New---help for 17 year old son

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/17/2008 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
  My 17 year old son was just diagnosed with lyme disease after almost 2 years of searching.  He has done PT for knee pain, had lab work-ups and has been seeing a counselor for increasingly severe anxiety.  It was only when his anxiety wasn't responding to any of the meds and the psychiatrist called it "atypical" that I decided something wasn't right.  After searching on some of my homeschool websites, I found a link by another mom for psych disorders and lyme.  As I linked and read, I felt phsyically ill.  We had him tested at a lab specializing in lyme the next day and made an appointment with a lyme MD for the following week. He has been on amoxicillin, Biaxin and plaquenil for 10 days. He developed a rash yesterday which kept him up last night and is still bothering him today.  He doesn't sleep much at all anyway and has incredible mood swings and this is rash is making things worse than normal.  In my experience, antibiotic reactions usually happen earlier than this so I'm wondering if he's herxing? (Is that right?)  I'm trying to read every night to learn more about lyme and the treatment and this board is awesome---thanks so much.  I've read a little about detoxing and I'm wondering if that's what he needs.  His MD is at a lyme conference but we will see him next week but I'm wondering if there's something I can do to make him more comfortable in the meantime.  As I mentioned, he has incredible mood swings and isn't always receptive.  As a matter of fact, he refused to take the antibiotics today and we're struggling with that issue.  Anyway, any suggestions would be most welcome.  Thanks, Laurie

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 10/18/2008 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Laurie, welcome to the board!

I am sorry your son has been sick for so long.  It is good he has been diagnosed so he can get treated.  What does his rash look like?  It is important to get photos of any rashes.  Place something near it, like a coin or ruler, before photographing to give it size definition.  Then you have evidence of it.

Below is a Lyme symptom list.  You can have any combination of symptoms. 

Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Swollen glands
Sore throat
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Upset stomach
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Lightheadedness, wooziness
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor.  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.  Has your son been tested for these? 

I believe both Lyme and Bartonella can cause anxiety and insomnia.  To see some neuropsychiatric and cognitive symptoms of Lyme in children, go to Lyme Disease Research Studies Overview of Neuropsychiatric Lyme Disease at

It is very important for him to take the meds as prescribed or they may not work properly.  Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx).  Often, when people who have Lyme take antibiotics their symptoms get worse or they 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 this reaction can vary individually, many people experience this at the beginning of treatment and every three to four weeks.  This may be what he is experiencing.

During treatment, it is good to document your son's symptoms daily.  One way to do this is to list the three main symptoms he has each day with a numerical rating of their severity from 1-10.  Over time when you review this, you can see when his herxes occur and how he is responding to the meds.

Doing things to strengthen his immune system is important--eating healthy, drinking a lot of water, getting exercise whenever possible, taking appropriate supplements, and doing things to detox.  It is also important to learn as much as possible.  I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2005 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses at  He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols.  He also lists diet, supplement, and exercise recommendations.  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. Singelton MD.

Hang in there okay?  Good help is available.  Your son is lucky to have such a caring mom.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 10/18/2008 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Ticker always gives great advice and support. Looks like her post has you covered for the important, immediate issues.

I am almost 18 and have Lyme, Bartonella, among other co-infections. My family also searched for two years before getting a diagnosis of LD in late '06. Insomnia has been one of my worst symptoms, but it has lessened over the past year. I had a professional food allergy/sensitivity blood test that diagnosed me with many food sensitivities. I went off those foods, and after 3 months of the new diet, found myself sleeping better. Insomnia is still an issue with me, but I definately get more sleep than I did. I've also found that foot detox baths sometimes help me feel and sleep better.

Knowledge about this disease is key. It's good you have found this forum and are interested in learning all you can. Good luck on your journey to health!


Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.  

Henry Ford

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Thomas Jefferson 

wacko woman
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 10/18/2008 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   

do you have horses? Your name intrigues me.

I am so sorry about your son. Unfortunately mood swings are a part of this very frustrating disease. There are many different approaches people on this board use to heal from Lyme's. Some use only abx, some use a combination of abx and herbal supplements, and some use only 'natural' products. We all are different. Have you asked your son what he is comfortable with? Maybe that would help him 'buy into' his treatment.

Deejavu (Denise) is as expert on the detoxing part of Lyme's. She will probably jump on and can help you with that, but in the meantime there is a post she started that might help:

And I agree with Ticker, your son is blessed to have such a caring mom. It is easy to be discouraged by this disease, so keep on being so caring and don't worry if your son can't appreciate you right now.

Be Well,
Wacko Woman
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