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If you're interested in Lyme Disease . . .
Old 06-27-2008, 04:12 PM   #1
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If you're interested in Lyme Disease . . .

A couple of new things:

"Cure Unknown" by Pam Weintraub - book by a science journalist recapping history, controversy surrounding diagnosis and treatment, and stories about the disease (which she and members of her family have/have had).

Under Our Skin - a two-hour documentary that is scheduled for showings here and there around the country. You can buy the pre-release DVD (which means you get the two-hour film but they have not yet added Menus and Special Features).
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:19 PM   #2
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My cousin got it bad from a deer tick bite in Minnesota. The symptoms showed up when she was in Singapore and she got very ill and had several bullseye rashes. She had something of a hard time trying to convince the docs in Singapore that she had Lyme disease, which of course they had never heard of before. But all was eventually figured out and after an entire summer of feeling like crap she has been good for several years now.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
She had something of a hard time trying to convince the docs in Singapore that she had Lyme disease, which of course they had never heard of before. But all was eventually figured out and after an entire summer of feeling like crap she has been good for several years now.
Just before selling the Annapolis house and moving to Hawaii, my FIL mowed the yard one last time.

In Hawaii he developed a weird rash on his shin. It was an oval shape but in retrospect we realized that if it was laying on a flat surface it'd be a bullseye. He pulled a dermatologist out of the phone book at random and made an appointment. When he came in the dermatologist had been called to the Mainland for a family emergency but had managed to find a younger doc to cover for him.

The younger doc said "Hmmm, looks like Lyme disease but that's not around here!" When he heard the whole story he took samples and prescribed the appropriate medication.

The older doc returned and followed up. My FIL was doing OK (the medications made him very photophobic, kind of a tough side effect for Hawaii) and the older doctor said "Gosh, these kids nowadays, where do they get these crazy ideas? That can't be Lyme disease but you might as well finish the meds while the test results come back, and then we can figure out what obscure tropical rash you've contracted. You're just having a bad reaction to your new environment."

It was Lyme disease. I'd hate to think of how many other trial & error solutions would have been pursued by the older doc.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:22 PM   #4
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Lyme is determined by a "clinical" diagnosis rather than a diagnosis based on "serology". That means that sometimes tests can be helpful (but often they are wrong) and that the whole spectrum of symptoms, opportunity for exposure to ticks, etc. must be considered.

If a doctor does a test and tells you the test is negative and that "you don't have Lyme disease" you know the doc is not "current". In fact, the test doesn't even test for Lyme, it tests for the antibodies that the human body (usually) produces when infected. Usually.

Also, only about 50% of those bitten even get the rash.

This has become one of the most politicized and controversial diseases - with two sides warring (and lots of research and product $$$ at stake) to the degree that controversial and erroneous articles are being published in some medical journals.

And then there are the co-infections that can be transmitted from the tick - just as un-fun.

If you suspect Lyme, get educated beyond what you are told in the doctor's office.

Oh, another thing. Some will say that the tick has to be attached for at least 48 hours in order to transmit the infection(s). This is also wrong, according to William Burgdorfer (the scientist who discovered that Lyme comes from ticks - the tick-borne spirochete was named in his honor - borellia burgdorferi).

Been there.

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