his unlikely discovery that he and countless others have undiagnosed Lyme disease lead to the greatest medical breakthrough in history? NOTE: New chapters release Wednesdays; the book concludes with Chapter 52.

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The story I'm going to tell you will challenge you to reexamine life with a progressive disease, send shockwaves throughout the disabled community, rewrite the rulebook of healthcare and potentially change your entire future. That's all.

2 min read

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Sit Down Before Reading

That’s the exact subject line of the email I sent my medical team. A message that would ultimately save my life. You’ll better understand after you read this. And I apologize in advance because you should probably take that advice, too.

4 min read

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100 Meters

If I was going to have a chance to avoid entering a nursing home in my early 40s, all I had to do was walk 100 meters. That's all. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I was so screwed.

7 min read

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Operation Overturn

One lone, gimped-up disabled guy named Dave wouldn’t dare go toe-to-toe with a $2 billion organization, would he? You mean the guy so motivated that he wallpapered his garage with $198,000 of denied medical expenses? Uh-oh.

7 min read

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The Widow Maker

Water buffaloes are among the most dangerous of all animals. There’s a reason they have the cheery nicknames “black death” and “widow maker.” We jump forward, to the summer of 2020. When things were again feeling off. Really off. The water buffalo was snorting.

8 min read

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Pit of Despair

To my untrained eye, the catheter I was about to insert looked to be five, six feet, something that could lasso a horse or hogtie a pair of criminals. My lesson in self catheterization, though, paled in comparison to planning my own funeral.

7 min read

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Breaking Brain

My white-hot brain had developed an idea to capitalize on Albuquerque’s connection to the hit TV franchise Breaking Bad, one so deep and rich that it would remake the city into an international tourist destination. But something was off. Way off.

9 min read

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Final Hail Mary

My body was collapsing. My brain was splintering. Laura and I were doing whatever we could do to keep it together—twine, duct tape, a tube of three-year-old nearly dried-up Krazy glue—while we sought out answers. This was our final Hail Mary.

6 min read

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I didn’t know what to do. Which direction to turn. Where to hide. I considered taking shelter in my memories, assembling, sorting, and then organizing them into a majestic quilt of my 53 years in this world. But first I needed to play chess. With the Devil.

8 min read

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Fate, Meet Destiny

There was one sentence in my Hail Mary letter to my doctors that unlocked the mystery that had been plaguing me for the past 17 years. Finally, an answer, as this fateful tale meets its unbelievable destiny to conclude Part I of Sit Down Before Reading

6 min read

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As I waded into the horrifying detritus of other lives crushed by my newly discovered disease, I unbelievably uncovered evidence of what could be one of the greatest failures in the history of modern medicine. And it affects everyone diagnosed with MS.

5 min read

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Zebra Found

I finished my revelatory email—courteous, professional, and detailed with evidence—and typed into the subject line “Zebra Found! (sit down before reading, sorry).” After one final proof—yes, I was 100% confident in this diagnosis—I clicked send.

9 min read

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Crazy Not Crazy

I was getting better at lying to my wife. And figuring out conspiracy theories, a new specialty of mine. But also, I realized that I needed to get on treatment for my newly discovered disease. Just one minor problem: would any of my doctors believe me?

7 min read

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Roll of the Die

The reported odds of being misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis are frightfully high—1 in 6, the roll of a single die. Was I feeling lucky? Because the consequences of waking up your soundly sleeping wife at 1:30 a.m. for a false alarm could be calamitous.

10 min read

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Question marks swirled around me like a late summer dust devil as I entered my first week of treatment. Would I see improvements? Could I lift that 20-lb. weight? Would my UTIs stop? And how would I tell my friends about my diagnosis?

7 min read

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A Nobel Act

One must be true. Either I win a Nobel prize for discovering that a common antibiotic effectively treats MS … or I win a Nobel for exposing a catastrophic flaw in the diagnosing of Lyme disease that will result in scores of MSers getting undiagnosed.

8 min read

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Tests form the backbone of eliminating Lyme disease from consideration when diagnosing MS. The tower of new coincidences in my case kept getting stacked atop the already swaying Jenga tower of coincidences built up over the last 17 years.

10 min read

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Never Ever

I never should have discovered my multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis. To understand just how incomprehensibly fortunate I was means suspending all knowledge of how odds work. Because everything had to line up just so. Unbelievably, it did.

10 min read

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Ipso Facto

When it comes to cases of multiple sclerosis, the unofficial official policy, worldwide, is straightforward: no routine testing for Lyme disease and absolutely no treatment without a positive confirming two-tiered approved test. So says science, ipso facto.

12 min read

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Taking a Stand

The best possibility for me to reverse my myriad disabilities brought on my Lyme encephalomyelitis—to have a fighting chance to be able to put one foot in front of another and walk again—means IV antibiotics, universally deemed “medically necessary.”

11 min read

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The Writing is on the Wall

The writing is on the wall, and it couldn’t be any clearer. Yes, I am sure-sure that I have Lyme disease—despite being diagnosed 17 years ago with “clinically definite” multiple sclerosis. And yes, the gains after taking antibiotics are real. Really, really real.

6 min read

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Clear Eyes, Open Heart

I was struggling to keep lofty expectations in check. I wanted to soar skyward, lift above the clouds. But after months of failing to get appropriate treatment for my Lyme disease, it was hard not to get demoralized. Then an unusual opportunity presented itself.

8 min read

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An Improbable Proposal

Desperate times called for desperate measures. Despite trying for months to find a doctor to treat my Lyme disease, all outreach had been rebuffed. I had to let every arrow fly and think outside the box, outside the state, and outside the realm of probability.

9 min read

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Iceberg Right Ahead

If traditional testing couldn’t detect my neurological form of Lyme disease, it wouldn’t be able to detect anyone else’s either. An unimaginable disaster loomed; I had to warn the world’s leading researchers in multiple sclerosis and Lyme disease.

10 min read

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Author's Note

October 23 marks one year since I made the life-altering discovery that I have Lyme disease, not MS. Before SDBR steams on with abandon into pivotal Part III and its promised groundbreaking revelations, an important note from the author.

4 min read




The evidence is stark, shattering, overwhelming. Hundreds of thousands of people infected with Lyme disease are being misdiagnosed with MS worldwide, the result of perfect storms colliding. I make sense of it all: how it happened, who's affected, and what's next.

6 min read

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Meredith was diagnosed with a “textbook” case of multiple sclerosis. So was Gary. So was Daniel. Gregory was crowned with textbook neuropathy. Good thing none had Lyme disease. But shockingly, Emma did. And her case? Anything but textbook.

10 min read

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The Terminator

For potentially misdiagnosed patients, doctors think they know and understand the predator they are fighting. They don’t. Lyme disease is like the Terminator. Without hitting it long enough, hard enough, it will be back in some form. It will always be back.

11 min read

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The Response

Most neurologists on this planet would recoil at the thought of having misdiagnosed a patient. But mistake Lyme disease for multiple sclerosis? That’s a bridge too far, not only for physicians, but ironically for patients potentially living with a misdiagnosis.

10 min read

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The Moronic Wars

There are countless examples of me acting as a moron, so when I see amateurs—rank amateurs—trying to edge onto my turf, it irks me. IRKS in all caps. Enter into evidence the most moronic of wars that don’t involve swords or firearms: the so-called Lyme Wars.

11 min read

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Unless you are in a hotspot for blacklegged ticks and you get a bullseye rash and experience symptoms within 30 days, a negative Lyme test is negative… and a “positive” Lyme test is an error. So say the experts. But could the science be wrong? Unfathomable.

11 min read

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Hidden in Plain Sight

For decades researchers have struggled to conclusively prove that a latitude gradient exists when it comes to the prevalence of MS—the farther from the equator, the greater the risk of developing the disease. If only they had enlisted the assistance of a 5th grader.

13 min read

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Fail Better

In medicine, barring an outright cure, researchers ultimately will face failure. If scientists keep trying and fail a little less with each attempt, that’s progress. But what if the answer lies not tucked away in the incremental successes, but buried deeply within those failures?

11 min read

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Denial of Care

Chronic illness can overrun the strongest of bulwarks, dooming the tightest of relationships—and the waves were breaching our fortifications. Survival was no longer a given. Desperate times called for equally desperate measures.

13 min read

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To get to the bottom of at least one of my pressing issues—this global Lyme disease kerfuffle—it required, of all things, analyzing numbers… and doing math. But one errant number and my 30% MS misdiagnosis hypothesis collapses.

11 min read



Gathering Clouds

The groundbreaking speech in Miami had every potential to change the course of multiple sclerosis … if only a single researcher in the decades following had managed to put the puzzle pieces together. But fate interceded, irrevocably changing the course of history.

13 min read

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Swirling Winds

For researchers studying MS, they’ve unwittingly fallen into a trap of their own making. The pressure to make a landmark discovery, the insatiable verve to grab that brass ring, blinded them to the possibility that they could be looking at two different diseases.

13 min read

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A Perfect Storm

Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Safeguards put into place to confirm research catastrophically failed. Faulty research was then elevated into canon and crowned settled science. History, tragically embodying the cliché, has repeated itself.

13 min read

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Red Flags

Traditionally, red flags warn of danger. When it comes to Lyme disease and misdiagnosis, readers of this real-time memoir have been extrapolating red flags from its pages for the past year. Some hit you gradually, while others present with far more urgency.

19 min read

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Author's Note

The final chapter of Sit Down Before Reading is scheduled to begin releasing Wednesday, January 24, 2024. The Bexfield Twist is broken into multiple parts with groundbreaking discoveries that portend to rewrite medicine. The author tries to prepare readers.

5 min read

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Did a health advocate with zero formal medical education just make the most monumental discovery in the history of modern medicine? Part IV features a series of unbelievable twists.

1 min read

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Home Runs

Everyone knows that antibiotics aren’t supposed to change the trajectory of MS. So what happens when they shockingly do?

13 min read

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Telltale Shards

If only doctors had put together the broken bits of evidence, it would have revealed a stunning truth. Instead, a single tragic case of misdiagnosis irrevocably changed the course of history.

10 min read

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Bad Apple

There is one widely accepted theory in multiple sclerosis that has the near universal support of researchers. What happens when a single anomaly threatens to torch the revered hypothesis?

7 min read

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The Goldilocks Zone

If the devil is in the details, we take the deepest of dives into potential diagnostic markers that just might be able to separate Lyme disease from multiple sclerosis and other similar conditions.

12 min read

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The treatment landscape for neurological Lyme disease that has been left untreated for years would appear to be barren, desolate. Hope, though, has bloomed from some unexpected recent precipitation.

11 min read

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Copious Mischief

Stories of likely misdiagnoses have been broadsiding me with the frequency of unexpected new hit releases of Taylor Swift songs. What if Lyme disease really is as widespread and calamitous as sky-is-falling alarmists have warned?

14 min read

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Pain scales typically peak at 10. Amplifier volumes, at least prior to the release of This is Spinal Tap, typically peak at 10. This installment of SDBR turns it up to 11. Something is decidedly amiss in the theory of autoimmune disease.

17 min read

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There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases. And a frightening symptom—one I personally experienced—suspiciously ripples among most of them. Is it mere coincidence or something more sinister?

20 min read

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The Immaculate Storm

For more than a century, the perfect storms of autoimmune disease have been colliding violently with each other, each one reinforcing one another, creating a devastating feedback loop—an immaculate storm.

14 min read

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The Smoking Gun

The smoking gun—revealing the vastness and insidious spread of the Lyme disease epidemic—has been found, as the immaculate storm continues to rage.

14 min read

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The Smoking Flamethrower

The smoking gun wasn’t a gun after all, but a flamethrower, setting the world—and dormant cases of Lyme disease—aflame at an unprecedented rate.

13 min read

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Little Sparks

It doesn’t take a flamethrower to stir up Lyme disease, as another long-fought war shockingly and suddenly ends without a winner.

16 min read

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Hallelujah Booyah

Medicine’s greatest mysteries unravel.

34 min read

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The Reckoning

Without swift intervention, a generational reckoning will soon be upon us. Indeed, it's already started. 

23 min read

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Boxed In

I’ve tried to warn experts in Lyme, the top MS researchers, even specialists at the NIH. No one could be bothered. I warned that the math didn't add up. Shoulders shrugged. I warned of a coming reckoning. Crickets. Funny that I mentioned insects. And math.

20 min read

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The Bexfield Twist

The origin story of this memoir’s biggest enigma.

29 min read

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Are You Sitting Down?

The time has come to do the thing most thought was never possible. Heal.

30 min read

coming in Aug
Part I
Part II
Part III
latest chapter
Part IV
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