Which is very easy to do these days.....
I saw my rheumy yesterday; I see him because I have been dx with lupus, fibro, and RA. Yes, I realize that Lyme can masquerade as these illnesses, but it can also trigger them. Plus autoimmune diseases are all through my family, especially lupus, and no, we don't ALL have Lyme....we live in different parts of the country and I've never even met half of them! So there is at least some reason to believe that I have both Lyme AND lupus!
I wanted to discuss some recent bloodwork and also the fact that I've been forcibly put on part-time status at work because of my poor job performance of late (mostly due to attendence issues...when I'm really sick, which is most of the time, I can't go in to the office). I am applying for partial short-term disability with the help of the Human Resources people and I needed him to fill out paperwork for that too.
Anyway, it was a long and confusing appt, and frustrating because he wouldn't sign the paperwork and give it back, because he seemed to think I should go on full time disability.
But the REALLY confusing part was when he told me that "when you have lupus, your immune system is in high gear and it's gone haywire. It makes antibodies to anything and everything at random." He was trying to say that the fact that I'm making antibodies to Lyme doesn't mean anything. I could have had the infection many years ago and thrown it off myself, as some people do without antibiotics apparently. Or these antibodies could actually be for something other than Lyme, but they show up on the test as Lyme-specific....I guess that's possible? From what little I know about
antibodies, your body can manufacture antibodies that are capable of attacking more than one type of cell, if the surface molecules happen to "fit" the proper configuration just by chance.
Anyway, he asked me if I feel better after being on doxy since January, and I have to say "no, I don't". And I'm on both doxy and zithromax now. I don't feel better. I don't think I'm having "herxes", or if I am I don't recognize them when they occur. I don't have some of the key Lyme disease symptoms, such as aversion to alcohol!
Maybe he's right and I don't have Lyme disease?
I don't know.....I'm just SO confused now. And I can't afford anymore to be shelling out all of this money for doctors and treatments that are not covered by insurance or only partially covered at any rate. I'm really tempted to just stop the antibiotics and all of the herbal supplements and everything.....but I just don't know.