I apologize in advance for the length of this post, I just want to make sure I list everything I've been going through.
As a preface to all of this, I should say that since I got swine flu last November, I seem to have developed a high level of anxiety about my health, often thinking that I have different diseases/conditions.
I'm wondering if I should investigate Lyme as a possible cause of what's been happening to me lately. I am a 24 year old male. In Late June/Early July I went on two camping trips. On both trips I went on hikes (wearing shorts) through areas of tall grass. After one of the trips, I had a sore on my inner thigh due to chaffing. A day later I noticed a rash near the sore. The rash did not look like the typical bullseye rash I've read about. Instead it was a series of red dotted lines. The rash was gone after a few days.
I should mention that I have been very overweight and inactive for about 2 years and that around the same time as these camping trips I began to diet and exercise. After the second camping trip, I started noticing some fatigue and lightheadedness, particularly when exercising. I dismissed these symptoms as the way my body was reacting to suddenly being active again. The fatigue did go away after about a week of eating right and exercising. However, I also noticed some stranger symptoms. I would occasionally feel tingling in my fingers and in my left ankle. The tingling would only last a few seconds but would happen a few times a day. I also began to feel like my left hand had become "lighter". It's hard to explain exactly how it feels. It doesn't feel numb and I don't think I've lost any coordination with it, but it almost feels slightly weaker than the right hand.
Anyway, I became worried that I might have diabetes, so I went to a local clinic. The clinic did a full metabolic workup and found that everything was normal, except that I had elevated liver enzymes. My AST was 56 (should be between 0-40) and my ALT was 127 (should be between 0-50). I was screened for Hepatitis B and C and both were negative. I do drink moderately and occasionally heavily on weekends, but the doctor said the ratio between the two numbers didn't suggest damage from alcohol (the AST is usually at least double the ALT). (It's worth noting that at this point I stopped drinking both alcohol and caffeine completely. ) The doctor said another possibility was an infection.
My anxiety started to become more prevalent and one night I had what I can only describe as a panic attack. After the attack had subsided, I noticed that I had some corneal neovascularization.
I decided to get retested for the liver enzymes a few weeks later and went on with my life. One strange thing I noticed was that at least once a day for about 2 months I would have a loose stool and my stool was not very dark. I attributed this to my change to a healthier diet.
One night in early August, my throat started to feel like it was swelling. I could breathe perfectly fine through my nose, but when I would breathe exclusively through my mouth, it would make a snoring noise. This was very noticeable for about 10 days but then somewhat subsided. Currently, I still make a much less severe snoring noise when I breathe exclusively through my mouth. It was around this time that I became insured, so I went to the student health clinic. The doctor there wanted to retest the liver enzymes in about a month. She suspected the liver enzymes were high because I had taken some tylenol on a few days where I had drank a little more heavily. She listened to my breathing and did the lung capacity test. She said she didn't hear any problems. She did notice that I had a high resting heart rate of about 100bpm. She told me that because I was very overweight, my heart had to work harder and thus increased its rate. She also took a look at my throat and did not see any swelling. She thought the throat swelling was being caused by post nasal drip and she prescribed me Claritin for allergies. She also referred me to a counselor for my anxiety.
It was around this time that I started experiencing the symptoms that would eventually lead my online research to the possibility of Lyme. The first thing I noticed was a strange visual disturbance where it seemed like a layer of static was constantly over my vision. I started seeing afterimages constantly. For the most part, I am able to ignore these disturbances, but they are always there. I went to an eye doctor, everything checked out. The optometrist thought it might be eye fatigue. Some internet research revealed the disturbance to likely be what is called Visual Snow. I also started noticing brain fog, concentration issues, small short term memory problems. So far the memory problems are slight and brief, things like forgetting where I parked for a few seconds, or forgetting a persons name I just learned. I am often lightheaded for long periods of time (although not to the extent that I feel dizzy or faint) and the lightheadedness is often accompanied by a very mild headache, that just kind of feels like some pressure in my forehead. A lot of the time I just feel like I'm in a daze. These kind of things wouldn't normally bother me, but they seem to be happening more and more often. The counselor I'm seeing says that I've become hypervigilant with regards to my health and suspecting every little thing of being a symptom of something wrong. I think he is right to a certain extent, but a part of me just feels like something is really wrong.
Most recently, the student health doctor referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist did an electrocardiogram and said he found a slight arrhythmia in addition to the tachycardia. He said at this point it seems benign and could be anxiety/stress induced. We recently did an echocardiogram and a holter test and I am awaiting the results. I'm going to mention Lyme to him when we next meet.
Based on my history, does Lyme disease sound like something I should investigate? Perhaps I should see a neurologist first to investigate the visual snow/memory and concentration problems.
A huge thank you to anyone who took the time to read this long post and is able to offer any advice.
Posts: 1 | From California | Registered: Sep 2010
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Yes definitely find a good lyme doctor and get tested ASAP. I spent a year going from doc to doc getting tested for all kinds of things and it turned out to be lyme.
I had all kinds of symptoms and strange feelings I had never experienced before. You are anxious because of the weirdness of everything you are experiencing. I was the same. In fact anxiety is a symptom of lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
And be aware that ticks carry a lot more than lyme so read as much as you can online here and get yourself familiarized. Only you will be your best advocate where lyme is concerned - and trust in yourself - you are not crazy! Best wishes and hope you feel better.
Posts: 133 | From Far Hills, NJ 07931 | Registered: May 2003
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Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
Member # 16206
I and many, many others have all symptoms...
Go to seeking a doctor and make an appointment with an LLMD - ASAP...
-------------------- Everything I say is just my opinion! Posts: 3529 | From Massachusetts Boston Area | Registered: Jul 2008
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Frequent Contributor (5K+ posts)
Member # 18524
Trust your instincts. Find a LLMD.
-------------------- Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND IgM neg pos 31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 + DX:Neuroborreliosis Posts: 5850 | From Kentucky | Registered: Dec 2008
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First, please do not expect any normal doctor to care about Lyme. They will not listen to you. They will. not. listen to you.
Yes you should definitely find an LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor--a Lyme specialist who is the only kind of doctor who can really help) in your area, and quick. Go to the Seeking a Doctor forum on this site and make a post; someone can PM you with more information.
Lyme disease is not the only thing you need to be concerned about. There is babesia, bartonella, rocky mountain spotted fever, even viruses that can be passed through ticks.
Download this and it will explain a bit about Lyme symptoms, co-infection symptoms (the things that travel WITH Lyme, in the same tick), and also why tests will usually come back "normal" (and why standard two-week-long antibiotic treatment is not enough).
I think many of these "it's all in your head" and hypochondriasis diagnoses are a catch-all for diseases that are hard to detect.
It definitely could be Lyme since you got it after camping.
CFS is something else to look into, but you need a doctor that knows how to diagnosis it. To me, it looks like you are consistent with CFS symptoms, but Lyme and CFS overlap (and you can have both unfortunately).
I have Lyme and I just found out through certain kind of stress test and a bunch of abnormal labwork that I may in fact have CFS as well. CFS is a horrible name for such a serious disease by the way.
If you feel that you know something is wrong, there is probably something wrong.
Find a doctor that actually cares and really wants to investigate, and perhaps they will find lab abnormalities that other doctors don't even care to check for. It's sad, but the truth is, most doctors really don't care. If you have something chronic, they give you an anti-depressant, and if that fails, they don't want to see you anymore.
Posts: 967 | From A deserted island without internet access | Registered: Sep 2009
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Oh! And also, the fact that your LEFT hand, etc, was having problems: That's a typical pattern with Lyme disease. No one knows why, but there's a 3 out of 4 chance Lyme will affect the left side rather than the right.
Posts: 512 | From USA | Registered: Sep 2010
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