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Lyme Disease Message Board

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Hi Jarlena, welcome to the board!

I am very sorry for what this disease has stolen from you. You are very articulate at expressing your feelings. If you are not already, you should do something writing related.

You absolutely can get better with the proper treatment. It can be difficult to go through treatment, but you [I]can[/I] get better.

Have you ever been treated by a Lyme knowledgeable doctor? Besides Lyme disease, ticks can transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected. It is very important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab. Have you ever been tested for them? Being co-infected will affect treatment choice and progress. Many Lyme doctors believe the co-infections need to be treated first for the Lyme treatment to be effective.

Finding a knowledgeable doctor is the most important thing you can do. Many doctors do not understand these diseases and treat with outdated protocols. If you tell me where you are located, I will tell you of the closest knowledgable doctor to you that I know of.

Many people with Lyme have the scary symptoms you describe. You are definitely [I]not[/I] alone. Dr. Brian Fallon at Columbia University partially describes the cognitive and psychiatric aspects of neuropsychiatric lyme disease as:

[B]Cognitive Aspects in Adults[/B]:

Attention Problems: Easy distractibility; difficulty handling multiple tasks at the same time; trouble sustaining attention on tasks and completing tasks; trouble following the course of conversations or the text of a book.

Memory Problems: Retrieval difficulties are common in which patients may have a hard time recalling what they know; patients may forget conversations or children may forget that they've done homework assignments. At other times, patients experience a problem with the "working memory": as if the material can't be kept on board long enough. Patients may find themselves keeping multiple lists, but then they lose track of where they put their lists.

Slower Processing Speed: Patients may find it takes them longer to respond to questions or to complete tasks. Reaction time and thinking feel sluggish.
Verbal Fluency problems: the ability to engage in normal conversations is impaired by the inability to retrieve the right word for the moment or the ability to "name" well-known people or objects. Patients may experience word substitutions or "paraphasias". A patient trying to refer to a "microwave" might, for example, say "radiator". Or, trying to refer to "***********" the patient might say, "AOL". Or, trying to refer to "fireworks", the patient might say "skylights". Patients may also experience an impairment in speech production, such that they stutter, particularly at times of sensory overload.

[B]Psychiatric Aspects in Adults[/B]
Irritability and moodiness are common. These tend to be most severe in neurologic Lyme disease before treatment, during the first few days or weeks of treatment, and during resurgences or relapses of active Lyme Disease. Antibiotic therapy can be very helpful at these times. Symptoms that persist despite appropriate antibiotic therapy should be treated with psychiatric medications. It is very important for patients to take advantage of all opportunities for therapeutic benefit. These include consultation with a psychiatrist for both medication and therapy. Psychotherapy with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker can be very helpful to help the individual cope with the effects of a serious illness. Family and couples therapy can also be vitally important, particularly when family members are confused by the changed behavior or personality of the patient. Psychiatric medication can be very helpful to combat mood and sleep disturbances, to enhance attention, to decrease central nervous system hyperacuities, to decrease excessive worry and fear, and to contribute to overall good health by countering the negative impact of neuropsychiatric disorders on the immune system.

Mood Lability: spontaneous swings of mood; spontaneous tearfulness. At times, patients with these symptoms may appear to have a Bipolar II disorder.

Irritability: an inability to tolerate normal frustrations, with quick bursts of anger. Patients may seem to have undergone a personality change in that previously mild-mannered individuals may now become quite difficult.

Panic attacks: tachycardia, flushing, chest pain, , numbness and tingling, shortness of breath, choking feeling with the sensation of loss of control and/or of fear of death. Needs to be distinguished from tachyarrhythmias. Panic attacks unrelated to Lyme disease are usually 10-20 minutes in duration. Lyme-related panic attacks may last for an hour or more.

Less commonly: manic or psychotic episodes (during encephalitic phase), paranoia, tics, obsessive/compulsive symptoms (may trigger a milder pre- existing condition or bring on symptoms de novo)
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I hope it helps you to know that these symptoms can be caused from Lyme and other tickborne illnesses. I don't think there is any way possible for people who do not have Lyme disease to understand the symptom severity and the multiple systems it affects. But the people on this board do understand, so I am glad you found us.

Hang in there okay? Good help is available. Please keep posting to let us know how you are doing.

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