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Lyme Disease Message Board

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Re: Lyme Treatment
Jul 13, 2007
Hi bigstan. It is good you have been diagnosed, so you can get treated now!

Are you having a PICC line put in or a port-catheter? A PICC line usually goes in the arm. It is a very simple procedure. It does not take long at all and it is not very painful. You will feel a stick when the line is put in. After the line is placed, it is usually x-rayed to make sure it is in the correct place.

A home-health care nurse will likely show you how to infuse the meds yourself at home. She will monitor you until you are comfortable doing it on your own. It seems overwhemling at first, but it is very easy to do.

Many times, people have a home health care nurse come to their home or
workplace once a week to change the dressing on the IV and to take blood. I guess it depends on your insurance if a nurse comes to you or you go to the doctor's office. The most important thing about the IV site is that it should always be clean and dry. An infection in the line can be deadly. If there is ever any question about the way the site looks or feels, call your doctor or nurse immediately.

There is a great sleeve you can get to cover the PICC so you can shower without getting the site wet. It is called a Mid-Arm Protector and you can get it at Brown Medical.

Regarding the Western Blot, the CDC requires a large number of bands to show for it to be considered positive yet many people who have Lyme do not have this many bands show. Lyme doctors often focus on which bands show, some are specific for Lyme. Were you tested for all the co-infections also?

Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx). Often, when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms become worse or they get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel sicker. It can be very scary when it happens, but it is a good sign the antibiotics are working. Although it can vary individually, many people experience this at the beginning of treatment and every three to four weeks.

Once you begin treatment, it is a good idea to document your symptoms daily. One easy way to do this is to list the three main symptoms you have each day and a numerical rating of their severity, from 1-10. Over time when you review this, you can see when your herxes occur and how you are responding to the meds.

Whenever you take any antibiotics, make sure you take high-quality acidophilus capsules. They replace the good bacteria in the body and help to prevent yeast overgrowth. The best ones to get are refrigerated. Most healthfood stores have them. Wait at least two hours before or after taking the antibiotics to take the acidophilus.

Good luck with your treatment!

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