Hi galvestongirl, welcome to the board!
Although only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash, a bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme disease. When did you have the rash? Did you get photos of it? If it comes back (sometimes they do) be sure to get photos. It is important documentation. Place something near the rash, like a coin or ruler, before photographing to give it size definition.
Lyme disease is in every state. From what I understand, there is a lot of Lyme in Texas. Unfortunately, many doctors across the US are unaware of how prevalent it is.
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
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
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
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 Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. No test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab. 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.
Labs such as Quest and LabCorp do not list all the Lyme specific bands that IgeneX does. Although the CDC requires several bands to be positive for the test to be positive, many people who have Lyme do not have this many bands. Lyme doctors focus on which bands are positive--some are specific for Lyme. Band 23 is a Lyme specific band.
I recommend getting the Western Blot (IgG and IgM), Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE or one may now be called Anaplasmosis), and Bartonella testing done at IgeneX.
If you need a doctor recommendation, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 lllnesses at http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. He discusses antibiotics and doses starting on page 18. 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. Singleton M.D.
Post Edited (ticker) : 8/8/2009 4:36:48 PM (GMT-6)