Here is a Rheumatologist's response to an article about Oklahoman's with lyme disease.
It actually makes me sick to my stomach, because he takes a swipe at their doctor in Missouri...who is also my doctor. I HOPE nothing more comes of that. UGGHH!!!!
Here it is:
The article "Lyme disease takes toll" (Aug. 17) told the story of two people with what was said to have been Lyme disease.
In neither case were all the symptoms related, but the main tenor of the article was that both people had undergone evaluation by specialist physicians who came up with either no diagnosis or alternative diagnoses.
That changed when a physician in Missouri diagnosed both of these people with Lyme disease. One of these patients is improving with the use of what is shown as a multiplicity of medicines.
This series of events seems implausible to those who are familiar with this disease. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease do not live in our climate.
The physician in Missouri who made these diagnoses might be doing this frequently in the absence of credible evidence.
The writer should have looked to medical scientists who work with this disease in the endemic areas in which it is found. Oklahoma is not such an area.
In another article, "Views of disease stir controversy" (Aug. 17) the writer recounted the view of a public health worker who stated this, but ignored it in her writing of the girls' stories.
In any case, Lyme disease, when present, is easily treated with short courses of commonly available antibiotics. Prolonged or repeated courses of antibiotics either given by mouth or intravenously are not necessary.
Oklahomans should not fear this disease unless they travel to endemic areas in certain seasons.
Paul April, M.D., Tulsa
I would LOVE for him to TRAVEL to my back yard where I caught it...CDC positive Western Blot.
It's really sickening to me, I just don't want others in my state unknowingly putting themselves at risk and then being mis or undiagnosed.
I certainly don't want anything to happen to my LLMD either!!
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Letters to the editor are encouraged. Each letter must be signed and include an address and a telephone number, where the writer can be reached during business hours. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published. Short letters are preferred. Letters may be edited for length, style and grammar.
-------------------- "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong." Posts: 2062 | From CT | Registered: Jul 2008
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Statements like these from doctors baffle me.
Just because one doesn't live in a high risk state like CT, it does NOT mean there is no risk to you.
If I hear one more doctor say, "there is no Lyme in_____," I'll scream.
They should at least look at the map provided by the CDC which shows that there is Lyme in every state in the U.S. these days.
I guess he meant to sound smart but he made himself look really ignorant.
-------------------- Diagnosed with :yme and mycoplasma pneumonia Aug 08. Treating with Doxy and Ceftin ever since. 15 sessions in hyperbaric o2 chamber Posts: 183 | From all around | Registered: Jul 2008
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You have to write a well written letter to that paper stating the facts that the article is in fact incorrect.
As you have a positive test, you are CERTIFIED by all standards.
You are definitive proof that this man is uneducated in the field he is addressing. Please let others know. I hate posers and to people with Lyme a poser like him can be very harmful.
Posts: 410 | From Victoria BC, Canada | Registered: Jul 2008
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my reply to newspaper....
Dr. Paul April is sadly mistaken in his 8-31-08 comment on chronic LYME disease: "The bacteria that cause Lyme disease do not live in our climate. " HOG WASH !!
OKLAHOMA has lyme like ALL 50 STATES!! See the below link of cumulative lyme disease totals by state as reported by CDC 1980 - Aug. 2008 !! Total of 387 to date.
Note: Totals represent ONLY 10% of actual lyme disease cases NOT diagnosed nationwide!!
Also, your site does NOT allow me to attach the direct link so please go to CDC site and type this in:
Lyme Disease Cases as reported to CDC 1980 - Current, 2008
IDSA, Infectious Disease Society of America, infectious drs., do NOT believe in CHRONIC LYME. They do NOT treat longer than 3 weeks and that is NOT enough to KILL all the spirochete that the tick gave you!
It's their UNDERTREATMENT of antibiotics that CAUSE CHRONIC LYME PATIENTS!
I've had chronic lyme 38.5 years; 34 years MISDIAGNOSED by 40-50 drs!
Oklahoma has NO CHRONIC LYME LITERATE DOCTORS THERE, WHY must they go out of state for lyme treatment?
Hey,,, thanks guys for all of your responses.
I think this "article" by Dr. April was a letter to the editor in response to a couple of articles that ran in the Tulsa World a few weeks ago.
I had a small paragraph in one article, stating how illogical it is to say that there is NO lyme in OK. I had statistics for dogs testing positive for lyme vs. people being at 533:3.
Anyway, I know there are more statistics out there actually proving him wrong. The Dept of wildlife found dogs and deer and mice w/borrelia or antibodies to borrelia YEARS ago in Central Oklahoma.
I am certainly not claiming that it is endemic like the Northeast. I have lived most of my life here, but it wasn't until I moved out on acreage and got bitten by numerous ticks over the last 3 years that I got sick.
I see deer around my house on a regular basis. There are numerous other Oklahomans that live in a similar setting as I do. Even many of those that live in town come out to the lakes, etc. are also putting themselves at risk.
It is illegal to shoot deer around the lake that is 6 miles from my house, and so they are THICK out there.
It's like the doctors here have lost all of the their common sense when it comes to lyme.
If you refuse to diagnose, or report, or test people for lyme,,,your CDC numbers will be low. That certainly doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, however.
I know I wasn't counted because even though my WB was CDC positive, I never had a positive ELISA and I think that is all that they investigate here.
okay, I am getting my facts together and also going to send in a letter to the editor. If I wasn't so mad I would be embarrassed!
Anyway, thanks again for all of your support. I feel like I am living in the twilight zone sometimes!
Send with your letter a print-out of the map that you posted a few weeks ago. Then it is Drs of veterinary medicine refuting Dr. April, not just you. Dr April will just dismiss a mere patient, but will have a harder time dismissing the chart compiled by Drs of veterinary medicine.
I finally got my letter narrowed down to the 200 word maxium so that it could be considered as a letter to the editor. I just sent it in.
I had to cut out a lot, but hopefully left enough to get my point across:
Dr. April's recent letter to the editor illustrates why our Oklahoma medical community isn't diagnosing lyme. When a certain disease isn't even considered, then patients won't be tested, diagnosed, or CDC reported and a vicious cycle ensues.
This recent stance of denial began around 2000. From 1993-1999, there were 289 reported cases of lyme, from 2000-2006 only 4. There are numerous animal studies showing the presence of lyme in Oklahoma. Even the State of Oklahoma's web site discusses the possibility of contracting lyme, saying that a small percentage of ticks found here ARE infected with B. burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes lyme.
I had no idea that an infectious disease could be considered controversial until after many months of illness, I tested CDC positive for lyme. I was still told that I couldn't have lyme and it would be considered "too controversial" to treat me.
I hope that one day soon, our state will stop this cycle of denial and patients can receive treatment for this potentially devastating disease. I can assure you that when diagnosis is delayed that treatment is neither easy or short.
Does lyme truly exist in Oklahoma? I consider myself living proof that it does.