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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Dr. J in Charlotte Charged with Improper lyme dx's

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Author Topic: Dr. J in Charlotte Charged with Improper lyme dx's
lymesux
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Charlotte doctor charged with improper Lyme disease diagnoses
TIM WHITMIRE
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One of the state's best-known Lyme disease specialists has
been charged by the North Carolina Medical Board with unprofessional conduct
for making what the board describes as unsubstantiated diagnoses of at least
five patients.

The charges against Dr. Joseph G. Jemsek were brought Dec. 9 and signed by
board president Dr. Robert C. Moffatt. According to the board, five patients
went to Jemsek with non-specific symptoms "such as fatigue, achiness and
decreased concentration."

Jemsek diagnosed each with Lyme disease despite the fact that in each case
"there was no historical, physical, serological or other laboratory evidence
to support" such a diagnosis, Moffatt wrote.

In each case, Jemsek prescribed a several-month course of intravenous
antibiotics "in the absence of any research of clinical evidence of
efficacy, and in the face of increased risk of infection," according to the
charges.

The board charges that Jemsek failed to educate or inform his patients that
both his method of diagnosing Lyme disease and his method of treatment were
departures from recognized standards for dealing with the illness.

The names of the patients were withheld from the charges for privacy
reasons, the board said.

Jemsek is head of the Jemsek Clinic in Huntersville, about 20 miles north of
Charlotte. The practice specializes in HIV research, Lyme disease and other
chronic illnesses, as well as general internal medicine.

Jemsek was not in his office Friday and a message left with his assistant
seeking reaction to the charges was not returned.

The board scheduled a hearing on the charges for Feb. 15 in Raleigh, saying
that grounds exist to annul, suspend, revoke or limit Jemsek's license to
practice. Jemsek has been licensed in North Carolina since 1979.

Lyme disease is named after Old Lyme, Conn., where the disease was first
described in 1975. Apart from fatigue, it causes joint inflammation and can
affect the nervous system and the heart in its later stages.

However, because its symptoms are similar to those seen in other ailments,
it can be difficult to diagnose.

The disease is passed on to humans by bites from infected deer ticks.

State epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Engel of the North Carolina Department of
Health and Human Services said the accepted method of diagnosis is a
clinical examination of a patient followed by lab tests that support the
finding. Treatment guidelines call for prolonged intravenous antibiotic
treatments of at most two to four weeks - and at that length only for
patients with significant complicating neurological symptoms like palsy,
encephalitis or meningitis, he said.

Engel said numerous studies of people and other mammals in North Carolina
have led him to the conclusion that Lyme disease is not endemic in the
state. He said he believes up to 95 percent of the state's diagnosed Lyme
cases are actually people suffering from Southern Tick-Associated Rash
Illness, a red rash that spreads around a tick bite but eventually
disappears and does not develop into full-blown Lyme disease.

"It can be confused because it looks just like the initial manifestation of
Lyme," he said.

Jemsek is known in the Lyme disease community for his belief that the
disease is underdiagnosed.

In an article published on his clinic's Web site, Jemsek writes: "the most
debilitating form of Lyme disease, the persistent or chronic form ... is
debunked, or at least felt to be grossly over-diagnosed by powerful factions
in academic medicine. Unfortunately, this attitude filters down to most
treating physicians, especially in a low prevalence region for Lyme disease
like the Carolinas, whose physicians thereby tend to trivialize or deny the
existence of persistent Lyme disease."

ON THE NET

Jemsek Clinic: http://www.jemsekclinic.com/default.php

North Carolina Lyme Disease Foundation: http://www.nclyme.org/

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shazdancer
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Fer cryin' out loud!
quote:
According to the board, five patients went to Jemsek with non-specific symptoms "such as fatigue, achiness and
decreased concentration."

Wow, sounds like a set-up -- ALL FIVE had vague symptoms, and ALL FIVE reported him to the board?
quote:
In each case, Jemsek prescribed a several-month course of intravenous antibiotics "in the absence of any research of clinical evidence of
efficacy, and in the face of increased risk of infection," according to the charges.

There IS "research of clinical efficacy" -- Dr. F's study. I'll buy the "increased risk of infection" part, but the risk of infection must be weighed in the light of the consequences of on-going infection due to Lyme.
quote:
The board charges that Jemsek failed to educate or inform his patients that
both his method of diagnosing Lyme disease and his method of treatment were departures from recognized standards for dealing with the illness.

Somebody tell him that there are TWO standards of treatment, both peer-reviewed. And as for thoroughly explaining his treatment protocol, Jemsek has a whole website on it!
quote:
State epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Engel of the North Carolina Department of
Health and Human Services said the accepted method of diagnosis is a clinical examination of a patient followed by lab tests that support the
finding.

And someone should explain to Dr. Jeff Engel that lab results should not supercede the clinical diagnosis.
quote:
Engel said numerous studies of people and other mammals in North Carolina have led him to the conclusion that Lyme disease is not endemic in the state.
Jemsek also calls NC a "low prevalence" state for Lyme, but just try to tell the Lymies there that they really have no symptoms, it's "just" STARI!

This is another big blow to our LLMDs, and smacks of a divide and conquer strategy. Dr. J treats in both NC and SC, and has been a public speaker on Lyme as well as a trainer for at least one new LLMD, so his restriction from treating Lyme patients could have a serious impact.

Grr...
Shaz

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mimi
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Well what are theses people thinking? Definitely a set up. Dr. J and all of his staff are helping many of us from all over the Southeast. The article neglects to mention that the patients aren't just from NC many are from SC and VA and other surrounding state as far as PA. I do not think I would still be a "normal" appearing person without him. He does lab tests and a lengthy first exam. I really hope we can all help and support him. All of us that trust him and depend on him would still be searching DUCKS to find help. These people really do not know what they are doing. [rant] [cussing]
Have been without power for 2 days and this is what I come back to it is unbelievable what is happening to our beloved LLMD's If anyone knows how we can help him please let me know.
Take care,
mimi

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lou
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Engel is wrong about the evidence for lyme in that state. It reminds me of the AL state epidemiologist who said lyme not in his state because the animal reservoirs were absent! It would have taken him minutes of research to discover his statement was incorrect.

No one who goes to a lyme doc is unaware that there are two standards of care, that the typical one leaves people untreated or undertreated. That is why they are going to these docs, because they have been failed elsewhere. I am inclined to wait and see on whether any patients reported him for being treated in this way, much more likely that they have been wanting to get him and have pulled files looking for something, anything.

This is going to leave a lot of people in the lurch.

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LymeLaura
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My daughter and I were treated by Dr. Jemsek for at least a year and a half. Although we have now found someone closer to our home, Dr. Jemsek gave my daughter her life back!

Her internist treated her for 2 months on IV meds and said he just didn't know what else to do. We live in Maryland and he believed (at that time) that there was no one in Maryland able to treat chronic lyme.

My daughter was bedridden and is now able to function. Her recovery has been slow at times, but we expect her to make a full recovery, thanks to the many wonderful lyme knowledgeable doctors we have seen.

I plan to email/call Dr. Jemsek. Is there anything that we, as the lyme community, can do?

[ 17. December 2005, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: LymeLaura ]

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lymesux
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I, too will do all it takes to help him, he is treating myself and my two kids.

[ 17. December 2005, 09:10 PM: Message edited by: lymesux ]

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lou
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Mil Med. 2003 Dec;168(12):1011-4.

Lyme disease reporting for Navy and Marine Corps (1997-2000).

McGinnis J, Bohnker BK, Malakooti M, Mann M, Sack DM.

Preventive Medicine Directorate, Navy Environmental Health Center, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23708, USA.

Reported cases of Lyme disease for Navy and Marine Corps personnel during 1997-2000 are presented from data collected in the Naval Disease Reporting System and the Defense Medical Epidemiological Database. Naval Disease Reporting System identified 210 case subjects; 60% were men, 49% were family members, and 37% were active duty, and most originated in the second quarter of the calendar year. States reporting the greatest number of reports were Connecticut (44%), North Carolina (16%), Rhode Island (10%), and Virginia (10%), which was generally consistent with national figures and the concentration of military populations. Incidence rates from Defense Medical Epidemiological Database for Lyme disease were generally higher for active duty personnel than reported civilian rates. Areas for improvement for Naval Disease Reporting System are identified and include additional emphasis on complete reporting on patient history and on Lyme disease antibody testing results. These findings suggest that Lyme disease is an important disease in military medicine, particularly in the eastern United States.

PMID: 14719627 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

----------------------------------------------

J Wildl Dis. 2000 Jan;36(1):48-55.

Characterization of Lyme disease spirochetes isolated from ticks and vertebrates in North Carolina.

Ryan JRApperson CS, Orndorff PE, Levin JF.

Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695, USA.

Borrelia burgdorferi isolates obtained from numerous locations and from different hosts in North Carolina, were compared to previously characterized strains of the Lyme disease spirochete and other Borrelia spp. The spirochete isolates were confirmed to be B. burgdorferi sensu stricto based on immunofluorescence (IFA) using a monoclonal antibody to outer surface protein A (Osp A [H5332]) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a species-specific nested primer for a conserved region of the gene that encodes for flagellin. In addition, the isolates tested positive in Western blots with species-specific monoclonal antibodies for outer surface protein A and OspB (84c), and the genus-specific, monoclonal antibody to flagellin (H9724). Infectivity studies with several of these isolates were conducted using Mus musculus and Oryzomys palustris and the isolates exhibited markedly different levels of infectivity. This study demonstrates that B. burgdorferi sensu stricto is present and naturally transmitted on the Outer Banks and in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions of North Carolina.

PMID: 10682743 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

--------------------------------------------

J Med Entomol. 1999 Sep;36(5):578-87. Related Articles, Links

Ticks and antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi from mammals at Cape Hatteras, NC and Assateague Island, MD and VA.

Oliver JH Jr, Magnarelli LA, Hutcheson HJ, Anderson JF.

Institute of Arthropodology & Parasitology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro 30460, USA.

Results of a survey for ixodid ticks and/or serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi from 14 species of small to large mammals from eastern coastal areas of the United States are presented. Most samples were obtained from July 1987 through June 1989 (excluding December-March) at 3 locales: Assateague Is. National Seashore, Worcester Co., MD., and Accomack Co., VA. (approximately 38 degrees 05' N 75 degrees 10' W), and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Dare Co., NC (approximately 35 degrees 30' N 76 degrees 35' W). Hosts sampled included opossums (Didelphis virginiana), least shrews (Cryptotis parva), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), raccoons (Procyon lotor), feral cats (Felis sylvestris), feral horses (Equus caballus), sika deer (Cervus nippon), rice rats (Oryzomys palustris), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), house mice (Mus musculus), norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and jumping mice (Zapus hudsonius). An indirect fluorescent antibody test was used for testing sera from opossums, raccoons, and feral cats; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used for sera from foxes, horses, deer, and house and white-footed mice. Antibodies to B. burgdorferi were found in all species tested from each locale. Seasonal data reinforce the contention that P. leucopus is a suitable sentinel species for B. burgdorferi. Ticks on hosts included Ixodes scapularis Say, I. texanus Banks, Dermacentor variabilis (Say), D. albipictus (Packard), and Amblyomma americanum (L.). Males comprised approximately 0-22 and 60-81% of Ixodes sp. and Amblyomma-Dermacentor adults collected from hosts, respectively. All stages of A. americanum, adult D. variabilis, and larval I. scapularis were collected from vegetation. The highest seropositivity rate (67%) was recorded for 45 P. leucopus at Assateague during July, approximately 1 mo. after peak nymphal I. scapularis intensity. Borrelia burgdorferi was isolated from 6 nymphal and 12 female I. scapularis collected from P. leucopus and C. nippon, respectively, on Assateague.

PMID: 10534951 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

-------------------------------------------

South Med J. 1991 Jan;84(1):27-31.

Indigenous cases of Lyme disease diagnosed in North Carolina.

Levine JF, Apperson CS, Spiegel RA, Nicholson WL, Staes CJ.

Department of Microbiology, Pathology, and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27606.

Between January 1984 and December 1989, 102 indigenous cases of Lyme disease were reported in North Carolina. Lyme disease was reported in each of the three major geographic regions of the state: mountain, piedmont, and coastal plain. One or more diagnoses were made in 42 of 100 counties. Patients ranged in age from 5 months to 78 years (median, 27 years); 58 patients (57%) reported a history of tick exposure within 1 month of the onset of symptoms. Erythema migrans was reported by 93 patients (91%). Arthritis (30%), neurologic symptoms (10%), and cardiac abnormalities (7%) were observed. Thirty of the 102 cases were confirmed serologically by indirect fluorescence microscopy or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

PMID: 1986423 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[ 17. December 2005, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: lou ]

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NP40
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Looks like so called "mainstream" medicine is fighting back against some of the recent gains made by the lyme community.

I believe Dr. J is a member of ILADS. I'm sure they possess voluminous material to refute these charges. The CDC even states that lyme is a clinical diagnosis, and testing is unreliable.

Though I have no doubt that the "30 days and you're cured" crowd is behind this, it also appears to be just plain ignorance on the part of the medical board when it comes to treating and diagnosing this disease. Some of the northeastern med boards are much more aware of this disease than this particular board.

The LLMD in Virginia won her battle with the med board, and I'm sure after the mountain of eveidence showing long-term abx efficacy, along with hundreds of patient affadavits/testimony that Dr. J will be exonerated.

Certainly, the lyme community needs to rally behind this and help in any way that we can. If anyone knows of contact info for Dr. J's attorney etc., please post.

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pab
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There was a 2 page post about this last night but I don't see it today. It was started by nclymie.

I just did a search and the "topic does not exist!

--------------------
Peggy

~ ~ Hope is a powerful medicine. ~ ~

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by cave76:
Probably just as well. [Smile] It had personal opinion/information in it better handled off line.

cave76

Definitely!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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NCLymie
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[ 20. December 2005, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: NCLymie ]

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riversinger
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NCLymie, Lyme disease isn't so cut and dried. Some of the sickest patients NEVER test positive. My son had negative tests, but one month of abx treatment brought out bulls eye rashes as herxheimers, so we have pretty good proof he is infected. Sometimes treatment has to be tried to find whether is is an infection. Even with Lyme, abx does not always work.

Nothing in this article states the patients are claiming anything against the doctor. It is possible the patients are being used to put this charge forward, whether or not they have complaints. This is common practice.

Even the charge, as stated, is only that the doctor is not informing patients that he is using practices that are not the standard. With his extensive website, and the amount of evidence available to prove a second, alternative standard for diagnosis and treatment, Dr. J will have a strong case. It will cost him, but he will have a case.

Whether or not your treatment is correct, is a whole different issue. If you are unhappy, it seems you should get a second opinion from another doctor. No doctor is successful with everybody, even when they are good. If you don't feel good about his treatment, I would not stay with him. It doesn't matter how amny others he may have helped, if he isn't helping you, it doesn't do you any good. I would try someone else.

--------------------
Sonoma County Lyme Support
[email protected]

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TickMomPA
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I find it funny that one poster on sci.med. newsgroup posted about a LLMD going down before all this news broke. I am begining to believe that the trolls have something to do with this attack on our doctors.
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lou
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J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Oct;43(10):5080-4.

Two-year evaluation of Borrelia burgdorferi culture and supplemental tests for definitive diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Coulter P, Lema C, Flayhart D, Linhardt AS, Aucott JN, Auwaerter PG, Dumler JS.

Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Lyme disease is usually diagnosed and treated based on clinical manifestations. However, laboratory testing is useful for patients with confusing presentations and for validation of disease in clinical studies. Although cultivation of Borrelia burgdorferi is definitive, prior investigations have shown that no single test is optimal for Lyme disease diagnosis.
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NCLymie
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I would like answers and hope the Dr. J. is cleared of these charges. Until we know the facts, we need to let Dr. J. handle this and hope that it comes out in his favor.

[ 20. December 2005, 07:35 PM: Message edited by: NCLymie ]

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JimBoB
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Glad you cleared THAT all up NCLymie.
Thanks.

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lymesux
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We should back him like we have other lyme doctors who are fighting this disease along with us.


Thank you.

[ 17. December 2005, 09:12 PM: Message edited by: lymesux ]

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NCLymie
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Dear Lymesux: I saw Dr. J. three times because I couldn't get an appointment with him, only his nurse practioners. Just wanted to clear that up.
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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by TickMomPA:
I am begining to believe that the trolls have something to do with this attack on our doctors.

Nothing unusual about that at all! happens all the time!!!!!!!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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lymesux
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sorry

[ 17. December 2005, 09:13 PM: Message edited by: lymesux ]

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NCLymie
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If you look on the Medical Board post, there are some very good points made. I don't want Dr. J in trouble because that means his clinic could be closed. It is three miles from my house! Why are people so nasty if you ask any questions about LLMD's? I have been extremely ill and am better due to the treatment from the clinic. However, I'm not the type of person to roll over and not question what's going on - I like to see all the facts - that's what will be interesting to see in February. So, all of you who think I'm wanting Dr. J. to go down are taking my posts completely wrong. On another point, many of you say he saved your children's lives, however, when I called to get an appointment for my son, they said they didn't see children. How did you get them in? My point is treatment is not equal. I was never sent away from Dr. J because I was difficult. I have always been very easy going with this practice, and since I live nearby, maybe that's why I see the NP's. It's not because of me personally as someone suggested on another post.
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lymesux
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I don't think I was nasty in any way, if you took it that way then I am sorry.

Anyway - maybe this is a lost cause - I know I am supporting this man for my own reasons and once again i'm sorry I posted on lymenet. [bonk]

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duke77
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I see Dr. J and it doesn't sound like something they would do. From the start they told me that IV abx would be a last resort for severe Neuro symptoms. Giving IV abx for fatigue and achiness doesn't sound right. Unless it was a setup and the patients begged for it.
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Thomas Parkman
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Dear members of the list:

I too am a patient of Dr. Jemsek. I am well aware of problems delated to that clinic. I too have been on antibiotics and in my case they have not worked. I am very sick and not getting any better.

My IV experience was a nightmare. But I knew going in that there were no guarantees. It was worse than anything that I could imagine but I do not blame Dr. Jemsek for the failure of that therapy.

It seems to me that people are demanding perfection when such does not exist. Borreliosis is a highly complex disease caused by a number of variants of the same species of bacterium. They are dangerous and elusive pathogens formidable to a degree seldom seen in medical science. The problem is that clinical science is 10-15 years behind the basic scientific research into this increasingly complex and difficult disease. Unfortunately the ignorance, not to mention arrogance of the medical profession is an old old story.

AS for going to another doctor, by all means do so. If you can find one. But why do you have to take away the one doctor in both North and South Carolina who is actually acknowledging that there is a problem. And actually treating people instead of insulting their intelligence. Think about it. One Lyme Literate Doctor in 12,000,000 people. (Yes, Thomas we all know you are crazy but you also happen to be sick. Even crazy people can get sick)

These idiots in conventional medical practice are besotted over the idea that somebody is violating their miserable standard of care, when it does not seem to have ever occurred to any of them that that miserable standard of care does not work. If you are still sick they say you have an auto-immune disorder or Variant Rheumatoid Arthritis or some other such foolishness. Thus these doctors have a disease for which they do not have a test, they cannot diagnose it and they do not have a clue about how to treat it. And they go after the one doctor who is at least in there trying. Lovely.

As for that Epidemiologist, he obviously knows nothing about lyme disease and nothing about the level of incidence of borrelia species in the various insects, etc in the Southeast.

As for those five patients put up to making a complaint, and believe me five people do not just get together out of thin air and make a complaint they are what I would call a wedge. The simplest instument known to man. They are being used and would not understand it even if I were to explain it to them. Cheers. Thomas Parkman

--------------------
Thomas Parkman

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Lou B
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Thomas,

Well said ... I agree with you 1000%.

Oh, and I absolutely love sick, crazy people as
I have found they make the most sense !!!

--------------------
Lou B
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Bill ATL
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I go to Dr J's clinic as well. I have seen only his NPs and am VERY satisfied with their professional, and thorough care!

They spent at least an hour just listening to me, and getting a complete history of my situation before following up with drawing blood work for testing. They drew 23 vials of blood...to test for Lyme and to rule out other issues like Lupus. The tests they chose to run were clearly based on my conversation with the NP. Not something indicative of a reckless practice!!!

They also advised that, depending on the test results, an oral abx program would be followed.

My symptoms were not life-threatening, and were along the lines of headaches/joint pain/tendon pain/muscle spasms.

I'm not sure that they even gave me a prescription to get me through until the results came in...if they did it was minimal.
**************************************

Now my questions:

With this case, are the 5 suspects investigated at all? How deeply can the defense go in finding out what their, or their backer's, true intent is?

How have these so-called patients come under the wing of the prosecution? Are we to believe that they just all complained at once, or under a short timeframe? I'm hoping an equally thorough and fair investigation occurs of the accusers!

Follow the strings of the marionette!

--------------------
Bill

**Question everything...it may save your life!!!**

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lymesux
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good insights!
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Lymied
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Public Apology to NCLymie:

I am sorry if I was cras and patronizing in my post. I strive to not be that way but when it comes to those in my life that have looked out for my welfare and basically saved my quality of life or possibly my life altogether I become very protective.

So please accept my apology - I realize the absolute necessity of the Lyme Community to band together and not fight each other.

Thank You,
Lymied

[ 20. December 2005, 06:34 PM: Message edited by: Lymied ]

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Ann-OH
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In this article, Dr. J. speaks out.
Ann - OH

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/13428496.htm

Posted on Sat, Dec. 17, 2005

Doctor accused of inappropriate care
Diagnosis, treatment of Lyme disease was mishandled, notice says

KAREN GARLOCH
[email protected]

Dr. Joseph Jemsek, an infectious disease specialist who treated the
first AIDS patient in Mecklenburg County in 1983, has been accused by the
N.C. Medical Board of inappropriately diagnosing and treating Lyme disease.

In a Dec. 9 notice, the board alleges Jemsek treated at least five
patients with long-term intravenous antibiotics for Lyme disease when he had
"no historical, physical, serological or other laboratory evidence" to
support that diagnosis.

The board has scheduled a public hearing Feb. 15.

Jemsek, 56, said he disagrees with the allegations and will vigorously
defend himself. "We're proud of what we do," he said, "and we've helped
hundreds of people."

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection usually transmitted by a tick
bite. In North Carolina, the number of reported cases has risen from 47 in
2000 to 111 in 2004.

Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic "bull's
eye" skin rash. When caught early, Lyme disease can be treated with oral
antibiotics. When treatment is delayed, daily intravenous antibiotics are
required. Medical guidelines suggest therapy for 14 to 28 days.

But Jemsek treats patients longer. For each of the five patients, "in
the absence of any research," Jemsek prescribed intravenous antibiotics for
several months, the board said. Also, the board said Jemsek didn't
adequately inform patients that his treatment is a departure from standards.

Jemsek, who opened an HIV clinic in Huntersville in 2000, said he
became interested in Lyme disease because patients have been "sort of
abandoned. They're challenging. They're complex. ... I saw a real need to
address this."

Earlier this year, he said, he spoke about Lyme disease at Duke
University Medical Center, the N.C. health department and a United Kingdom
conference on tick-borne illness.

Jemsek has practiced medicine in Charlotte since 1979, when he joined
the now-defunct Nalle Clinic.

One of his patients, Karen Lilly of Mooresville, contacted the
Observer this year to praise Jemsek for diagnosing her Lyme disease after
she'd been to more than 15 doctors.

Lilly said she became ill in May 2001 with hives from head to toe,
extreme fatigue, joint pain and numbness in her limbs.

Various doctors told her it was anxiety, nerves, allergies or multiple
sclerosis. In January 2003, she was referred to Jemsek. He told her the
symptoms suggested Lyme but he couldn't make a certain diagnosis "until we
get positive test results."

When blood tests came back positive, she started daily intravenous
antibiotic therapy. Her insurance stopped covering that treatment a year
ago, so she takes antibiotics orally. She remains disabled and has mild
dementia, but she said she has improved.

Dr. David Weber, an infectious disease specialist at UNC Chapel Hill
medical school, said he is not aware of data that supports antibiotic
therapy for Lyme disease for longer than a month. He is not connected to
Jemsek's case, but agreed to talk to the Observer about Lyme disease in
general.

Long-term intravenous therapy carries an increased risk of infection,
Weber said, because bacteria can contaminate the "central line," a tube that
stays in a patient temporarily to deliver medicine.

2005 Charlotte Observer and wire service sources.

--------------------
www.ldbullseye.com

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ellenluba
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Does anyone know if it was the five patients who made the complaints themselves, or did the insurance company or medical board or other doctor make the complaints ABOUT these paients' cases.

In New York, the complaints were NOT made by patients. The medical disciplinary board hd used the cases of about 7 patients to charge Dr. B. But the patients had nothing to do with it, and in fact most made public statements in support of him

Im not sure which way is better for Dr. J, but am just curious about how it works down there.

It is also just so "kind" of them to do this right before the holidays. It not only spoils his holiday, it also makes it take longer for the Lyme community to find out what's happening.
Ellen

--------------------


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Bill ATL
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As Ann-OH notes in that article, Dr J is a highly respected specialist and researcher in HIV medicine. Lets hope that that community "circles the wagons" around him and suppports him as we will!!

This witch-hunt is unacceptable!!

--------------------
Bill

**Question everything...it may save your life!!!**

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ConnieMc
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quote:
Originally posted by ellenluba:
Does anyone know if it was the five patients who made the complaints themselves, or did the insurance company or medical board or other doctor make the complaints ABOUT these paients' cases.

In New York, the complaints were NOT made by patients. The medical disciplinary board hd used the cases of about 7 patients to charge Dr. B. But the patients had nothing to do with it, and in fact most made public statements in support of him

Im not sure which way is better for Dr. J, but am just curious about how it works down there.

It is also just so "kind" of them to do this right before the holidays. It not only spoils his holiday, it also makes it take longer for the Lyme community to find out what's happening.
Ellen

Truth is, these 5 patients may not even know they are the ones. If the medical review board decides to go into a doctor's office and review cases, they can. These patients may have gone to him, convinced that they probably had Lyme, and sought his help after nobody else would help them.

Don't worry, things are already happening here in NC and a good plan of action will develop over time. No need to spout off who is doing what at this stage, and information will come out as appropriate.

And Dr. J will win.

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Lymied
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Amen ConnieMc - I know in my gut that he will win too...

There is a lot happening here in NC - and lets just say the established belief in many sectors regarding the prevelance of tick borne illness down here will soon be replaced by the Truth...

--------------------
Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right. - Ezre Taft Benson

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shazdancer
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Some wonderful posts on here.

Thanks, lou -- if the NC epidemiologist wants some accurate statistics on Lyme, he should just ask the US military. Sheesh, if you have access to this stuff, why doesn't he?

Thanks, Connie -- somehow, I knew you'd be all over this one! Looking forward to any news of progress. Not only do I want Dr. J to win, I want the NC ducks to be shamed for ever bringing this up!

But that's just me...
Shaz

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Linda LD
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Please let us folks on the other side of the mountains know what we can do to help!

Linda

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Softballmom
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quote:
Originally posted by NCLymie:
I didn't say I wasn't happy with my treatment by the clinic, but I will tell you this. I have been seeing the clinic for three years and have seen Dr. three times! I see the NP who are very good, but they are not doctors. I wonder how all these other people got to see the Dr. and I can't. I'm not going to another doctor, and just because I have questions about these charges doesn't mean I should go elsewhere. Don't be so defensive. I would like answers and hope the Dr. J. is cleared of these charges. It seems that people are jumping to a lot of conclusions - there's a conspiravcy, the people didn't put this together by themeselves, etc. Until we know the facts, we need to let Dr. J. handle this and hope that it comes out in his favor.

All I have to do when I want to see Dr. J and not the PA is request to see him on my next appt. and they schedule it with him personally. All it takes is a request.

________________________________________________

Dr. J saved my life and I did not have a positive Lyme test and I was told that up front and had the numbers explained to me. I did test positive to Babesia.

I also had servere neurologic problems but was put on orals first. It took me a while to respond to them but I did. If I had continued not to respond I was going to go on introveneous.

I referred a friend who was in worse shape than me who tested positive and was immidiatly put on introveneous for a month then went to oral. Each patient is treated differently.

It is puzzeling that these five cases have so much in common.

All I can say is that after a brain hemmorage and stroke at the age of thirty two. Followed by siezuers and multiple neurologiC problems after a seven year history of unexplained illness and pain, Two hospitals, 3 primary care physitians and two neurologist from two different cities......

Dr J was this first person to give me a clear explanation and the treatment I recieved had improved my health more that I could have ever hoped for.

I don't care about medical journals or clinical evidence.


I AM LIVING PROOF!

--------------------
It's not the Lyme, I just can't spell!  -

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Mo
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Exactly.

Living proof, and those connected to the 'business' operations in medicine will say that patients don't know anything regarding their care.

They do this with Cancer patients regarding effective alternative, outside the mainstream care.

Patients may testify to a similar story as SoftballMom, and acadamia will say their experience can't possibly mean anything in comparison to their 'expertise'..
yet the same academics refuse to perform credible study of therapies 'outside the box'.

..that's why numbers matter so much in these cases, IMO..

In both Doc J cases (tho I don't believe their has been any call for action yet in Doc J in NC's case..)

however in Doc J the ped, and this one should it be needed..
the power will be in turning out in great numbers and stating your improvements under the doctor's care.

Noone is stating care is perfect at every turn.
That is unrealistic expectation..
the invaluable contribution of these Docs treating persistant Lyme is that they are diagnosing and treating cases of persistant infection that would otherwise go totally untreated, they are studying and publishing
and moving care forward..
many of them say they know they do not always have the very best tools -- yet --
but then they need acknowledgement of the disease, resources and research funding..
and should we loose any of them in the meantime,
not only the patients in their care, but the community will loose tremendous ground..

Mo

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pattiecake
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What about all the ducks that put me on steroids for a rash they could not figure out its origin? Lets just stick her on steroids!!! the cure all for derms! No proof that it was the right thing! Lets just try! I dont see anyone trying to take their license away! That did me more harm but hey what the heck! I mean I went back continually telling them that it was not working but they still kept trying! Then I wised up and walked out.
pattiecake

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Andie333
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Great point, Patti!

I had 3 very different dxs from ducks re both my intensely swollen right knee and the numbness in my right foot.

A very highly-regarded duck drained my knee twice and shot it full of cortisone, despite that just exacerbating the situation.

All the ducks were positive, they said, that they knew exactly was wrong.

They hurt me, not just with treatment but also with time lost because I wasn't on the right track.

Nobody questions their judgement...

Andie

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lymewarrior03
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This is disheartening. First I hear about the terrible problems Dr. J in Ct is having, now this. It makes me feel supersticious.

If some of us who had symptoms like this and left untreated for YEARS had BEEN GIVEN treatment, we might be well today. Like me.

I had test after test, all negative of course, while my conditioned worsened, and I got more symptoms. Finally after almost 8 yrs of nearly 20 rediculous Dr. visits, I bumped into a Dr. who recognized my symptoms, and tested me thru the various lyme specialty labs, where I tested pos.

For the past 3yrs I've been treating this dispicable disease in a wide variety of ways........including IV, my last treatment. Like Thomas Parkman, all my treatments were nearly unbearable, and finally, unbearable.

I had to leave my home and relocate to NY, where the Dr. I now consider to be my last dr, said, WHERE did you say you were from??? CAPE COD???

I am sorry you were victim to such a group of moronic drs, to have tested you for EVERYTHING, and not finding ANYTHING wrong with you, didn't say, what the hay.....MIGHT BE LYME!!!!!

Forgot my other point, besides the one I made in the first sentence!

Ironically, the dr I finally ended up with in NY doesn't even like the "lyme labs" and tested me at Stonybrook (which came back neg) but this was after 2yrs of treatment...but still very sick.

However, he said that he'd diagnose me with Lyme start just according to my symptoms and area where I was from, the test results didn't matter, he was just curious. He started me on IV.

And yes, I'm still sick, but taking things to manage symptoms.

[ 20. December 2005, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: lymewarrior03 ]

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NCLymie
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[ 20. December 2005, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: NCLymie ]

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Lymied
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Please see my public apology to NCLymie on Page one of posts.

Thanks,
Lymied

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5dana8
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I am gonna pray really hard for Dr. J.
My life hangs in the balance.

There are no other doctors near me & I am too sick to travel.
I just got back on line tonight and am totally freakin-out.I am so up set I feel like I could puck.
I don't understand why this witch hunt.
Now with all the current scientific evidence.Photo's for crying out loud of Kete's in cyctic form ect..
The B#$%#d's had to wait till the week before Christmas to dish this blow.

I just don't know about the medical community.How can they sleep at night.
If they had a child when chronic lyme ,they would be singing a different tune.

despondant
dana

--------------------
5dana8

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5dana8
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I am praying for Dr. J
My life is hanging in the balance.
Without him I am totally screwed.
I found out tonight and am so upset I could puck.
This is so unfair.
It just seems like a bad nightmare.
Despodant
dana

--------------------
5dana8

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5dana8
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This whole witch hunt is morally dispicable.
This is not good for any one with lyme.Fewer doctors.Fewer than already exist.This means the medical community are going to leave us to rot on the vine,again.

It makes getting proper treatment even harder if the doctors are being harassed and persecuted.And their numbers are slowly being eroded.
Makes me disgusted with the whole of human kind.
As time ticks on and fewer doctors are here to help us more of us we will suffer . Needlessly.

B$#@%ds [cussing]

[ 08. January 2006, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: 5dana8 ]

--------------------
5dana8

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5dana8
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5dana8

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phage
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quote:
Originally posted by lymesux:
Charlotte doctor charged with improper Lyme disease diagnoses
TIM WHITMIRE
Associated Press

State epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Engel of the North Carolina Department of
Health and Human Services said....numerous studies of people and other mammals in North Carolina
have led him to the conclusion that Lyme disease is not endemic in the
state.

"Mammals"?

Lizards in Florida and South Carolina appear to harbor borreliae:

http://tinyurl.com/89tvg

PMID: 15870353

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5dana8
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.

--------------------
5dana8

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Bothrops
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Wow, I cant believe I am reading this. I was just there Tuesday and they were having a good time cutting up, Santa himself was there.

I have been his patient for 8 months and I only saw him on the first trip. That is fine though cause I really like Susan and Christie. The only problem I have ever had with them is they are so busy. I think they need more staff to lesson the load so you dont feel so rushed. I was a little upset when they told me that after 6 monhs of IV I should see improvement as 70% do. I have seen no improvment. I realize that it could take time. I personally am still not convinced I have lyme but I will continue to see them as long as they will see me.

I think if he has helped as many patients as he states he will be cleared of any so called wrong doing. I know that all of his patients will stand with him, even those that are as confused as I. Like others said, I dont see 5 patients working together to ruin him, this is a politics deal. Without Dr. J we have no one, especially the poor medicaid patients like myself!

One thing I would like to add, if you have an appt. with them between know and Febuary please dont discuss this matter with his staff. I really dont want to be the one behind someone who talks to much and has upset someone. Drs. have to deal with this sort of thing all the time lets just mind our business and be there if he needs us.

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Bothrops
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[ 23. December 2005, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: Bothrops ]

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fiddler
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FYI to Jemsek patients. I did ask over the phone about the situation. I was told that Dr.J has hired a 'spokesperson' who will call back patients & answer any questions. They took my name & number & said I would hear within 24 hours from the spokesperson. I didn't. However, being so close to the holidays, I decided to let it be & bother them after the holidays.

I believe as patients we do have a right to ask, and the nurse was very up front about it all.

Let us all pray for Dr.J. [kiss]

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Soleilpie
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WOW! I am so bummed!I have researched lyme for my mother for several years and we're now down to the point of actually getting an appointment with Dr. J. My mother was diagnosed with MS and is completely bedridden. I pray that Dr. Jemsek wins. If there's any way I can help, someone please email me.

--------------------
The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good, and how he treats people who can't fight back.
-Abigail van Buren (Pauline Esther Friedman) (1918-2002)

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NCLymie
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I actually read all of my records from the beginning of my treatment from Dr. J. and I have to say, I have never had a doctor or practice that took more maticulous notes and took so many different aspects of my care into consideration. I notice that when I first went to see him, he spent two hours with me and did many different blood tests - nothing i need to tell any of you all. I was so sick when I went to him three years ago that I barely remember that first year, however, I do remember that when I first went in, the would not start my treatment until they got my IGENEX lab results back.

I don't think we really need to worry too much about Dr. J. He is an extremely intelligent and well-respected man. The medical board may do many of several things: 1. nothing; 2. a slap on the wrist; 3. a fine; suspend his license for 3 to 6 months, but I doubt that he will lose his license. He and his staff are too professional for this to happen. After going to so many other doctors who barely look at you or take any notes at all, I can't imagine he isn't all over these five cases that are haunting him right now.

The medical community does not understand the theory of being on antibiotics for a long time, and I actually was afraid of it myself. HOwever, I have read a lot about the research they did at Columbia, and this bug is a bacteria that needs antibiotics treatment in order to demolish it. Dr. J. has a full spectrum of treatments that he uses and it's certainly not a fly-by-night practice.

I pray for him and his staff and all his patients who would be totally lost without him, including me!

Happy New Year to all of you. Hopefully this will be a good thing and the medical board will learn some new things about Lyme Disease that they didn't know before. Think about it, how many doctors do you know that are familiar with Lyme Diseaes? I know one - Dr. J!

[bow]

Posts: 75 | From NC | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ConnieMc
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I had some communication with Dr. J and he seems very confident. Some of us have also been asked to do support letters.

I personally see this as a good thing. I hate that Dr. J has to go through all this, but in the end, it will be positive for the Lyme community.

Now this is interesting ... proving this is a witch hunt ... I went to the NC Medical Board site and went through a few months worth of their meeting minutes (they meet about once a month, or more frequently if a situation arises). In any given month, there are many doctors being investigated or sanctioned for various reasons. But we never see any of that in the media. But this story made all the major papers, and even some small town papers. Why is that? Why is this situation any different than other doctors here in NC being accused of practicing bad medicine?

I have still not heard any definites from the NCLDF about the hearing on 02/15 and what patients and supporters will be asked to do. But I will do what I can to support him.

Posts: 2274 | From NC | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
5dana8
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Untill the truth is" revealed down here"
How many will suffer?
I for one have waited 20 years and can't wait another day. [Frown]

--------------------
5dana8

Posts: 4432 | From some where over the rainbow | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymied
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Very interesting point ConnieMC in regards to all those other hearings and why we don't see them posted in the media.

I will check it out - the Medical Board's Site.

I have heard that the hearing has been postponed at this point with no date for certain yet....some grumblings about August.

Which brings me to my point that if the complaint was so serious why such a long wait?!?

I am with you - I think this will be a great chance to educate the state on how prevelant these infections are.

Recently I met a woman who gardens about five miles from my house. She said, Oh yeah, I get ehrlichia every year and get antibiotic treatment for it. I don't think she realizes the potential to contract other lovely things like Babesia and Lyme...tried to educate without seeming like a freak. [Wink]

It is a problem down here and I am hoping they will all wake up after they really see how many people are affected by this down here.

Posts: 655 | From NC, Exit 88 on the Deer SuperHighway | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shazdancer
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Good point, ConnieNC. And wasn't the LAST time we heard about a doc going up against the Board that Lyme duck who was treating everyone with IV hydrogen peroxide?

Makes ya wonder who's got connections to the press.

My mom even showed me the Dr. J article in her hometown SC paper -- and believe it, this is a SMALL-town paper. So I am assuming that the wire services picked this up.

Connections....

Regards,
Shaz

Posts: 1558 | From the Berkshires | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymied
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Yes Shaz...It was the Associated Press that picked it up...
Posts: 655 | From NC, Exit 88 on the Deer SuperHighway | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
griswoldgirl
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My take on this is that the4 5 cases they are refering to were turned down by the insurance company because they were perscribed oral antibiotics for the first 30 days so he could run a urine PCR test. This cannot be done until you push antibiotics.

I am one of his patients and I have a positive PCR. I also have erhricliosis and babs. a lot of my bands were negative. But the PCR has continued to be positive.

anywho-----------my husband and I are in the medical field and have heard that the whole story stemed out of a insurance denial.

I spent 16 years of my life floundering not knowing what the heck was wrong with me until Dr. J came along.

Hopefully it will blow over

Cathy

--------------------
There is light at the end of the tunnel. I went from existing to living again. You can too!

Posts: 192 | From Myrtle Beach, SC | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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