Lyme in 1971, is it possible??

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Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 4/25/2009 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
When I first checked into this message board as I began my search for answers, I was overwhelmed with the amount of everyone's suffering, the mountains of information, and esp, the mountains of questions.  I decided I could not allow the Lyme question to consume me, and rule my life, that I would simply get a test and decide how to proceed from there.  Wow, was I wrong!!
I will not go into today's symptoms, which first brought me here, and which seem to be connected to a tick known to have been attached for at least 2 days, 2 years ago.
But, midst all my thoughts and questions and research, more stuff has come to mind. It may not even be important, but it seems pretty crazy that I never asked questions about this before my most recent known tick.
Is it even possible that I contracted Lyme from a tick in NC around 1971? I do not believe I have been sick ever since, but WOW did some stuff SEEM to come together as I thought back.
When I was 19, I discovered an extremely engorged tick on my head (long, thick hair) while washing my hair.  My screams brought in my father, who removed it.  Rocky Mt fever was a big scare in NC back then.  One week later, I came down w/ a high fever (104), a lump on my neck, followed by severe tonsilitis. No rash, so Dr treated me w/ probably tetra. No one ever thought of attributing this, or the following, to this tick bite, since it did not appear to be Rocky Mt.  I am only putting this together now, or trying.
Within 3-4 years of this bite I had:
1. Recurring severe tonsilitis w/ high fevers. I ran persistent low grade fevers and my tonsils stayed enlarged, pock marked, filled w/ pus until I had them removed. (after 2 yrs)
2. A bad neck episode -- stiff neck w/ extreme pain -- 'probably a pinched nerve'. This recurred, probably 4-5 times over the next 20 yrs, with increasing severity. Drs told me there was nothing wrong w/ my neck, even when I could not lift my arm to wash my hair. Finally a kind chiropractor did a complete X-ray and noted 'crushed' discs in my neck.
3. My first urinary tract infection, severe enough for emergency room visit
4. A miscarraige (no cause found)
5. Appendicitis, 5 months into my 2nd pregnancy.
Within 10 years of this bite, I became hypoglycemic, the Dr. discovered my mitral valve prolapse, started having constant heartburn, chronic sleep disorders, and was first diagnosed with depression, which is recurrent.  I have had severe, almost constant back pain most of my adult life -- ie; since my first pregnancy. Have always accepted this as caused by marked, but not severe, scoliosis and never sought treatment.
Other than the items above, and until 2 years ago, I have been healthier than a horse! I never thought to connect any of the above, just accepted them as normal 'stuff' that happens to people. Was I right, or was this probably all related?
I ask, because depending on the result of my blood test (hopefully next week), I may want to ask at least my first born to be tested , mighten I? He is healthy, (ha ha) except for being overweight, low energy, common allergies, and quite cranky. Would it be possible, or even likely that he would be a healthy child without symptoms, then develope issues later,  if I had passed something on to him?

Post Edited (LymeUnknown) : 4/25/2009 3:37:26 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4415
   Posted 4/25/2009 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I've seen reference to descriptions of Lyme Disease that go back to the late 1800's, so no, Lyme is not out of the question for these early symptoms. There are also other pathogens though that may be responsible that have been around for a long time, too, such as Bartonella, Ehrlichia/Anaplasma, Mycoplasma, etc. Yes, I personally think it is a good idea to have your 1st born tested for Lyme/coinfections, and thyroid disorders too - low thyroid can cause all of his symptoms (low energy, allergies, etc.).

Take care,
Chronic Lyme Disease, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, Pancytopenia, chronic malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.; G-Tube; Currently TPN-dependent.
Meds:  Zofran, Pulmicort, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Claritin, Colloidal Silver (used topically), IV Milk Thistle, probiotics.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 4/26/2009 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi LymeUnknown, welcome to the board!

It is possible you were infected in 1971, and it is also possible you were infected two years ago.  Many people are bitten without knowing it.  Ticks are tiny, they inject a numbing agent so you cannot feel them on you, and they often go in hard-to-see places.

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

No test for Lyme is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab.  It is my understanding that the ELISA or titer is the least reliable test and the one most doctors run first.  Is this the test you had done?

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. 

Lyme disease can be passed through pregnancy and breastfeeding.  I think it would be a good idea to have your children tested.   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 M.D. and "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease Second Edition" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner. 

I hope you can get answers soon.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 4/26/2009 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   

Thank you, Ticker. I have read (and printed) Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2008 piece (along w/ several other papers) and have read everything else I could find. The reason I ever got on here was not because of the 1971 tick bite -- I had dismissed everything from back then as unrelated and it was my current research that caused me to go back and realize how everything followed that nasty tick in 71.

I ended up here because I had a tick 2 years ago that was attached for at least 2 days. (tiny and my daughter thought it was a mole). But I never got a bull's eye, so never went to the Dr, even when I got sick a couple of weeks later -- because the illness was mild. It was after that everything 'went all to hell'. In the past 2 years I have sought answers to my problems -- because I did not want to go to a Dr and start having a bunch of appts and tests, etc. I feared all the rigamarole in trying to diagnose fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. I researched living too close to power lines and returned to Lyme disease a few times. It was an article in our local paper that made me look at Lyme again, so at least we know that some are trying to get the info out there.

Regardless of that bite 2 years ago, I live a 'high risk' lifestyle! For 5 years now, my dogs and I have 'hiked' (I've been dragging lately!) in the woods at a tick infested park 5-6 times per week. And I was terrible about not checking myself for ticks!

There are 4 lyme literate Drs here. One does not accept insurance, 2 are taking no new Lyme patients, and I'm on a 9 month waiting list for the 4th. Meantime, since I don't have a PCP, I selected one mentioned on the Lyme Assoc of Greater Kansas City bulletin board, who diagnosed a person on there, altho he wouldn't/couldn't treat her. So that is a start. AT this point, all I want is a diagnosis, and as difficult as I've learned that is, I will just hope and pray that I get the right answers.  I will start w/ requesting the Western blots (and skip the Elisa). Depending on those results, I will request testing for co-infections. I also have a list of the IGENEX (?) panels and see if he is willing to order any of those. My insurance will reimburse me for tests that HE orders.

IF I contracted Lyme or something similar in 1971, it must have resolved at some point. Even tho I've had severe back and neck pain ever since, I did have 3 very healthy babies, worked out a lot, and supported my kids myself, waiting tables for 16 yrs. rarely calling a Dr.

This board is a WEALTH of info!  THANKS!

OH, one more question: Is it possible for Lyme related severe anxiety to begin within 2 months of the bite or is that too early?

 OH, and another one I cannot find: Since deer carry the Lyme and give it to the ticks, do you think it would be possible to contract lyme from deer feces? One of my dogs rolls in it almost DAILY, so we bathe a lot, but you know my hands would come in contact w/ it.





Post Edited (LymeUnknown) : 4/26/2009 10:26:52 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 4/26/2009 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi LymeUnknown.  You can order a test kit from IgeneX and take it to a doctor who is willing to draw the blood and send it back.  The results will be reported to the doctor.

Sometimes people can keep a Lyme infection at bay until their immune system becomes suppressed.  The second tick bite may have been what suppressed your immune system.  Of course I am just speculating.

Unfortunately, the majority of Lyme doctors no longer take insurance because insurance companies do not reimburse them.

I believe any symptoms, inlcuding anxiety, can start at any time after someone is infected.

Deer do not carry Lyme.  They get the bad rap because they have a lot of ticks on them.  Lyme disease actually comes from mice.  Ticks feed on mice then dogs, people, horses, etc.

Since you are in such an endemic area, it would be good to take all possible precautions such as using skin and clothing repellants; walking on well-groomed trails; checking yourself, you children, and your pets for ticks frequently; and treating your yard.

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