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Old 07-09-2007, 06:36 AM   #1
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Infected 30 years ago?

Was just looking at photos of the bullseye rash of lyme disease. It looks exactly like something I had more than 30 years ago while living in N. Minnesota. It was on my abdomen and I ignored it until it disappeared. I was in my early twenties at the time. Now I am 60 and feeling miserable.

I have been relatively healthy over the years (i.e. no infections requiring antibiotic treatment), but was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 15 years ago based on constant flu-like symptoms (aching and tenderness throughout my entire body (without any fever), fibro fog, etc. ).

My question is: If I was infected with Lyme that many years ago would it still show up if I were tested and would it be treatable?

 
Old 07-09-2007, 07:17 AM   #2
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Bill S HB User
Re: Infected 30 years ago?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akagrma View Post
Was just looking at photos of the bullseye rash of lyme disease. It looks exactly like something I had more than 30 years ago while living in N. Minnesota. It was on my abdomen and I ignored it until it disappeared. I was in my early twenties at the time. Now I am 60 and feeling miserable.

I have been relatively healthy over the years (i.e. no infections requiring antibiotic treatment), but was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 15 years ago based on constant flu-like symptoms (aching and tenderness throughout my entire body (without any fever), fibro fog, etc. ).

My question is: If I was infected with Lyme that many years ago would it still show up if I were tested and would it be treatable?

You'd have to talk to a knowledgeable LYME doc, but it's possible. My father-in-law was bitten last year by 2 ticks and got 2 bullseyes. We got him in to a Lyme doc within 2 weeks, and the testing showed that he had a long-term infection. Upon hearing this, he said that gee, about 10 years ago (when he was about 55) he'd had some arthritis and fatigue set in suddenly, and that the docs were mystified by it, since he showed no arthritis antibodies (dumbass docs didn't even suspect Lymes, and this is in MD, a Lyme-common state).

My Lyme doctor believes that Lymes is primarily an inflammatory disease (he is a Rheumatologist), and that because my father in law had been taking prescription anti-inflammatories (plus he was LUCKY) that the infection never proceeded beyond the early stages.

So he was treated for 8-9 months, and is now "cured" as far as the doc can tell.

On the flip side, I get bitten, have a quick and drastic onset of symptoms, and am basically laid out by this critter for 3 years. Bleh.

Fibromyalgia is the dumping ground for people they don't know what is wrong with them. I'd find a good Lyme literate doc were I you, and get tested for Lymes by Igenex. My Lyme doc told me that about 70% of the patients he sees for Fibromyalgia/Lupus/ALS, etc test out to be Lyme-exposed.

These "diseases" may simply be byproducts of chronic Lyme that was not caught in time.

Have the doc also test your Vitamin-D3 levels, as they can be a useful indicator of inflammation in the body. I needed Vit-D3 supplementation, as does my wife (who is as far as we know, NOT Lyme positive, but she does have major psoriasis and her levels were as low as mine - I had a level of 17,whereas 32 was the minimum desired)

Make sure the doc treats with 2 antibiotics; one for the spirochetes in the blood, and one that works on the cyst form (Flagyl, or the better, more easily tolerated second-generation drug Tindazole). Have the doc test for co-infections as well.

After having Lyme's for so many years, I don't know if a complete recovery is possible, but what have you got to lose by being tested/treated? Even if you regain most of your previous life back, it would be worth it.

If you haven't found a LYME-Literate doc yet, you can go here for a list of docs you might try:

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/Doctor_Referrals.html

 
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: Infected 30 years ago?

I was infected 20 years ago. actually had 2 ticks embedded in my back!

of course, back then, you put a hot match to them, that was that. fast forward 10 years, I started having health issues, (at the age of 18) of course, when your under 40 and your in pain, you are a drug seeker.... finally got a doc to listen to me 3 years ago, was dx with fibro and MCTD at the age of 25. BUT I always knew there was something else going on. We stumbled on some lyme info, and I remembered about the ticks.

I have 60 some symptoms out of the 70 some there is....no doubt in my mind this is what's going on. So I found a LLMD, and just started treatment a couple weeks ago.

First and foremost, read all you can, get all the info you can. ****** seeking lyme literate doctor and see what comes up, you can post in different sites for doc info in your area.

YOU NEED LLMD, lyme literate doctor. You NEED to be tested by IGENIX, most lyme tests are unreliable. Most lyme docs will treat on a clinical basis anyhow, and seeing as you had the rash, it's a no brainer.

Yes, you can get well, but it might be a LONG road. I made the mistake of having coritisone shots a few months ago, so I am now even sicker than I was before....DO NOT do coritsone for pain... .the lyme will run rampit in your body.

You may not get 100%, but you can definitly get better. I will never be 100% because it's in my nervous system, the damage is done. But if I get 40% I will be jumping up and down....maybe...lol....

read, read, read....
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: Infected 30 years ago?

I second the concept that any immune suppressants like steroids are a gigantic mistake if you might have Lymes. My doc gave me some Prednisone for sinus problems (which didn't help, dang it), and I had a massive relapse that lasted for 6+ months (this was before I found a Lyme literate doc) that left me totally unable to work.

You may not get back to 100% of normal, but you may see great improvement (after the symptoms get worse during treatment, which is common).

Have you read Burrascano's treatment info? Available here if you haven't read it:

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/downloads.html

Good luck and let us know if you want more info.

 
Old 07-09-2007, 11:31 AM   #5
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Re: Infected 30 years ago?

what I put in my response was to do a search on the internet on seeking lyme literate doctors. I didn't realize we couldn't put a specific name in there.

many believe that we shouldn't be putting our docs names out there in the open seeing as how controversial treatment can be, there are few good docs left anyhow, so we try to protect the ones there are.

once you do some research, you'll see what I am talking about
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:27 PM   #6
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Re: Infected 30 years ago?

Hi akagrma, welcome to the board!

Many people who have Lyme had had it for a long time before getting diagnosed. Yes, you can still be treated. Some people who have Lyme were first diagnosed with other diseases including CFS, Fibromyalgia, MS, and ALS. A bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease.

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
Swollen glands
Sore throat
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Upset stomach
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
Headache
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
Lightheadedness, wooziness
Tremor
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

It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. No test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab.

Besides Lyme, ticks can also transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, two types of 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.

Are you still in MN? If you need a doctor recommendation, let us know.

If you have children and think you may have had Lyme when pregnant, your children should be evaluated. Lyme disease can be passed through pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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.

 
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