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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Seeking a Doctor » Late-stage Lyme? Seeking a doctor in northern NJ.

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Author Topic: Late-stage Lyme? Seeking a doctor in northern NJ.
agszafran979
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In the Summer of 2002, I worked outdoors frequently in eastern PA near Swarthmore. I frequently came home in the evening with ticks on my skin, but I always showered after coming home, and I think that I managed to remove most of them before they attached. In August of that year, I did find one of the 'lil buggers attached to my head. I developed a flu-like illness with joint pains in Sept-Oct, but it went away by Nov or so, so I thought nothing of it.

In mid-May 2004, I was bit in the head by a tick again after walking in the Watchung Reservation in north Jersey. The tick stayed attached for quite a while, since I thought it was a scab (I had hit my head on a closet door the day before). When I picked it off, I was horrified to find an engorged tick.

The first weekend of June, a week into my new job, I expecienced an illness with severe headache and pains in my neck, along with fever, diarrhea, stomach pains, and chills. Also some UTI-like symptoms with an almost orgasmish tickling after urination. This illness went away after a few days, and I had no rash on my head, so I didn't worry about it too much. Mid-June, I noticed a red spot about 2" in diameter below my right nipple. I thought it might have been a rub mark from carrying a backpack. The spot hasn't faded completely to this day - I have sort of a red ring there.

In July and August, I had joint pains so bad that it was often uncomfortable to walk up the stairs. I attributed these to being 20# overweight. My hands also felt like they'd been beaten with sticks the morning after I did any sort of manual labor. One morning, after working on my car, I could barely type at work.

In November, I pulled a back muscle moving my motorcycle. The back pain, which was severe at times, didn't go away until this month. Also, the UTI-type symptoms returned, along with sore throats, joint pain, and fatigue that was severe at times. From September until now, I seemed to have a "cold", before which the joint pains peaked and after which they subsided, almost exactly every 4 weeks.

In December, my dog started to suffer bouts of vomiting. She was diagnosed with Lyme and made a complete recovery after 28 days of Doxycycline (150mg/day).

In January, I went to my GP, who took a Lyme test and some other blood work. Everything came back normal except for "equivocal" antinuclear antibodies, and slightly elevated RBC (I've had that since birth - it seems to run in the family). He said that "more exercise is probably just the ticket for the joint pains." The ELISA Lyme test came back 0.38 LIV (>1.20 is positive, >1.00 is equivocal). The actual titer value wasn't given, and I'm not sure how to translate LIV into a titer value.

Also in late January, not trusting the Lyme test, I took 400mg Doxycycline divided into 100mg doses twice daily over 2 days. About 6 hours after the first dose, I started experiencing Herx-like symptoms, with severe headache, nausea, chills (not much fever) and a racing heartbeat. Following the two days of Doxycycline, most of the UTI-like symptoms disappeared.

On March 11, I saw my GP for a sinus infection. He prescribed 600mg of Omnicef (Cefdenir) per day over 10 days. The drug seemed to have no effect for the first 2 days. On the third day, I experienced a reaction with itchy bumps on my face, stiff neck, chills, and my right knee (generally the more painful one) becoming hot and painful. Not fun, since I was on a bus to Boston at the time, and touching the seat in front of me with my knee really hurt.

On the night of the 14th-15th, I had a severe headache and stiff neck, accompanied by chills and very sore muscles. These symptoms went away late the next morning. After that, I noticed a marked decrease in my joint/muscle pains, and my "pulled muscle" back pain was reduced to almost zero.

I have now been off the antibiotics for a day, and so far, the joint pains have not relapsed in any sort of major way. I know that Cefdenir is not considered an ideal antibiotic for Lyme, but it is in the same class of drugs as Rocephin, so I suspect that if I had Lyme, it could provoke some change in my symptoms.

My GP refuses to prescribe more antibiotics (either Doxycycline or Omnicef) despite the joint pains, rash, and history of tick bite. He says that the joint pains cannot possibly have an infectious cause.

Two questions: Do my symptoms sound like Lyme? Does anyone know of a doctor in northern NJ/NYC that's good at diagnosing tick-borne diseases (since my symptoms started with a tick bite)? It'd be better if s/he took Wellchoice HMO insurance. Please e-mail me at [email protected]

At this point, since I'm going to Cali next week, I'm sorely tempted to make a little detour south of the border and get 3 mo supply of Doxycycline at 300mg/day, since Doxycycline seems to work.

[This message has been edited by agszafran979 (edited 21 March 2005).]

[This message has been edited by agszafran979 (edited 21 March 2005).]


Posts: 36 | From Summit, NJ | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
treepatrol
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emailed
Posts: 10564 | From PA Where the Creeks are Red | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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