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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » ehrlichiosis chaffeensis

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Author Topic: ehrlichiosis chaffeensis
anthonyinaugusta
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Member # 21172

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Hello,

6 weeks ago my 69 year old father in law was admitted for headache, high fever, low white cell, low platelet count. He was started on Doxicycline immediately and responded favorably. After 3 days he developed respiratory distress and was started on bi-pap and O2. He continued to use it for 2.5 weeks until they weened him off of it. He completes his IV antibiotics tomorrow but still has much trouble breathing and can not lay down or recline but must remain upright even to sleep.

His chest x-rays are clear. No pleural effusion. No pneumonia. Breath sounds are good. Heart rate and blood pressure are normal. He has no history of respiratory issues and works hard and athletically at his landscaping business daily before this infection of course.

After 4 weeks his titers came back strong positive for ehrlichiosis chaffeensis and low positive for Q fever with a past possible infection for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. He has endocarditis and is on Vancamyacin.

Question: We are puzzled and his pulmonologist is as well we can tell. All my research points to the diaphram. could it be a paralysis ?

Has anyone heard of this before ?

Posts: 5 | From Augusta, GA | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
anthonyinaugusta
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I would like to edit my post above but I see no "edit" button on this forum software.

any way I would like to add in my question are that we are trying to understand why he can not lay down and why he is having trouble breathing. The doctors can not tell us anything. He had chest xrays 3 days ago and they described them as "very good - nice and clear" bla bla bla. THey just wont even make a guess at why he can not breath...

any clues ?

Posts: 5 | From Augusta, GA | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MorningSong
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When I first got really sick I could not walk, sit in a chair, and had trouble breathing. Doctor knew I had Lyme and put me on IV Rocephin for 5 weeks. Later test results revealed Ehrlichia and Babesia. Had to come off Rocephin after 5 weeks for different reasons, but when I did the breathing problems were gone.

I too had all the chest x-rays, etc. I went to the ER 3 times and they told me my lungs were fine. For me it was related to Lyme or one of the co-infections for which IV Rocephin helped.

I pray for your father and that he will receive the help that he needs. Hopefully since he has endocarditis they will be able to leave his IV hookup in. Best regards.

Posts: 515 | From In His Loving Care | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill E.
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Many people with tick-borne diseases (I have both strains of Ehrlichia among others) have problems with various nerve issues. It's a huge problem for me in terms of neuropathy, myoclonus, etc.

There are many nerves that might be affecting his breathing and diaphragm - the phrenic nerve on each side of the diaphragm, the vagus nerve (there was an article in Lyme Times long ago about all the symptoms that vagus nerve issues can cause with Lyme disease), and the 12 cranial nerves that affect various parts of the body and can be infected/inflamed by tick-borne diseases.

Do a search for an article by Dr. Virginia Scherr called "Bell's Palsy of the Gut" - it's all about how nerves can be affected and yes, paralyzed, by tick-borne diseases.

I've shown this article to non-Lyme doctors before. Some are interested, some are not. At least your father-in-law was given strong antibiotics, thank goodness.

But maybe you can show this information to the pulmonologist and maybe he can at least leave your father-in-law on antibiotics longer.

Was he tested for Babesia? This tick-borne disease is associated with breathing problems (air hunger, shortness of breath). It is related to malaria and would need anti-malarial drugs such as Mepron or Malarone, usually combined with Zithromax.

Good luck,
Jill

--------------------
If laughter is the best medicine, why hasn't stand-up comedy cured me?

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Rumigirl
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It sounds like he needs a good Lyme Literate doctor when he gets out of the hospital (if he's still in). Check in the Finding a doctor section to see who is at all near you (Dr. J in SC?). No other kind of doctor will know all the ins and outs of Tick Born Diseases.
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anthonyinaugusta
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We have searched and we do not believe he was tested for babesia. He does not appear to have the symptoms comonly associated with Babesia.

We are going to contact his infectious disease doctor about this.

We are also going to see if his pulmonologist will listen to some theories regarding diaphragmatic paralysis even though he tested negative for Lyme.

He has been off the doxicycline for weeks but was on it for over 3 weeks. Is it likely he could still have other TB illnesses ?

Posts: 5 | From Augusta, GA | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MorningSong
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Each person has to take there own path toward healing. I would just caution you from seeing the Infectious Disease Doctors. I went to 2 different hospital Infectious Disease Clinics with positive blood tests and they stated that they were false positives and would not help me. Please consider seeing a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD).

Just trying to save you the heartache I went through by seeing the Infectious Disease Doctors. Also according to the CDC, Ehrlichia can cause breathing problems as well as babesia. Wishing you and your father well.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/ehrlichia/Signs/Signs.htm

Ehrlichiosis can be a severe illness, especially if untreated, and as many as half of all patients require hospitalization. Severe manifestations of the disease may include prolonged fever ... adult respiratory distress

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anthonyinaugusta
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The 6 weeks of treatment and hospitalization is now over as far as we know. Thanks for the info.
Posts: 5 | From Augusta, GA | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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