Do My Symptoms Sound Like Lyme Disease?

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Southerner2
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 9/4/2010 12:06 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello,
 
I think there is a possibility I have contracted Lyme disease.  I just have considered this as a possibility since I saw a segment on the Dr. Oz show this afternoon about Lyme disease.  I'd like others opinions on whether I may have this or not.
 
My symptoms began on June 20 of this year.  I felt usual fatigue and an ache in my right side.  My symptoms persisted and on July 6, I went to the doctor complaining of symptoms of mild nausea, fatigue and right side ache.  I was given anti-inflammatory medication.  On July 10, I broke out in a rash.  There was initially a round welt on my stomach (see 1st image below).  Over a period of several hours the redness spread upward in a line.  I also had 3 oval red welts on my back (very similar to the ones in the second image below).  I went to the doctor again the next day after the rash appeared and he told me I had contact dermatitis. 
 
 
 
The rash took over 1 month to fade to a significant degree.  It's been 2 months now and I can see faintly see part of it. 
 
It's now been 2 and 1/2 months and my initial symptoms have persisted -- mild nausea, unusual fatigue and right side ache.  I also am now experiencing a feeling of weakness, lightheadedness and mild dizziness and my sleeping patterns have changed.  I feel better when I sit completely still.  When I up walking around and active, I feel ill.
 
I do a lot of yard work in the spring and summer.  In the summer of 2009, I found a tick attached under my hair on my scalp.  I've seen ticks this year, but if one bit me I was not aware of it.  There are a lot of deer near where I live.  I have seen deer in my back yard on occasion.
 
I don't know if I have Lyme disease or if my symptoms have another cause.  But, enough of my symptoms seem to fit Lyme disease that I wanted to check out the possibility. 
 
What do you guys think?  Thanks so much for your help!

Post Edited (Southerner2) : 9/4/2010 1:24:38 AM (GMT-6)


CajunGrl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 9/4/2010 2:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Your rash almost looks like sumac. My husband used to get this often and it looks like you've been whipped with a switch. You said that you had a tick attached right? Was there a rash in that area?

Just to be on the safe side, I'd consult with a Lyme Literate medical doctor to be sure. You should bring the pictures with you. If you need a LLMD in your area, let me know.
Lyme disease, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Adrenal Fatigue, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Prescription Meds: Cymbalta, Tramadol, Hydrocortisone, Plaquenil
Supplements: Thyro-complex, CMK, Folic Acid, Fish Oil, Probiotics, GI Repair, Vitamin D 50,000IU and Joint Supplement


Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Southerner2
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 9/4/2010 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   

CajunGrl, thanks for your response.  I don't think it's sumac.  I can see a guy getting a sumac rash on his chest, torso and back, but as a girl, I never have my shirt and bra off (the straight line rash extended up onto my chest) so it's just not possible I came into contact with something like sumac in this area of my body. 

I did some research for straight line Lyme disease rash this morning.  I found this in a thread on another site about Lyme Disease:

"Interesting to note, in the largest Lyme study to date, which was the Lyme vaccine trials (Glaxo SmithKline), it was found that a diffuse blotchy appearing rash was the most common EM, not the "bullseye". Only 60% of patients developed any rash at all.

An EM can take on numerous appearances and shapes. It can be raised or not, it can be hot and/or itchy or it may not be, it may be circular or it may appear as a line or it may be some other shape altogether. Multiple EM's can occur if the bacteria migrate to other sites. Also good to be aware that on darker skintones the EM can be mistaken for a bruise.

There is an excellent picture of this type of long, thin, "straight line" EM in Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner's book."


Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35853
   Posted 9/4/2010 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Southerner!!
Welcome to our forum!!! I am so sorry that you have need of this forum, but I"m also really glad you found us!! I'm sure you will find us to be a helpful & friendly group!!! We can truly understand your struggles, because usually you will find someone else that has gone through the same thing - that's what makes us such a great choice to be here & learn, ans share info!!

I would say that you definitely have reason to get in to see a Lyme Literate MD!!! The are really the only ones who have enough knowledge about tick-borne diseases to diagnose you or tell you that Lyme & co-infections are not your problem!!!

The one thing that is the MOST important at this time for you would be to make darned sure whether this is all from tick-born infections or not, and if it is to get the appropriate treatment immediately. You don't want to take a chance of your infection going into the 'chronic' phase, as then it is really quite difficult to treat.

May you find peace along your journey to health.
Trav
Even the mightiest oak tree was once a little nut who held it's ground!!!
May we all find peace along the journey to find healing.
"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP
Trav

Donotfear
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 9/5/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
My first thought upon seeing the red line spots was an allergic reaction to the medication you were taking. It's possible....but your overall symptoms sound suspicious. I hope you find the answers!!
Donotfear. Isaiah 41:10
http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Hushed-Truth-of-Lyme-Disease-My-Story-Part-1

Southerner2
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 9/6/2010 1:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I need to clarify. I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication for my symptoms, but I did not take it because it did not feel to me like muscle strain was the cause. So that rules out my rash being reaction to the medication I was prescribed.

Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner (co-founder of the Lyme Disease Foundation) wrote a book called, Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease. In the book, she writes, "An EM rash may be shaped like a ring, a triangle, an oval, or a long, thin, ragged line..." When I first noticed the rash on my stomach, it was just the round-shaped lesion. Eight hours later, l looked at the rash again and it had expanded "in a "long, thin, ragged line" up my torso and over my breast.

In an article I found online, Dr. John Aucott, MD, president of the Lyme Disease Research Foundation of Maryland, said, "One of the problems in identifying EM rash is the long-held stereotype about what EM looks like. Bulls eye rashes are found in a significant minority of EM cases. EM rashes can be bulls eye-shaped, but can also appear circular, triangular, rectangular or amorphous."

I wish I had taken a photograph of the rash on my back because it looked much more like typical EM lesions than the rash on my stomach.

The Dr. Oz segment I saw said Lyme Disease is found in every state except Hawaii. But, as I've read more about it, I realize that in TN where I live, Lyme Disease is not that prevalent. I think my symptoms fit Lyme. But, I'm afraid that if I go to most doctors in the area they will dismiss the possibility just based on the low numbers of cases in my state and the fact that my rash is atypical if it was a Lyme Disease rash.

I'd like to add one more thing about my symptoms. From the beginning, I've felt an ache in my right side. I just realized this week the ache is exactly parallel to the round rash that was on my stomach. The ache runs in a straight line from the area where the rash was to my right side (where you put your hands on your hips). Wouldn't this correspond with a dermatome? Is it suspicious that the pain (present before and after the rash) runs exactly parallel to the rash?

I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to respond to me.

achievinggrace
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3266
   Posted 9/6/2010 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Southerner2,

It sounds like you have done a lot of research already, and that is great. You must be your own advocate. Take what you have learned back to your doctor and ask for the recommended course of antibiotics for exposure to Lyme. It is important to start treatment and not "rule everything else out". As you know, Lyme is turning up in almost every state. If your doctor will not help you, or the antibiotics are not helpful, make the trip to a lyme literate doctor. It will cost time and money but will save you both and a great deal more in the long run.

Good luck.

+Lyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 9/6/2010 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Southerner2, from everything I've read, Lyme is everywhere. Lack of 'prevalence' can mean that there are not a large number of REPORTED cases. I don't know about everyone else, but I was alarmed by your rashes. They definitely look like something serious. I'm not a Dr, nor a Lyme expert (altho I know more about it than the average MD), but I think you definitely need to be adequately tested for Lyme. And probably treated. As others said above, the longer Lyme goes untreated, the more difficult it is to eradicate.

I don't understand your pain running parallel to one of these rashes and I've not heard of anything like that w/ Lyme, but I know enough to tell you that Lyme causes many strange things that Drs do not understand.

I don't even know what organs are on your right side, but would think it's possible for you to have some sort of infection there or something. You really do need to find a good Dr.

Altho Infectious Disease Drs are about the worst, as far as diagnosing and treating Lyme (10 out of 10 ID Drs' offices that I called said 'NO!' emphatically. However, it turns out that my LLMD IS an ID Dr. So maybe you could try calling a bunch of them -- maybe don't even mention Lyme, but describe your symptoms and tell them you have photos of very strange, intense rashes.
 
Because you definitely have something!

Please keep us apprised!

allieann
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 9/6/2010 3:24 PM (GMT -6)   
My son had the same kind of rashes and almost identical symptoms as you describe. Later on he developed heart issues and migrating pain and headaches.  He tested positive for lyme 11 months later. He also has symptoms of some of the co-infections.  Have you been on antibiotics and if so how do they make you feel?

KO-LD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 9/7/2010 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
The rashes on your back look like they could be LD, you should find a LLMD and take the pictures with you if your rash has faded.
KO
01 Tingling in fingers/toes both sides, not tested at that time for LD
07 Summer pos. WB, diag with LD, neg for co-infections thru Igenex
Abx - Doxy 100mg 2x/day for 3 weeks (before diagnosis)
Amoxicillin 1gm 2x/day for 1 month
Amoxicillin 1gm 3x/day with Probenecid 500mg 2x/day  5 months 
Dr. Zhang's protocol stopped after 6 months symptoms returned.  Started Buhner's protocol May 2009

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35853
   Posted 9/7/2010 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
If you should need to take treatment guide to your doc, one of the best ones seems to be Joseph Burrascano's "Advance Topics in Lyme Disease". All you need to do - if you don't already have it - is to "google" it. You will find it on the net as a pdf file that you can down load & print out.

The ache you are talking about in your right side could be your gall bladder. Quite a few 'Lymies' have gall bladder issues.

I'm one of those that never has shown the 'typical' bull's eye rash, but I have sure had my fair share of those 'unexplained' rashes!!! It's really a good thing that you are doing so much 'investigative' reading. The more you know the better shape you will be in going through this disease.

May you find peace as well as healing...
Trav
Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we will never cease to be amused!!!! :)
May we all find peace along the journey to find healing.
"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP
Trav

Southerner2
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 9/9/2010 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
AllieAnn, you said your son "had the same kind of rashes and almost identical symptoms" as I do. Would you mind sharing with me exactly what symptoms your son and I have in common? Did he have a long, thin, ragged line as a part of his rash?

Thanks again to everyone who has responded. This really is a very friendly and helpful group!

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35853
   Posted 9/9/2010 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
We really are happy to help!!
Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we will never cease to be amused!!!! :)
May we all find peace along the journey to find healing.
"Absence of proof is not proof of absence" - Dr. Edwin Masters, great LLMD & researcher -RIP
Trav
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