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Lyme Disease Message Board


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I posted a thread on here 1.5 years ago (kind of useful actually, because what I posted here is more reliable than my memory).

Here is that post:
http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=754555
[quote]About 2 weeks ago I got bitten a lot by insects. I'm living in Southern Germany.

I didn't see what bit me, I just saw the effects of the bites afterwards. I did see a lot of mosquitoes in the air, and we also saw some ticks.

Most of these bites swelled up and became very itchy like classic mosquito bites. But there is one on my underarm near my armpit that is now about 2 inches in diameter, and is a red dot with a red swollen ring around it (the bullseye). There is also a bite somewhere else that I got 3 weeks ago, that had almost completely disappeared, and then this morning it suddenly has a red ring growing around it as well (but this is smaller).

Apart from that, I've been suddenly really drowsy the past few days (and this is unlike me, as I'm an insomniac). I just had to go to bed early last night because I felt so drained, and then I slept for a long time, but after only 2 hours awake today I feel really sleepy and devoid of energy again.

Do you think this might just be a mosquito bite that my body has reacted strongly to, and the lethargy/tiredness might be unrelated; or do you think I should go to the doctor? [/quote]

Unfortunately I did not follow the advice of the person who replied. But anyway, shortly after writing that, I had a confirmed tick. I didn't notice it all, I went to bed, got up the next morning, even showered, and went to work, worked all day, had lunch, worked some more; it wasn't until the afternoon that I was scratching my leg and felt something. I looked at it and there was a little tick with its head buried in my leg.

I immediately went to the doctor and it was removed in the right way so that its head didn't come off, and he showed me the tick was still alive, which was apparently a good thing. He said I should have had injections before coming to Germany and would need two. Since I was moving back to the UK soon I thought I would leave it until then.

Back in the UK I went to the doctor and explained that I was worried about Lyme disease. He said he had never heard of it and since I was presenting no immediate symptoms didn't understand why I was at the doctor. So that was that.

Now, for various reasons, I have started wondering whether I might be getting any late stage symptoms, which are notoriously hard to diagnose. I don't have any joint pain apart from hip pain I've had for about a year and a half which I think is from one leg being shorter than the other. :p It directly correlates with how much I walk/stand, so makes sense.

However, according to this page - http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-lyme/diagnosis/ - "European Lyme disease is known to cause more neurological symptoms and less arthritis, compared with N American Lyme disease".

What really worries me, and this is also mentioned on Wikipedia, is this: "Testing is not generally considered to be necessary for people with erythema migrans and a history of a tick bite or possible exposure to ticks, as this presentation is sufficient to make a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease."
I have been exposed to possible tick bytes, actual tick bites, and had the rash in two places on my body. :( Unfortunately I never took a picture of it.

On this page - http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-lyme/symptoms/ - there is a huge list of symptoms. Of course it's inevitable that I will have many of these, and so will most people in the world. I can't see how a diagnosis can be made based on that. Some of the less common ones that I have had are:

Testicular Pain - I had this ever since the bites actually. It comes and goes. Doctors never found a reason for it, I was eventually given antibiotics for a week, and that did actually help, but every few months I get pain there again.

Heart Problems - I have been getting sharp pains where my heart is that make breathing difficult. Again, doctors have not been able to find a cause. I had ECG, blood work and ultrasound of the heart, and they found no cause.

Insomnia, Sleep – Excessive, Sleep Disturbances, Sleep Inability - All of these are a common problem for me. Yesterday I slept for 22 hours, I just had no energy at all to get up, and would nod off again, and felt so lethargic today. At other times, I've been unable to sleep for days.

Inability to Concentrate, Inability to Remember Words - I figured this was down to natural ageing, my mind not being as sharp as it once was :)

There is a huge list there, I don't think it's worth listing all of them. Of course in the past year I've had sore throats, constipation, diarrhoea, clicking joints, ear pains, flu-like symptoms, heartburn, irritable bowel, nausea, loss of libido, muscle aches, muscle spasms, fast heart beat, tendonitis, jaw pain, tooth pains. I think we've all had those at some point and it's of no value.

I don't think I have any reliable symptoms for a diagnosis, but trying to make a late diagnosis like this is hard.

In the UK if Lyme disease is suspected they will do these two tests:
- enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test
- Western Blot test
which can give false positives and false negatives, but it's better than nothing.

Do you think I should demand my doctor let me have these tests (it costs nothing here)? I am kind of worried that if I do have Lyme disease, the longer it's left untreated the worse the prognosis. On the other hand, from what I've read, a negative result from these tests means nothing. I'm interested to hear what others think, although bear in mind the European versions of Lyme disease are different, more diverse and less studied than the North American ones. Or am I being a hypochondriac? :D





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