I don't know much about Lyme disease, but here's why I need some advice:
On a recent vacation I got some sort of weird bug bite, that initially looked like a zit filled with pus, and for the past three weeks it has just been a small bump. Yesterday, I noticed a very strange rash start to encompass it, which got bigger and darker as the day went on. It looks a lot like a bruise, and it is oval and about 2 inched at its longest points. After doing a little research, I realized that some of the other symptoms I've been experiencing since I got home from my trip may also fit Lyme:
My menstraul cycle has gone out of whack, which it never has before
I have been getting frequent severe foot cramps
Bad frequent headaches
Tingling in my toes/coldness
All over general hair loss
And I have arthritis already, but its gotten fairly bad recently
Does this sound like I need to see a doctor? The rash isn't a bullseye, it looks like an ovular bruise. Thanks, I appreciate any help I can get!!
There are many different types of Lyme disease rashes and not everyone who has Lyme gets a rash. It is important to get photos of your rash. Place something near it, like a coin or ruler, before photographing to give it size definition. Then you have evidence of it if needed later.
Lyme disease is a multi-system bacterial infection caused from the bite of an infected tick. Below is a Lyme symptom list. You can have any combination of symptoms.
Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol
Since your symptoms started after the bite, there seems to be a connec-tion. It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. Lyme disease needs continuous aggressive treatment. No test is completely reliable and results can vary by lab. Most people test negative early in the infection.
Besides Lyme, ticks can transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. It is estimated that 60% of people who have Lyme are co-infected. 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 do have Lyme disease, it sounds like your infection is early which is good. Getting the proper treatment early in the infection may reduce the chance of long-term complications. I cannot stress this enough. I do not know of any Lyme doctors in IL. The closest one I know of is in Springfield, MO. If you would like the name, let me know.
It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2005 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses. He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. I also recommend the book "Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease (2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner.
I hope you can see someone knowledgeable soon. Keep us posted okay?
Hi Windycity, Tickers advice is most valuable. Please see doctor soon with this. Take a picture of bite site too if you can. I had a giant red burning spot where I got bite not the " bullseye type rash" Sounds like some of my symptoms as well. Don't wait to find out answer about this bite and your symptoms. Your body is tring to tell you something. Take Care
Thank you both so much. Your advice is very helpful. Unfortunately right now I'm so busy with work and school that it's difficult to travel to doctor not in Chicago, and the problem I have is that many of my symptoms like fatigue, fever, and joint pain were already present from my arthritis. But thank you both for your replies, and I will continue to do research and hopefully find a doctor near me. I did take a picture of my rash too! Thanks again!!