Hold your breath!
There’s an uneasy feeling about going to see an infectious disease doctor. You look around and wonder “what does he or she have and can I catch it?” Then, you realize they’re all looking at you asking the same thing! Everyone’s breathing is noticeably shallow and no one sits near another. You’re careful not to touch your eyes or mouth with your hands and you don’t dare cough or it may clear the room 🙂
As I was checking in, the receptionist commented about the number of patients with Lyme Disease. The doctor also mentioned that he’s treated over 2000 cases! It’s a real problem in this area, which is why I’m sharing.
The doc did a full exam, asked a lot of questions and didn’t discover any issues other than what I already knew/felt. He affirmed it was LD and suggested we see how the doxycycline does over the next two weeks. He felt strongly the stabbing pain is nerve related resulting from LD as is all the other pain. If the meds work, it should relieve the pain. If nothing changes in two weeks, it’s IV time.
Here’s a little Q&A I had with the doc. I don’t remember all the questions I asked – memory loss from the LD (see below):
Q. Is it curable or treatable.
A. He danced around and I gathered it’s treatable and you may be stuck with the damage
Q. How do you know if it’s getting better or worse?
A. If it gets better, the pain should gradually go away. If it gets worse, you could see neurological problems like facial paralysis (should have skipped that one)
Q. Are you 100% certain I have LD?
A. The blood test and symptoms make me certain (buzz kill)
I gave them a little more blood to see if the little bugs carried any other payloads and I was on my way.
Oh, he also said he didn’t think I needed my lymphnodes removed, so he was going to call the surgeon and cancel my procedure. Apparently, the surgeon is a little short on extra lymphnodes (or cash), so he convinced the ID doc that I should still come see him.
On my ride home, it occurred to me that there may be some benefit to this condition. I can blame things on LD now!
For example, I had to start wearing reading glasses recently – it’s because of LD. My lack of hair – LD. I’m a little grumpy in the a.m. – LD. My poor writing – LD. I backed into my wife’s car Saturday a.m. – yup, LD.
In all seriousness, diagnosing and treating this is critically important. If you suspect it, make them test you! The longer you wait after the bite, the worse the symptoms get. Five months ago, I was running 4-8 miles a few times a week. Recently, I practically needed a cane to walk!