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Old 07-16-2006, 05:53 AM   #1
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martin3290 HB User
Is this Lyme? I hope not

Hello, im a new member...

the same rash I have on my ankle. Its really small but im already paranoid
that its Lyme disease. I get tested every year for Lyme even though and I
stay in the house 90% of the time... work at home on computers. My mother
had a really bad case of Lyme disease.. Messed her all up mentally and
physically..and my biggest fear was that I would get it some day. I was
mowing the lawn about 4 days ago.. I also did some outdoor activity about a
month ago.

Is it possible this could just be a spider bite, mosquito bite, or some
other kind of insect?

I hope so.. I dont notice any Lyme symptoms yet. And never saw the tick on
me.. But I did scratch my ankle this morning...thinking it was just a blood
scab...and I think it was... not a 100% on that though. I didnt see any
tick though.

See how paranoid this illness can make a person? My mom was sooo messed up
with this illness when I was a kid..

By the way, the rash doesnt burn or itch.

any help would be appreciated,

MB

Last edited by moderator2; 07-16-2006 at 09:01 AM. Reason: please do not post pictures for any reason

 
Old 07-16-2006, 07:54 AM   #2
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

Hi MB, welcome to the board!

I am sorry your mom was so sick from Lyme. Is she better now?

Lyme disease is the second fastest growing infectious disease in the US and the number one vector-borne disease in the US. Ticks are everywhere. Most people who contract Lyme are bitten on residential property.

It is hard to say if you have been bitten by a tick. Keep an eye on the area and get photos of any changes. A bullseye rash is a definite sign of Lyme; however, only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash. Be on the look-out for any symptoms. Some early symptoms include flu-like symptoms and fatigue.

There are some good repellents available that you can use when outside. I recommend the ones made by Repel. You can get them at Wal-mart in the sporting goods section. There is one for your clothes called Repel Perma One Clothing Gear. You spray your clothes and let them dry for at least two hourse before wearing them. If a tick even walks on them, it will die instantly. One application lasts up to two weeks or through five washings. You could use this on one set of clothes that you wear when doing yard work. This is for your clothes only, you need a separate repellent for your skin. Repel makes one for the skin also.

Whenever you come inside, check yourself thoroughly. Ticks are tiny, so know you are looking for something very small. Check your scalp, behind ears, armpits, belly button, behind knees, top of legs, genital area etc. They often go in hard to see places.

 
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

So already it looks like Lyme, right? From yesterday to today the outer red area seems to be spreading more outward.

Last edited by moderator2; 07-16-2006 at 09:04 AM.

 
Old 07-16-2006, 09:49 AM   #4
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

MB, do you think it looks like a bullseye rash? If so, it is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. 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.

If you post where you are located, we can tell you of the closest knowledgable doctors to you that we know of.

 
Old 07-16-2006, 12:52 PM   #5
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

Quote:
Originally Posted by ticker
MB, do you think it looks like a bullseye rash? If so, it is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. 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.

If you post where you are located, we can tell you of the closest knowledgable doctors to you that we know of.
I live in the Poconos .. North-East Pennsylvania close to East Stroudsburg. Im probably going to go to the ER tonight about the rash. Im sure the hospital should know the best route of treatment.. I have read a few threads here already though..About that lady who only had a 21 day supply of anti-biotics.. I'll make sure I get more then that.

I have a few questions.

Do normal ticks (that do not carry lyme disease) also make the bullseye rash or no?

How long till the bullseye rash occurs? this way I can tell how long since I've been bit. I have the rash now. Started showing up yesterday slightly...much more pronounced today.

I currently just feel really dizzy, and tired.. I've been on Enbrel for 2 years before this for psoriatic arthritis..so this may be why I dont feel much pain.. Enbrel has been a godsend for my pain and psoriasis... Not sure if I could even continue taking Enbrel while on this anti-biotic im going to receive?

How often does lyme disease show up on blood tests and are blood tests the most recommended?

any questions answered would be much appreciated.

thanks
MB

ps. I read this from some lyme site..not sure how up to date it is :
Quote:
There are three types of antibody tests to detect Lyme disease.

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This common and rapid test to detect Lyme disease antibodies is considered the most sensitive screening test for Lyme disease.

Indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA). This test also screens for Lyme disease antibodies, but it may produce false results more often than ELISA.

Western blot test. This test also detects Lyme disease antibodies and can confirm the results of an ELISA or IFA test. It is most often done to detect a chronic Lyme disease infection.

Last edited by martin3290; 07-16-2006 at 12:53 PM.

 
Old 07-16-2006, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

Hi MB,

My understanding is that a bullseye rash is enough in and of itself to have the doctor diagnose you. Make sure you are on antibiotics for at least 6 weeks (enough to cover one growth cycle of the bacteria plus a little more).

The frustrating thing about all of this is that there are not necessarily any clearcut answers. There are many strains of the bacteria and all of our bodies are different so we can be affected differently. The tests for Lyme are also not clearcut. I have heard the opposite - that the ELISA test is the most unreliable. There are some specialty Lyme Labs who are thought to have more sensitive testing (IgeneX in CA is one). You could send your blood to one of those. But it could take some time for the antibodies to show up in your system, etc. etc. Anyway, my point is that if the doctor/hospital confirms your bullseye rash, the tests should be irrelevant in getting you the 6 weeks of antibiotics you need in your case (newly bitten and the rash being new).

If it's looking like a bullseye, I would go ahead to the ER tonight or definitely to the doctor tomorrow. Document the rash yourself by taking pictures as it changes. Put a quarter or something beside it for scale.

Good luck!
Alexia

 
Old 07-16-2006, 03:11 PM   #7
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

Hi MB. It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme disease and undertreat it. Lyme needs aggressive treatment.

A bullseye rash is a definite sign of Lyme, but only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash. Do continue to get photos as you have been doing. The rash alone merits treatment. No Lyme test is completely reliable, and results vary by lab. Most people test negative early in the infection. It is my understanding that the ELISA or titer is the least reliable test and the one most doctors run first.

Dr. Chandra Swami in Hermitage, PA comes very highly recommended. I hope you can see a knowledgeable doctor soon and get tested for the co-infections. The good news is your infection is early. Getting the proper treatment early in the infection may reduce the chance of long-term complications.

Keep us posted on how you are doing okay?

Last edited by ticker; 07-16-2006 at 03:13 PM.

 
Old 07-16-2006, 03:20 PM   #8
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TINUVIEL HB User
Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

Hi,

I just wanted to second what Ticker said. Be cautious in assuming that an er will know the best course of action. As others have mentioned, the medical community has a LOT to learn about this disease and correct treatment. Many doctors are not sufficiently educated about this disease, it's potential consequences, or up-to-date protocols. Some don't even know to test for co-infections.

The reason the folks on this board are here is because they, like so many others, did not receive sufficient treatment at the right time and are now having to battle late stage disseminated disease. I know of people who went to er's, urgent care's, or doc's who weren't knowledgable and were sent out the door with 2 weeks of doxy, only to have devastating symptoms later on.

Last edited by TINUVIEL; 07-16-2006 at 03:23 PM.

 
Old 07-16-2006, 08:33 PM   #9
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

I really appreciate all your help here. You guys seem like a cool bunch. very helpful.

Tinuviel...you were right on the money.. The guy at the ER was an idiot. I have a textbook bullseye rash and I had to beg him to put me on treatment. I could tell he was going to be an idiot before he saw me...because with the patient before me...he was laughing and joking around like a loon.

Its like doctors are sooo scared and gunshy of diagnosing illnesses these days. I told him I also had pain, stiff neck, chills..and I was barely able to convince him.

He put me on 500mg of amoxicillin..3 times a day for 21 days... so thats 1500 mg's a day. Does this sound decent? I feel like after reading this board im going to have to get another prescription after the 21 days are up... To maybe ask for another 21 days?

Can someone recommend a good specialist in north-east pennsylvania? I appreciate the recommendation in Hermitage.. But that is on the other side of PA. atleast a 4 to 5 hour drive.

thanks much..u guys are great.

MB

 
Old 07-17-2006, 05:44 AM   #10
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

MB-

I drive 4 hours to go to this doctor in Hermitage. It is a long drive but I can tell you it is worth the time. I was told that I am like their next door neighbors. They have people coming from all over the world including Australia. Please consider calling them to schedule an appointment. Be prepared to wait. They will put you on a cancellation list and you should get in fairly quick.

Good Luck.

Cindy

 
Old 07-17-2006, 06:04 AM   #11
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

Hi MB. Check Dr. Burrascano's treatment guidelines for the recommended dose of Amoxicillin. Doxy is often prescribed first because it can be effective against Lyme and the Ehrlichiosis co-infections. Three weeks is never long enough treatment. 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.


Are you closer to NJ? I know of Lyme doctors in Howell, Jackson, and West Caldwell. If you would like one of their names let me know.

 
Old 07-17-2006, 07:27 PM   #12
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Re: Is this Lyme? I hope not

MB
Please do seek out a LLMD. I was treated for 10 day 19 yrs ago. Now I have late chronic lyme. I am currently on ammoxicillin 1000 three times a day plus septra DS twice a day. Most doctors, whether ER or other do not want to be told "anything" by a patient. My family dr is one, he told me that there was no way I had lyme, did not need to see a LLMD. Then I told him I was diagnoised 19 yrs ago and I had the appt and was seeing a LLMD. Turned out I was also co-infected.

Also went to ER several months ago. Had a picc line for IV's. I knew something bad was wrong. The nurse who was just weeks from receiving her PA degree said I needed to go to a larger hospital that night and be checked for blood clots. The ER dr said no, I was having reaction to the meds. The next day I had the test at a different hospital and had blood clots.

The best advice I can give you is research, learn as much as you can and get on the waiting list of LLMD.

Marsha

 
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