thank you guys!!!!!!!!
i am thinking i need to see a llmd. seeingstars, you make a very good point about the technician's perception. like i mentioned, i run western gels for a genetics laboratory for work, so when i collect data, it is up to me to decide which bands are present and which ones aren't. sometimes the bands are thick like a marker, and other times they are a little washed out. and probably much like an igenex technician, sometimes i consider those bands positive and sometimes i don't:):) it really depends on whatever will best help the experiment. but in all those cases, something definitely shows up.
i have read on the internet that the band that i have recorded as IND, band 31, is considered highly indicative of lyme's.
i am just really not sure what else could be going on. i told myself, before i really even began researching lyme's, that if it wasn't a tick borne infection, then i give up because there is nothing more it could be.
i know my history of being in africa seems to shout some kind of parasite or virus, but i don't really think anything endemic to africa is even being considered at this point. i have had parasite testing. i don't have any of the "typically known" african diseases, like malaria, sleeping sickness, etc. my infectious disease doc is now testing me for epstein-barr, the herpes viruses, mycoplasma and others like that that are known to lead to chronic fatigue syndrome and such. i am going to see what comes of that, but as of now, i don't think any doctors seem to think my travel to africa is the direct cause of my illness.
the other thing i should consider, i suppose, is that when i returned from africa, about a month before getting sick, i was living in very tick populated areas in maryland and pennsylvania. i am very outdoorsy, so it wouldn't be a suprise if i had gotten a tick. i just don't remember a bite - the only one i know for sure of is that one in africa. which, also interestingly, occurred in my village which is about 50 miles south of a village where there was a big research study that found borrelia in 11% of the people -- only it caused tick relapsing fever, not lyme's.
i really appreciate all of your insights. i suppose i should see a tick doc. even if what i have is a co-infection, it seems like a llmd is the only one willing to help me. they are just so expensive!!! i really don't want to head down that road if my test results make it very unlikely that i have lyme's.
oh, and for your guys with a bit more understanding of the test, do you know about the "indeterminate" titer???? i can understand different bands showing up more dark or light than the others, but i don't understand how the titer can come back IND?