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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Anybody else start having symptoms in the WINTER?

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Author Topic: Anybody else start having symptoms in the WINTER?
jackie81
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So I live in Canada and our winters are COLD.

I all of a sudden came down with a flu like thing at the end of December.. I remember I was SOOOO tired, nauseous, shaky and I had muscle twitches and everything started going down hill from there

I know that Lyme can not cause symptoms for a while but how long is a while? Why would I start displaying symptoms in the dead of winter?

Also, if I am co-infected I have always read that you start getting symptoms of the co-infections (like bartonella) a few days to weeks later...is that even possible in this situation?

Sorry but I am just confused

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TF
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Well, one lady who used to post on this board said that she got bitten by a tick that came off her Christmas tree.

Once the tree was brought into the house, the tick warmed up and livened up and got her.

So, I guess going around Christmas trees can be one explanation for how you could be bitten in the winter.

The fact that your symptoms started in late December sounds like a Christmas tree may have been involved in your case!

Anyone with a real tree in their home could also have ticks in their home and not know it.

The doc who got me well from lyme does not allow any of his patients to stop lyme treatment in the winter or if winter is coming on because he says winter is a stress on the body.

The idea seems to be that if you are just recovering from lyme and stop meds in the winter, your lyme could return because the body is stressed by the cold of winter.

So, perhaps you were bitten earlier but your immune system was fighting it. Then, the stress of winter allowed the lyme to get the upper hand over your immune system so that by late December, the lyme symptoms appeared.

That's 2 possible scenarios that come to mind.

However, ticks can and do bite people all year long. It is just that it is more likely for you to be around ticks in the spring through fall months.

Many people don't believe this, but it is true. They love to hang out in leaves, especially moist leaves. So, raking leaves in winter or being in leaves in winter is a dangerous thing. Same with being in the woods in winter.

They are not killed off by winter. The only thing ticks can't survive is being dried out. So, we are told to put our clothing in the dryer on hot to kill any ticks that may be on it. They can survive the washer, a Canadian winter, and you name it.

Also, I had bartonella and babesiosis, but I never showed any symptoms of these coinfections. It was a surprise when I tested positive for them.

Burrascano says that there are subclinical cases of these diseases. That means there are cases in which the diseases don't produce any symptoms and tests don't detect them, yet they are there. They can make you ill years later!

From page 23 of Burrascano:

"Babesia infections, even mild ones, may recur even after treatment and cause severe illness. This phenomenon has been reported to occur at any time, including up to several years after the initial infection! Furthermore, such Babesia carriers pose a risk to the blood supply as this infection has been reported to be passed on by blood transfusion."

http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf

So, maybe this has given you some things to think about--including blood transfusions--to try to figure out what happened in your case. But, many of us never know when we were bitten and never figure it out.

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TF
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Another possibility is that you got bitten by a tick that came off of a mouse in someone's house in December.

Mice carry ticks. That's why even New York apartment dwellers get lyme disease.

I knew a guy who said he once lived in a house with mice and when he would kill the mice he noticed they had a number of ticks on them.

That probably explains how his wife, who basically never went outdoors, got lyme and babesiosis.

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jackie81
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Thanks for your reply TF-- I was thinking about the Christmas tree thing too but we have a fake tree and all but one family members house we went to all had fake trees too --Maybe it was the one house we went to with the real tree that had a tick? I dont know lol

We never raked leaves either because we live in a new subdivion and we dont have leaves lol but that is a good idea

I guess I am just very confused about it all and I think that is one thing that is keeping my doctor from beleiving it is lyme..he keeps saying that i got sick in the middle of winter lol.

I just wish I knew WHEN it happened just because then I can know how long i've had it etc

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jackie81
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quote:
Originally posted by TF:
Another possibility is that you got bitten by a tick that came off of a mouse in someone's house in December.

Mice carry ticks. That's why even New York apartment dwellers get lyme disease.

I knew a guy who said he once lived in a house with mice and when he would kill the mice he noticed they had a number of ticks on them.

That probably explains how his wife, who basically never went outdoors, got lyme and babesiosis.

That is true..what about people with dogs?? 3 days before getting sick I was at my sister in laws house and she has 2 dogs that I was petting
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LymeXtu
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Jackie - My Lyme disease came on at the end of December in the winter here in Minnesota, it was stress that caused it to surface - we think I may have carried it for a number of years - I did not even know I had it.

I did have unexplained hearing loss ( 60% ) and knee problems but no other symptoms.

When it became active it progressed very quickly.

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TF
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It's definitely a possibility. I think about it every time I want to pet or do pet someone's dog.

Keep thinking.

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cleo
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Another scenerio is that if you have a fireplace, wood brought in to burn could have ticks in it and wake up with the warmth.
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shadesofpurple
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LymeXtu- Did you ever recover your from your hearing loss ? Did you still have that much of a hearing loss 60% ? And did you experience tinitus with that hearing loss? Thanks
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bcb1200
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My first symptoms showed up Feb 2010 with mild ones beginning in Nov 2009. All during winter.

--------------------
Bite date ?
2/10 symptoms began
5/10 dx'd, after 3 months numerous test and doctors

IgM Igenex +/CDC +
+ 23/25, 30, 31, 34, 41, 83/93

Currently on:

Currently at around 80% +/- most days.

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nefferdun
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I always get much worse in winter. Lyme migrates so your symptoms change and it also flares so you can feel ok and then suddenly become very sick. Prior to diagnosis I thought I was just getting sick with different things every month or two.

I got the sickest in the winter. The first winter my eyes got so painful I had to wear sunglasses in the house. I looked like I had pink eye. The second winter I thought I had chronic fatigue. That is how I found out it was lyme - researching CF.

Even after starting treatment winters are bad for me. I feel pretty good in the spring and summer but as the light begins to fade I feel the symptoms increase.

There seems to be a correlation to lyme worsening in winter. One LLMD will not allow patients to quit abx if winter is approaching even if they have been symptoms free for months.

Doctors used to think virus' were bad in winter because of people being inside more but people who work in confined places are there summer or winter so that does not make sense.
Now they are beginning to think there is a correlation between vitamin D and the immune system.

--------------------
old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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jwall
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I got very sick in Dec. too. It was a rapid decline. I thought I read somewhere that deer ticks are the most active in November??? Maybe not...or maybe here in NC where it is still pretty warm in the fall.

I had a small, ringworm-looking rash on my leg at the beginning of Dec. I really thought it was ringworm. It did not look like a lyme-rash, but it was circular.

I definitely pulled ticks (the lonestar tick) off me that summer though...and I had a few stressful events in the fall...a miscarriage, my husband lost his job, and the normal stress of getting ready for Christmas...I believe the combination triggered the lyme to become active.

My question has always been though, why was I the one to get lyme when all of my neighbors pulled several..by several, I mean some neighbors pulled anywhere from 15 - 87 ticks off of them?? Why was I the one that became severely ill?

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Misfit
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I was bitten years ago. Had the rash, etc. BUT...after what I thought was the flu (I knew nothing about Lyme then) had passed, I was fine. Or so I thought.

A couple of years after that, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Still didn't make the Lyme connection.

This last fall, I was sick with what I thought was H1N1..blood test came up negative for that, though. I know I was SICK.

My sx kicked up this last february..I thought I was in a really bad fibro flare and went looking for support. Someone on another board recognized my symptoms and posted links on Lyme. It was the only thing that finally made sense, since nothing else did.

I did have a positive test. I guess this boils down to I was bitten in the fall, but no real symptoms (or so I thought) until this last february, which was a rough winter by Oklahoma standards.

I think it was some stressors that triggered the Lyme.

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LymeXtu
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shadesofpurple - My hearing loss started about 8-9 yrs ago and got to 40-50 percent over the course of a couple of years.

This was long before I knew I had Lyme, the doctors had no idea why I lost so much so fast.

I finally saw a specialist at the university of minnesota who actually recommended a western blot be done, this was before I knew much about lyme disease and my regular doctor only ordered the elisa ( which I found out just this last spring when I researched my medical records )and the elisa came back negative so I was told it was not Lyme.

Anyway yes I do have tinnitus all the time but fortunately I seem to be able to tune it out and when I have my hearing aids in that also helps to decrease it alot too.

I did follow up with the U of M doc after I found out I did have Lyme but was told in order to recover hearing loss caused by Lyme disease it must be caught very soon ( within a month or so ) or the damage is usually permanent.

jwall- It seems some people (like me)can actually carry Lyme around for years with little to no symptoms so I think it all depends on many things including age, immune function, stress, and just what you might have been exposed to throughout your life like other bacteria, mold, viruses, metals the list goes on and on.

Finally when the scales tip the wrong way your immune system just cannot keep up and you get sick.

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shadesofpurple
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LymeXtu- Thanks for the reply. Unfortunate about the hearing loss being permanent, I figured as much... They didn't give me a % , but I am hoping mine doesn't progress further.

Do you feel that since you started treatment that it has stopped getting worse ? Thx

Posts: 86 | From Central PA | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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