Re: Is this a proper treatment?
Hi Tim, welcome to the board!
It is good that you doctor is aware of Lyme disease; however, as jojo stated you are not being treated aggressively enough or long enough. 200 mg of Doxy is not strong enough for Lyme. I believe the recommended dose is 300-600 mg daily.
A few tips about Doxy. Do not have any dairy, magnesium or iron products two hours before or after taking it or it will not be absorbed properly. If it makes you nauseous, eat something substantial and non-dairy before taking it. Drink a full glass of water when you take it. Avoid the sun. You can get a severe burn in minutes even when wearing sunscreen. Do not lay down for at least an hour after taking it or you can ulcerate your esophagus. This is very painful! Whenever you take any antibiotics, make sure you take high-quality acidophilus capsules. They replace the good bacteria in the body and help to prevent yeast overgrowth (which men and women can both get). The best ones to get are refrigerated. Most healthfood stores have them. Wait at least two hours before or after taking the antibiotics to take the acidophilus.
Also, three weeks of treatment is never long enough. 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 get the proper treatment early in the infection. Doing so may reduce the chance of long-term complications.
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 Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols.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.
I know of one Lyme doctor in VA: Dr. Leila Zachrison in Fairfax. All I know about her is she is supposed to be knowledgeable. Dr. Kenneth Singleton in Towson, MD comes highly recommended.
Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx). Often, when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms become worse or they get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel sicker. It can be very scary when it happens, but it is a good sign the antibiotics are working. Although it can vary individually, many people experience this at the beginning of treatment and every three to four weeks.
It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading "Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease (2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner and Dr. Burrascano's treatment guidelines. He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many doctors follow his protocols.
I hope you can see a Lyme doctor soon. Keep us posted on your progress okay?