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I noticed a painful swollen underarm gland the other day. After that, I also discovered a tick on the back of my neck in my hair. I was definitely bitten. I didn't even realize it was a tick and just scraped it off with my fingernail. It actually had a piece of my skin in its mouth...ick...

I went to the doctor for the underarm gland and he put me on five days of Zithromax. He said it will continue to work for five more days after that.

My issue is this...Not only is the left underarm gland still swollen, my chest, breasts and back hurts. My chest burns, like indigestion, and feels heavy. I ache all over. I feel very fatigued and depressed. Yesterday after I took my first Zithromax dose I actually felt worse.

The doc said it is too soon for bloodtests to show Lyme and that the Zithromax should take care of it if it is there. He thinks the underarm thing is an infected lymph node.

Does it sound like Lyme disease? What should I do?


Angela Harris
Hi Angela. I am glad you posted here.

The amount of Zithromax you are taking is not strong enough for Lyme. I believe the recommend dose for Lyme is 500-1200 mg daily. It is very imporant to get the proper treatment. Doxycycline is often prescribed first because it can be effective for Lyme and some of the co-infections.

The doctor is right that you will likely test negative so early in the infection. Early proper treatment gives the best chance for a cure.

The most important thing anyone who has or may have Lyme can do is see a knowledgeable doctor. In my opinion, not doing so is like seeing a podiatrist for a cardiac problem.

Where are you located? If you would like a doctor recommendation, let us know.
Thank you for the info. Unfortunately, there is no way I can travel out of the area. Long story short I am an uninsured mom of two with no savings and no help. No family. I have to find someone around where I live but I feel like no one wants to help me without insurance or money. My doctor now takes financial assistance but he says call back in ten days if no improvement. It's like he doesn't take me seriously and treats me like a hypochondriac. But he's really all I have.

I actually did make an appointment with a new doc who cannot see me for ten days either, August 1st to be exact. So, I suppose I am waiting ten days. The ER surely won't help me, I was just there yesterday at which time I was given the Zithromax. Took 500 mg the first day and told to take 250 mg for four more days, then wait five more days for the meds to work. Is it possible that I caught this early enough that the Zithromax will work?

If I cannot get a satisfactory resolution I am going to contact UVA which is one of the biggest medical facilities/hospitals/universities in Virginia but there is always a huge wait to get in and they often need referral from primary doc.

I also have an anxiety disorder, quite severe. So you can imagine how nervous and scared I am.
Hi Angela. I am very sorry things are so difficult and that you also deal with anxiety. It is terrible that your doctor is so uncaring.

The Zithromax dose is not high enough for Lyme and ten days is not long enough treatment.

Try calling the doctor who you have an appointment with in ten days and ask to be notified of any cancellations. You may get in sooner this way.
Thank you all so much.

I saw my doc yesterday and he bloodtested for everything but Lyme. He doesn't believe me for some reason.

So, I am going on a hunt for someone else. I am going to take in the guidelines. I wonder if perhaps I have fibromyalgia on top of it, or instead of it. I wonder because while my armpit gland is swollen and I hurt all over, I don't have a rash or discernable fever although I "feel" warm. I have had the hurting all over sensation before but not the gland thing.

Is docycycline hazardous or dangerous to take? If I am taking Zithromax now, then I take docycycline, could I have harmful side effects or liver damage?

Hi again,

I have no idea about whether the Zithromax followed by Doxycycline might cause a problem, but a pharmacist could tell you. I suggest you call and ask the pharmacist where you had the Zithromax Rx filled.

Sorry your doctor is being difficult.

The real annoyance is that you're not getting the Doxycycline that is really effective on new bites.

The main thing I was told with Doxy is that you need to have food in your stomach when you take it, to drink a whole glass of water with it, and to take acidophalus (sp?) tablets to help your body keep its "normal bacterial flora".

Wishing you well! Barbara

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