Questions about Lyme Disease

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HilltopDaisy, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,891
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    I am wondering about the number of folks diagnosed who did not have the "bullet rash". I have had a very high fever for the past 2 days (103.5), and some joint pain, particularly in my knees and neck. No other symptoms ~ no nausea or runs, no respiratory problems, nothing. I went to the walk-in clinic this morning and asked the Dr. for the blood test for Lyme Disease. He agreed to it but said that it was unlikely because I didn't have the rash. I've known several people who were diagnosed who did not have a rash. He explained that the test gives many false positives. Hmm.....have you heard this before? He had the nurse draw a lot of blood and is having it tested for Mono and a few other things. Anyone ever have a high fever with no other symptoms?
     
  2. rr

    rr Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Location:
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    My blood is at the lab for the ELISA test, which is the cheaper one and the one that isn't real reliable.
    A Western Blot test, usually used to check on ELISA positives, is considerably more reliable. It is more expensive.
    My doctor is fairly familiar with the disease -- it's increasing here in eastern Pennsylvania. She says that not everybody who is infected gets the bullseye; besides that, it can appear at places other than the bite spot, and, as in my case, multiple red circles can appear (I have four). (I know, I never heard these either, but as I said, she has had some experience with it -- and she's an outdoors person.)
    There's a great deal of difference in the appearance of the rashes, incidentally, as an image search on the Web will show.
    Anyway, if there are any doubts, ask about the Western Blot. It's a disease that's best treated soonest.
    Good luck
    rr
     

  3. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,891
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks, rr. My sister was diagnosed positive last month, and she had the wellknown rash. A coworker was just diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, and apparently she's had it long enough that it's damaged her lungs and possibly her brain. This isn't something that I want to take lightly.
     
  4. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    500
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Hilltop,

    My sisiter-in-law and niece have it. My brother says from what he's read all of the available tests are not totally reliable and give both false positives and false negatives. According to him diagnosis is by clinical symptoms.

    Good Luck
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,651
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Daisy

    Check out this link about Erlichia.

    Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates) was diagnosed with Lyme disease about a month ago. His farm is in upstate NY. He suffered from the fever this link is about, as well. It took 2 weeks for the "bulls-eye" to appear on him. He was able to count it all off, as he was doing/ driving to/ cancelling shows during his ordeal.

    http://my.webmd.com/hw/infection/nord1066.asp

    Hope all goes well for you.

    Rick
     
  6. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    I went through about two weeks of generally feeling like carp last summer after doing some brush clearing and landscaping for a friend. With me, it took about that long for the "bull's eyes" to appear as I bloomed in three spots, both bicep areas and across my upper chest - all areas significantly protected under clothing. Until they showed up I didn't have any real indication that something in particular was wrong. Without waiting for bloodwork to come back the dr. put me on antibiotics and I was at least *feeling* better within 12 hours. Took the better part of the remaining summer and fall before I felt back to somewhat normal (for me anyway) although to this day the back and neck seem to complain a bit more than they have in the past.
     
  7. Kim Martin

    Kim Martin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Hi, I had it in 92 (without the bullseye rash!) lasted not quite a week. (fever extremely high for me!) Had to go to ER, they took blood test said they were'nt positive but if it wasnt "Lymes" it "Was from a extremely exotic bug"! I hadnt been around anything exotic! They made me take another blood test a week later to get final result but Doc lost first results! ERRGGHHH! Got the rash a while later mainly on tummy and as it spread out it fades in center where it begins. I still get it a couple of times a year. Good luck with doc! Kim
     
  8. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    We have lots of ticks around here, so i have spoken with the DR several times over the years. here's what he says:
    Lyme disease is a powerful bacterial infection that your body has a difficult time fighting. If you have it, the antibodies that your body forms to fight it go on to attack your kidneys and other organs.
    He says that the symptoms will be a high fever and flu like symptoms that just don't go away even after a week. He says that it's well within the safety range to wait a few weeks for symptoms to go away. In other words, it will not cause me any permanent damage should I find out that it is indeed lyme disease after a few weeks. He also says that a round of antibiotic is cheap and easy and will not make me more susceptible to bacterial infections in the future.
     
  9. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Daisy,
    Seems the doctor was prudent in testing for other things including Lyme's.
    A high fever with no other symptoms is pretty genaralized and not specific for Lyme's. Joint pain is the more detail to pay attention to.
    I'm not expert, though worked in a community hospital lab. I remember a couple of cases of true Lyme's disease and they involved joint pain. One lingered, but it seemed that the disease is self limiting. I am not sure how long the arthritis can be around. Treatment with an erytrhomycin derivitive was used back about 10 years ago when I saw it being treated. Not sure what they use nowadays.
    Remember also that the common wood tick or 'dog tick' isn't the normal carrier of ehrlichia or Lyme's bacteria. The very small specific Deer Tick is the carrier and much less common. You have to really look hard to see this tick as it's VERY small. Once bitten, there is a characteristic bullet rash. The rash may look 'bullet like' also with a commone wood tick bite and never have Lyme's. The blood test for Lyme's can give confusing titre results, especially if one has antibodies to this from natural exposure without getting the disease. So, I think you're on the right course with your doctor in seeing what the blood results will be. I would watch if the joint pain persists and go back to the doctor. I would ask what the harm or benefit of treating for Lymes' is just in case.
    Good Luck.

    Rich
     
  10. endinmaine

    endinmaine New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    My daughter was diagnosed (after 4-5 months) with Lyme Disease AND Mono when she was 5 years old. Both were treated with antibiotics and she got better , or so the doctor and we thought. When she turned 15 she started to have joint pain , pain in one hip and moderate itching on both arms after having supper each evening. Since she was an extremely active teenager ,, riding her horse 3 days a week and taking karate 4 days a week we thought she had over done it. We still took her to her primary care doctor who did every test she could think over a span of 5 months ,, including XRAYs and MRIs. Another hospital finally decided to inject dye into her blood and do another xray where she glowed like a light bulb. The doctors believed that the combination of Lyme/Mono eventhough treated with antibiotics had caused one or more cells to mutate within her lymph gland network and she now had Hodgkins Lymphoma stage 4 (the highest) . She was successfully treated with chemo for 6 months and radiation for 1 and is now 19 years old and doing very well. PTL.
    My advise ,, make sure you have a competent doctor who will treat the Lyme and/or Mono ,,, many more problems could be in your future.

    Eric
     
  11. doc623

    doc623 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004

    According to the CDC Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Is this the same bacteria that you are talking about above?
    I'm confused. Which isn't unusual.