Too Cold For Lyme? I have a bullseye rash.

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/13/2009 12:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,
I live in Northern NJ and almost a mth ago, I began an odd rash all over-looked like hives, raised, various sizes, etc. I used NOTHING new, ie: detergents, lotions, foods, meds, etc...I could think of nothing that could be causing it. about 5 days later, I then wound up going to the ER because my tonsils were huge and throat very red-plus the rash and by that time...ITCHING like crazy all over! I only went to the ER because 10 years ago, I had strep and my tonsils wound up w/a HUGE abcess that required emergency surgery as it was closing off my throat, because it was not responding to antibiotics they gave me, even via IV, because I am a Lupus patient-have had it since I was a teen-I'm 42 now. Its in the family and I even have that pretty Lupus-Butterfly rash on my face for years and years and years.
And yes, I have been tested many times over the years for Lyme...always negative.
The er doc ran blood, all tests neg, incl a strep test. (which was surprising) He said my lymph node in my neck-left side, was quite large and that I had tonsillitis-(odd since my throat hardly even hurt!) but he basically blew off my rash/itching, saying its probably a coincidence and its just an allergic reaction to 'something'. UGH-don't ya love those type of answers???
So he gave me a 10 day RX for Augmentin and sent me on my merry way. So, the tonsils get better day by day...but the itching is intense at times!!! To the point of me now being bruised and even having little cuts from the scratching!! Topical stuff did NOTHING-antihistamines only made me even more tired than I already am!!! See...I not only have Lupus, but several of its 'partners in crime' as well...Fibro, CFS, Ostearthritis, Anticardiolipin Syndrome, raynauds, Sjogrens, yeah, life is grand. lol
Well, the night before last, while looking at the latest bruises on my legs...I see something I was NOT expecting to see on my left lower leg-there on the inside of my leg about 5 inches up from my ankle...was a bullseye rash!!!! My heart just plummeted, because first of all...I KNOW what they look like because 5 yrs ago, my now 15 yr old daughter, wound up with Lyme disease the very week we were moving from the country-after being up in the NJ mountains for 10 yrs(and 4 active kids who never ever got a tick bite in that time!) back to where we grew up, in Bergen County NJ, just across from NYC. She didn't have ONE bullseye rash...but MULTIPLE ones!!! All over!! She wound up with a final count of 25 within' days of me spotting the first one! She was put on Doxy even b4 the test results came back because was quite OBVIOUS to me and her pediatrician, that she had Lyme!! Sure enough-tests were positive. She is now FINE with hardly any after effects at all-just gets tired sometimes. She was was caught very early and treated successfully!! :)
But anyways, back to current days, lol
Secondly...when I saw the rash on my leg...all I could think of was how this would affect my already health-taxed body!!! How much more can one take????
I even ran to the comp to search for ANYTHING else that could cause a bullseye rash, already knowing the answer, but still searching. Well, in doing so, I searched more info on Lyme as its been 5 yrs since I really had to, for my daughter, and I came across symptoms of what I've been going through...right down to intense itching, heaviness in my chest and trouble swallowing-feels like there's something stuck down in my throat.
See, my Lupus and Fibro have been quiet, thanks to my meds...yet, I'd been feeling even more tired again since all this began on Mar 18th w/the other rash and itching and tonsillitis. That along with my cognitive issues surfacing again, plus other symptoms, and then seeing that bullseye rash, I realized this is most likely Lyme. And yet people keep saying to me..."Its too cold for Lyme!" But from what I've read, it CAN happen any time of year, granted less incidence in cold mths, but happens still.
So, I came here, hoping to get some info and answers and help. We've had an especially cold winter here in NJ...I haven't been anywhere warmer or anywhere like the woods or anything...yet, I know you don't have to be traipsing through the woods to get Lyme either.
Has anyone else had a bullseye rash show up in basically what is still winter-like temps?
Have you had the intense itching?
Anyone else have overlapping pre-existing diseases, such as Lupus, Fibro, CFS, etc...and then got Lyme too?
I am calling my fam doc in the morn and getting right in there. I see my Rheumy(Lupus doc) on the 21st for my checkup, but don't wanna wait on this till then. I saw my neuro on Tues. but an itchy rash really isn't his field, so I hardly even mentioned it. lol
I'm just so angry right now and worried and simply cannot believe that on top of all the rest of my health probs and diseases, that I could now have Lyme too!!! With my already weakened system, this, if its Lyme, will not be easy to treat and will NOT be easy to deal with on top of everything else. Even a simple cold takes me 3xs longer to get over because of the Lupus...I can't even begin to imagine how this will all play out... :(
Thanks for your time and for reading all this!!! lol

Post Edited (Proud_ARMY_Mom) : 4/12/2009 11:38:15 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/13/2009 12:20 AM (GMT -6)   
P.S. I forgot to mention that the itching and hive rashes are better...but the itching still gets bad sometimes. Now its like a mottled rash all over me, not hive-like anymore.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 296
   Posted 4/13/2009 6:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I also live in northern NJ. We have a golden retriever and have been pulling deer ticks off her since January. It is not too cold for them at all. There is a LYme specialist in West Caldwell and if you want to go the alternate route, Dr. Zhang in NYC.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 273
   Posted 4/13/2009 7:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with ttlittlestar. I am in North Jersey and we had one nice day in Feb and my ds was outside. Found a tick in his hair that day. (Freaked me out to no end!)

Good luck, and wishing you the best.
Chris: Diagnosed Lyme, Chronic Mono
Married to Lyme in NJ aka Gary: Lyme, Bartonella
Mom to Scott: Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella
Mom to Caitlyn: Lyme, Bartonella
My Blog:

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 4/13/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Cathy, welcome to the board!

People can be bitten by ticks any time of the year, including winter.  No test for Lyme is completely reliable.  It is my understanding the ELISA or titer is the least reliable test and the one most doctors run first.  Is this the test you had done?  Many people who have Lyme were first diagnosed with other diseases including CFS, Fibromyalgia, MS, and ALS.

Although only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash, a bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme.  The rash alone merits treatment.  It is very important to get photos of your rash.  Place something near it, like a coin or ruler, before photographing it to give size definition.  It is important documentation to show the doctor.  This rash can show up any time, not only when someone is first bitten.  It could be from a previous infection.  Many people are bitten by ticks without knowing it.  They are tiny, they inject a numbing agent so you cannot feel them on you, and they often go in hard-to-see places.

How long was your daughter treated?  It is very important to get properly treated, and many doctors undertreat Lyme.

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.  Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols.  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.  Bartonella can cause swollen lymph nodes.  Was your daughter tested for the co-infections?

If you need a doctor recommendation, you can email me at

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 Illnesses at  He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. I also recommend the books "The Lyme Disease Solution" by Kenneth B. Singleton MD and "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease Second Edition" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner. 

I hope you can see a knowledgeable doctor soon.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 375
   Posted 4/13/2009 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cathy !

I can only agree with the others about the ticks being hungry even in winter! I stay in Europe and we had warnings in the media that ticks begin to be active in winter months due to lack of enough frost.

I hope you will get better soon! greetings, dorit
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