Post Edited (bablymers) : 8/9/2009 2:33:47 AM (GMT-6)
Hi halfpint, welcome to the board!
Although only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash, a bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease. It is good you took photos of your rash, it is important documentation. Also take photos if it changes. Place something near it, like a coin or ruler, before photographing to give it size definition. Document the date you saw the rash. The bulls-eye rash alone merits treatment. Most people test negative early in the infection. Do you know which Lyme test you had done? It is my understanding the ELISA or titer is the least reliable test and the one most doctors run first.
What of Doxy are you taking? From what I understand, six weeks of the proper dose antibiotic is the minimum treatment time for an infection caught within two weeks of the bite. The antiibotics kill the bacteria when they are reproducing which is estimated at four weeks. Six weeks of treatment will cover one growth cycle. If symptoms are still present, further treatment is warranted. A longer infection needs longer treatment. Early infections are the easiest to cure. Please do everything possible to make sure you get the proper treatment now. Getting the proper treatment early may reduce the chance of long-term complications.
Below is a Lyme symptom list. You can have any combination of symptoms.
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 Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols.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. Many 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.
There are some important tips to know about taking Doxy. Do not have any dairy, iron, or magnesium products within two hours of taking it or it will not be absorbed properly. If it makes you nauseous, eat something substantial and non-dairy before taking it. Avoid the sun. You can get a severe burn in minutes even when wearing sunscreen. Do not lay down for at least an hour after taking it or you can ulcerate your esophagus. This is very painful. Drink a full glass of water when you take it for the same reason. Whenever you are on antibiotics, make sure you take high-quality acidophilus capsules. They replace the good bacteria and prevent yeast overgrowth. The best kind to get are refrigerated and have a high culture count. Most health food stores have them. Wait at least two hours after taking the antibiotics to take the acidophilus.
Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (herx). When people who have Lyme take antiibotics their symptoms can get worse or they can get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel worse. It can be scary when it happens, but it is a sign the antibiotics are working. Although it can vary individually, many people experience this at the beginning or change of treatment and every three to four weeks. During treatment, it is good to document your symptoms daily. One way to do this is to list the main symptoms you have each day with a numerical rating of their severity from 1-10. Over time when you review this, you can see when your herxes occur and how you are responding to the meds.
Infectious disease doctors are not usually the best to see for Lyme. If you need a doctor recommendation, you can email me at email@example.com
It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2008 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne lllnesses at http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. He discusses antibiotics and doses starting on page 18. I also recommend the books "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease Second Edition" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner and "The Lyme Disease Solution" by Kenneth B. Singleton M.D.
Good luck with your treatment!