This is topic Help me enlighten my boss on lyme in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by Tbrown2 (Member # 42446) on :
My boss today told me he got bit by a tick Thursday and got a bullseye rash. He said that 1 day of doxycycline is enough and

that the tick has to be attached for 36+ hours to get lyme. Also beleives that abx taken over a month won't do anything. Help

me enlighten him please. He seems to think it's a joke and that I don't know what I'm talking about.
Posted by Tbrown2 (Member # 42446) on :
He also said that a bullseye doesn't mean lyme
Posted by poppy (Member # 5355) on :
Well, sometimes you have to wonder if it is worthwhile trying to help people like this. Seems like his mind is made up. Now a miracle may occur and one doxy pill will fix him right up, or he may have gotten a less virulent strain.

It might take time for him to find out this minimal treatment did not work. By then it will be a whole lot harder to treat. Which you already know and are trying to help him to avoid.

The CDC has said that the bullseye rash is so diagnostic that no testing is required before starting treatment. The problem with referring your boss to the CDC, as you know, is that they are full of wrong information.

You might pick out a few pages from the ILADS website to send him.

Not holding my breath that he will pay attention, but at least you had his best interest at heart. Some people only learn the hard way. The penalty for boneheadedness is a lot of unnecessary suffering.
Posted by Abxnomore (Member # 18936) on :
It's very sad to know how much ignorance there still is about this disease. But don't we well know!

If you can get him to listen, have read the green booklet. It's in PDF and it's very comprehensive. If he won't listen, don't stress yourself. Unfortunately, more people fall into that category because of the IDSA's flawed guidelines.

[ 11-18-2014, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: Abxnomore ]
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
wow...a boss...

my career went downhill when I told my boss I had lyme.

my best advice is to never discuss health and lyme with anybody at work especially boss.

ended up being a major disaster for meresulting in my retiring
Posted by t9im (Member # 25489) on :
Wow is his MD confused or what.

Ignore ILADs and the controversy and just go by the IDSA.

The IDSA agrees the rash a positive for LB and the 2 - 3 week course of Doxy.

The 1 day is Dr. Wormsers "preventative" if one has a bite, but not the rash. Even Wormser, who heads the Lyme Committee of the IDSA follows the 2/3 week script.

I would just point out there is a controversy within the medical community but not on early treatment if there is a rash.
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
Adding this first line last - after re-reading your post. I missed the part where he thinks it's a "joke" that you are so wrong about this.

He is ridiculing YOU?

Well, that attitude really tells me more. I'd just give him the links and not say another word to the idiot. He does not know he's an idiot, likely, and surely has good qualities but arrogance is certainly getting in his way.

Because he is being so dismissive . . . it's a major sign that you should not misread if you need to keep your standing. Consider his personality, your audience. Build your approach specifically for your audience -- who has told you to get out of his face about this, that you can't possibly be telling the truth, basically.

He cannot hear you. He is not willing.

You - don't tell him anything other than a couple sentences, clear and profound. Plan them out. WHY does he need to study this beyond his own doctor? SHOW him, don't tell him. Best if hear / read it from others.

You - give him 3-4 of the best, most comprehensive links and let him "educate" himself, "discover" for himself.

You could leave it at that. Or you could give a bit more -- but whatever "image" he gets then (say from the film I suggested) will he transfer ANY thoughts or impressions from that about YOU?

If so, don't do it. Just back away. you are in a very tough place. As a human with lyme complex, you don't want anyone else to face the complexity of it all. So, you likely have already risked your place in his eyes, and most of us would do the same.

It sounds like he will not listen to you and it to try to further a discussion will only reinforce his authority and sense of place in his world that he thinks is set up so well.

You cannot tell him anything that he will hear. What you give him, however, can open his eyes.

Just let him know that most people who learn about lyme are totally unaware of the seriousness of the situation until it's too late. It's very common yet you want to share some important sources so that he has a better chance.

Tell him that doctors have not been taught about lyme / tick borne infections in medical school, beyond a few minutes based on very old notions.

If you have the DVD of UNDER OUR SKIN, I would let him borrow that for a very specific time period. Short enough to move him to see it but not so long as he would just let it lie there.

UNDER OUR SKIN DVD (tell him it has aired on PBS and is an world award winning documentary)

just for starters
Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
If your boss has a spouse / family in his life, I would fight harder to put information under his nose - and work very hard on the few sentences to tell him -- or put in a note attached to the materials.

I might force him to clear 5 minutes of time - phones off - full attention as you give him the "set" and get his promise that he will get right on this as if his life depends upon it, because it does. Or it sure could unless he won the lottery of "best" strain or his immune function is super stellar. It's a dangerous bet, though.

Seriously, though (with his attitude), if he does not have personal relationships, I may be inclined to back off to a greater degree. But we've all been pig-headed from time to time. Ignorance has no expiration date.

Tell him though,

Just in case he may have no spleen (accident, surgery) he needs to be assessed for babesia because that can be fatal very fast in someone without a spleen or with spleen impairment.

that tick attachment farce - too - ask him if he'd be willing to walk around with an infected needle in his arm for 35 hours and be sure he'd not contract hepatitis, etc.
Posted by hopingandpraying (Member # 9256) on :
Lots of great info for you. I just wanted to add you recommend the DVD "Under Our Skin". I think it's still for free on

I see Keebler already beat me to it in suggesting this video to you. Great minds think alike! LOL!!
Posted by Lymeorsomething (Member # 16359) on :
You don't usually get much sympathy at work. It's better not to discuss health problems. It's nice to think everyone can be understanding but it's just not so most times... [Wink]
Posted by Kudzuslipper (Member # 31915) on :
I had a co worker whose young son had multiple bites, and was showing signs... They did get an initial 4 weeks of I think amoxicillin...

But then they believed the dr.s that it wasn't Lyme or was cured and that what was left was emotional issues. Oh, and his wife is very vocal against abx. after listening to him explain this..

I said, " well, you know what I think,(he worked with me thru treatment) I'm not going to nag you about this, health care is very personal, but let me send you an email with some brief thoughts and some links if you want to research further." And then I sent this.

You of course should provide the info you feel is best... This is where I was at the time. I think it's pretty important not dwell with people who are doubters... Give em the best info you have, make it simple, and then it's in their court!

"Things to know. Take em or leave em.

Doxycycline alone forces the spirochete into cyst form… where it can come out again when the immune system is down, etc.

It is thought that it needs to be fought with 3 different forms of antibiotics- -My PCP believes in long term (3-6 months or years) of zythromax as a single abx she seems to have cured her son and herself with this. But my Lyme doc rotated me on 2 or 3 different drugs for about 14 months

In addition to lyme common co-infections are Babebesia and Bartonella-- these require different abx.
All three cause muscle and joint pain… babs… has more blood ramifications and fever, chills and sweating. Bartonella has more neuro symptoms… but all three overlap.

Some reading:

"Compendium of tick borne diseases"-- By K. Spreen DO (poorly written book, but recent info, informal, but written towards primary care physicians)
Not sure if this link will work for single purchase… but also on amazon.

"Dr. why am I still sick?" Dr. H ( the most revered dr. in lyme right now— book is long and complicated— I think he may propose too much.

Dr. B's guidelines-- old classic, well revered guidelines – can just look at the treatment section for dosing.

Some well respected herbal books— basically, it is thought that a combo of samento and banderol can work as well as antibiotics. Complicated dosing."


Breaking up a paragraph for easier reading for many here -

[ 11-19-2014, 03:46 AM: Message edited by: Robin123 ]
Posted by Robin123 (Member # 9197) on :
I don't know - I work harder with folks. One chink in what he's saying, and Poppy caught it - that the CDC has said a bull's eye rash means Lyme and you don't have to test for it. Meaning he's got it, by their standards even.

I basically start talking, telling people about testimonies I've heard in support groups - no names, total confidentiality - but "I've heard so many stories like this, that people were not informed in the beginning about Lyme and how to treat it and so got very ill. And I'd hate to see that happen to you," kind of approach.
Posted by lpkayak (Member # 5230) on :
i didnt read all of above but the words are exactly what our new ER will tell you the hosp that has been taken over by Mass Gen

i swear-word for word. such robots. ignorent robots. not your boss hes a sheep. ignorent sheep like the rest of my family

i dont think talking to him will help you or him and it will hurt you in the long run

i think the best bet is to get as professional as you can looking flyers on testing. time of attachment. treatment etc...the LDA has some good ones...and just give him those. it has to be prof looking or he will just laugh at author like he did you later...if he doesnt get well id give him a copy of cure unknown...the first one...and tell him to call you if he wants more info

you really have to be careful at work and none of us have energy to put out and get laughed at...

when the student is ready the teach will alcholic has to hit bottom...its like that
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
please please be careful. once my coworkers knew I had lyme, they started complaining about my work. if I was late, which I never was, had errands to run for the boss, it was a blame game. I got it for everything.

I still say he's the boss, you're the employee. therefore you don't know as much as he does.

don't jeopardize your livelihood over this.

I've learned the hard way. keep lyme out of the workplace. you can do what you want but I bet dollars to donuts it will bite you in the butt in the long run.

please don't end up like me.
Posted by GretaM (Member # 40917) on :
I agree with Randi.

Your boss will come to you for advice when things go downhill in a year or two.

Until then I would "Yes sir, No sir".
Posted by Tammy N. (Member # 26835) on :
Show him the film 'Under Our Skin'.
Posted by linky123 (Member # 19974) on :
Does he know you have had lyme?

If not, you can approach it as an informed person who knows something about it, not someone who has it.

Then I would point him to UOS very briefly and matter-of-factly, then move on.

I wouldn't let on that you have it if they don't know already. This seems to be the kiss of death for many of us.
Posted by LisaK (Member # 41384) on :
I would send him some info on paper and then let it be.

everyone has lyme. I am convinced.

many will perish from it, either from ignorance, stupidity or both. (not counting those that know and act on it, of course)

if it gets too much for you find a new job if you can

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