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Think you know AARP? What you don’t know about us may surprise you. Discover all the ‘Real Possibilities’

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REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
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What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

7 Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

Know the symptoms and what to do about them

4. Lyme disease

A systemic infection caused by a tick bite

Symptoms: Shortness of breath; chest or rib soreness; abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting; bull's-eye rash at bite site; neck stiffness; twitching of face or eyelids

Deer Tick Lyme Disease Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

Lyme disease is spread through a bite from an infected deer tick. — Photo by Custom Medical Stock Photo/Getty Images

Mimics: Mononucleosis, flu, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, meningitis

Tests: If no rash is visible, a two-step blood antibody test is recommended: the ELISA or IFA blood test, followed by the more specific Western blot blood test.

5. Multiple sclerosis

A progressive autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system

Symptoms: Muscle spasms, lack of coordination, balance problems, blurred vision, cognitive impairment

Mimics: Viral infection, lupus, Alzheimer's, bipolar disorder

Tests: Blood tests to rule out other disorders, a lumbar puncture, and an MRI, which may show the brain and spinal cord damage and lesions characteristic of multiple sclerosis

Next: Celiac disease. »

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AARP's David Certner discusses Medicare and fiscal cliff on NBC. Increasing the eligibility age could cost you — and others.

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Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

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Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

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AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.