Good question, spenser ! This is certainly something that I have thought about
, repeatedly. I consider myself to be in a high risk category for Lyme's Disease; many known bites over a period of many years from a wide variety of
locations, some of which are known to have endemic Lyme's, with ticks often only discovered after a long period of feeding and the wrong removal procedures used.
The reason that I am not so worried that I may have Lyme's Disease is subtle but distinct. To begin with I was very concerned as I began to learn more about
Lyme's Disease; the risk is evidently higher than I had been trained to recognise, as is the level of hazard. But on balance, I just felt, "No, this is not what I have." When I thought about
why, it was fairly obvious to me; on the Lyme's Disease forum there is a much wider range of neurological disorders/symptoms prevalent amongst complainants than here on the CD forum; these are much more acute in presentation and severity, and tend to have much worse outcomes than those reported here. It seems to me that on the Lyme's Disease forum, typically the patient will spend a long time ill, and will have many or a few severe neurological symptoms, and that things in the absence of an LLMD will often deteriorate quite steadily, with the occasional sudden flareup of worsening symptoms due to a trigger. Stomach problems seem to be quite severe, but more often a side dish rather than the main menu, if you see what I mean.
If you look at the percentage of CD sufferers with severe neurological problems, then look at the percentage on the LD forum, perhaps that will give you a better idea of what I am trying to say.
I am very much aware that this view may simply be an artefact of the fact that I am "happy" with my diagnosis of Crohn's Disease, and do not want to have to worry about
having Lyme's ! It is evident to me that there is an overt element of "I don't want to think about
this" in my attitude. And I am certainly convinced that there is certainly scope for people to be infected with Lyme's, and it to be considered a gut disorder, as a result of the diagnostic mess that is the field of gastroenterology as practised by many doctors at present. Lyme's is always there as a possibility in the back of my mind when reading new Crohnie's posts. (And far closer to the front of my mind, I can tell you, when I am visiting the Chronic Fatigue forum. There are a few people there that I have read their initial post and immediatedly thought, "Lyme's ? !"
The thing that I always try to keep foremost in my mind is that however nebulous the symptoms' pattern of presentation may be in a disease - there still always tends to be a character in an illness. It may be fickle in what shows up, it may be fickle in who gets what when, but there is still always a "core activity" if you like that seems to be distinguishable for a given bacterium or illness/syndrome. Diagnosis is not just about
symptoms, but when and how severely they occur over time. Otheriwse, we could read a medical dictionary and die of despair...!
Just my tuppence worth, not really what I'd call a deeply researched/reasoned argument.