I got bitten 5 weeks ago, and 1 week after that i developed an expanding rash around the bite site. I got the tick out within a few hours of it biting me, im sure. I went to the doctor, he said yes, it was lymes and gave me 500mg of Zithromax daily for 10 days. (Im allergic to Pen and Tetra).
Anyway, 5 weeks later, i just got my labs back to be told im negative for lymes, but my WBC is 3.5. I do have a sore throat and constant headaches. But ive read alot that the blood tests for lyme disease arent very accurate, giving alot of false negatives, and that the only reliable test is one called Igenex?
Could i still have lyme disease and this is why my WBC is down?
Last edited by wednesdayblue; 07-10-2006 at 11:18 AM.
A bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease. The rash alone merits treatment. Tick attachment time is irrelevant as many people here can attest to.
Ten days of treatment is not long enough for Lyme. From what I understand, an infection caught within two weeks of the bite should be treated with a minimum of six weeks of the proper dose antibiotic. The antibiotics kill the bacteria when they are reproducing, which is estimated at four weeks. Six weeks of treatment will cover one growth cycle. If symptoms are still present, further treatment is warranted. A longer infection needs longer treatment.
It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. You are correct that no Lyme test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab. It is my understanding that the ELISA or titer is the least reliable and the one most doctors run first. Is this the test you had done?
Besides Lyme, ticks can transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected, and it may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA. The Ehrlichiosis co-infections can affect the white blood cells. This may be why your count is low.
If you post where you are located, we can tell you of the closest Lyme doctors to you that we know of. Your infection is early. Getting the proper treatment now gives you the best chance of eradicating it and may reduce the chance of long-term complications.
Yes, its true that testing for Lyme is very unreliable. I tested negative a few times which wasted months of my time running after misdiagnoses.
Once I saw a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD), I began treatment before my blood test results came back from Igenex.
Unfortunately the list of symptoms for Lyme is long and you can have some or all of them. There's a sticky post at the top of this board for the list. You may want to check it out. Lyme can affect blood count.
I had my blood sent to a lab called Igenex in Palo Alto CA. You can visit their web site and even order the blood test stuff right there. A doctor, of course, has to draw the blood and mail it to them.
Lastly, ten days is not long enough to treat a Lyme infection, even if its caught quickly like yours. You need to be on medicine for a long period of time.
There is good news - Lyme is curable and you will feel better someday.
If you post your state and town, maybe someone can suggest a good LLMD for you to see.
Thank you soo much for your replies.
I live in Southern New Jersey.
I would love to know of a lyme doctor near me. My own doctor put all my symptoms down to "depression".
How does it work? Do you just make an appt with the doc, i know my crappy insurance requires referrals.
Yes, i had the standard test done, the one that tests the igA amount or whatever in your blood. It was that one that was ticked on the labcorp form.
My sore throat is getting worse, constant headaches, fatigue.
I didnt have the "classic" lyme rash, instead i started out with red bumps around the bite, had a few i noticed one day, then as the days progressed, there were more and more, and they formed a circular pattern around the bite. My doc told me if it was an allergic reaction to the bite, it wouldnt form a circular pattern like that. Wow, the only good piece of info that came out of his mouth.
Im pretty sure i contracted it. Even though people around here have said "oh no you couldnt have got it, the tick wasnt attached long enough", or "the tick was too big, its only the small ticks that transmit it".
I will def look into the other tick-borne diseases like you mentioned. Are those diseases in NJ?
Last edited by wednesdayblue; 07-10-2006 at 09:03 PM.
Hi wednesdayblue. The tick that bit me was only attached for three hours at most, and it transmitted five diseases! There are eight different ticks that can transmit disease. The co-infections exist whereever ticks do. NJ has a very high incidence of Lyme disease.
I know of Lyme doctors who come highly recommended in Jackson, West Caldwell, and Howell. Would you like one of their names? Unfortunately, many Lyme doctors do not take insurance because they often do not get reimbursed. People usually pay up front and then submit the bills for what their company will reimburse.
Learn as much as you can. One book I recommend is "Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease (2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner.
Its worth the trip to the library or online bookstore to get the book that Ticker recommended. I read it 4 times.
I see the LLMD in Jackson and she is awesome - well worth the trip. However, she doesn't take insurance. At the time I was so sick that I didn't care how much it cost me to find out what was wrong and get treatment.