CDC Guidelines currently used in diagnosing Lyme Disease:
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tick borne diseases as well.
Lyme: The Great Imitator
In the first month to six weeks following a bite from an infected tick, the initial symptoms that appear may include flu-like symptoms such as malaise, chills, fever, sore throat, achiness, and swollen lymph nodes. After these symptoms pass, infected persons will generally develop muscle and joint pain, which can be severe, temporary, and manifest in different areas. Shooting, burning, and prickling sensations, as well as numbness, may also be experienced. Neurological problems, such as facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) may also occur, in addition to encephalitis and cognitive dysfunction, such as short-term memory loss. Panic, anxiety, or depression can also be caused by the infection.
The symptomology of Lyme disease is varied and diverse, resulting in significant difficulty in diagnosis. Known as “The Great Imitator,” Lyme disease can mimic the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as more than some 350 other diseases.
Dr. Bill Rawls shares,“My life—and a busy medical career—were disrupted midstream by fibromyalgia, later diagnosed as Lyme disease. My late 40s were marked by debilitating fatigue, tremendous brain fog, aching allover, burning in my feet and tingling in my hands, skin rashes, joint pain, chest pain, heart palpitations, mood changes, and poor sleep. I know what it’s like to start and end every day feeling like you have a terrible flu. Over several years, I experienced virtually every known symptom of Lyme disease.”
Little did we know that during a beautiful spring day in May our lives would be changed forever. Always aware of the importance of protecting ourselves while enjoying the beauty of the Maine woods, we were diligent in our efforts during times of exposure. Then it happened, in spite of being protected with the proper clothing and diligently checking for ticks, one was found attached to my husband. We acted quickly, removing the tick as well as immediately calling my husband’s primary care physician. From this point, our story highlights a very flawed health care system.
The primary care physician called in one dose of 100 mg. of doxycycline which my husband took within hours of finding the tick, and all was well for 4 months. And then debilitating joint pain began in his right knee and right shoulder. A visit to the PC’s office was met with a referral to an orthopedic specialist where multiple tests were administered. After skeletal problems were ruled out with an x-ray and an MRI, the specialist was a bit puzzled. The situation was extremely baffling as joint fluid and a blood test was checked for RA and Lyme. The results were negative for both, so a cortisone shot was administered in an attempt to relieve pain. Unfortunately, no pain relief was found, but instead blood tests revealed an elevation in my husband’s A-1C, a possible side effect of the steroid shot.
By now 6 weeks have past, and my husband’s symptoms have gotten significantly worse. He has lost 15 pounds, he is unable to sleep because of severe pain despite extreme fatigue, and he is unable to focus due to brain fog. All the while more tests are being run because the PC states that no one gets Lyme after taking doxy. As symptoms continue to intensify, a low marker for RA shows up on a second blood test . We are then sent to a rheumatoid specialist who supports ruling out Lyme before treating for RA. and a course of 28 days of doxy is prescribed, but seven months have passed since the tick bite.
Yes, this prescription for doxycycline changed the course of my husband’s treatment in many ways. First, we learned that the initial prescription back in May had not been filled correctly, so only half of the medication prescribed was given. So now we have support for a diagnosis of Lyme in spite of negative blood tests. And after a couple of weeks of doxy, my husband’s symptoms became less intense.
After a great deal of research, I was able to advocate for my husband’s health and journey to wellness. A second round of doxy was prescribed in spite of Infectious Disease & CDC guidelines suggesting that after 28 days on an antibiotic Lyme has been treated. Having lost faith in the expert guidelines regarding the diagnosis and treatment of this terrible disease, we continue treatment using alternative methods due to being misguided by western medicine in the recovery process.
We share our journey and research in hopes of helping others as well as changing a very flawed health care system. You will be surprised at what some suggest maybe a hidden agenda. SEE MEMBERSHIP DISCOUNT USING CODE: Fight Lyme