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Lyme Disease Message Board

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I am a 20 year old female living in Philadelphia, PA. 3 months ago, I stayed with a friend in Elkton, MD for a week who lives in heavily wooded area. Near the end of my stay with her, I developed a sore on my right foot which I thought was a spider bite, due to her house crawling with the things. (I should also note, prior to staying with said friend and living in Philly, I lived in rural Pennsylvania, and often walked around outside barefoot.) I thought nothing of it, but it got extremely swollen (to the point where it hurt to walk and it felt like my foot was going to burst.), was intermittently itchy, and looked like a mosquito bite gone terribly wrong. I had no kind of insurance, so going to the doctor was out of the question.

Around the time of the bite, I started feeling very week, extremely tired, and started feeling like I had a cold. I felt better after leaving her house, and the bite has since gotten better, but has left a scar.

For the past month and a half, I have been feeling like crap, and it has only gotten worse. My boyfriend suggested I look into Lyme disease one night, and lo and behold, I have just about every symptom I've read about associated with it.

I'm waiting on test results from my doctor for Lyme and Thyroid issues, and should hear from them this week. Having been infected for so long, can I expect to have long lasting/permanent neurological/physical/cardiac damage? Also, I am insured through my dad by the military (Tricare Standard), but only until my 21st birthday, which is in January.

Is Lyme treatment even semi-affordable even without insurance? Additionally, as I have been experiencing frequent, longer-lasting bouts of heart palpitations (which is very scary), would it be a good idea to go to the ER for some kind of treatment, and would I be able to get some kind of treatment/diagnosis, or get a test done that would be conclusive immediately/at the same visit? And what do I do in the case of a false negative? My boyfriend has a stockpile of Valtrex, would taking this help me at all? I am absolutely sure it is Lyme that is making me suffer, and I really don't want to have to wade through multiple diagnoses, ineffective treatment methods, all the while the infection grows more chronic.

Here is a complete list of my symptoms as of now:

-fingertip tingling
-facial numbness (mild, left side)
-weak/tingling knees, leading to buckling/awkward gait
-dizziness/head rush/can't walk straight at times
-slight tremor (on and off)
-arthritic pain
-vision decrease (worse than usual when not wearing glasses)
-emotional breakdowns
-muscle weakness/pain/twitching
-swollen/discolored lymph node under arm
-consistent hallucinations (not caused by lack of sleep, etc.)
-headaches (not relieved by otc medication)
-rapid heart beat/pain + discomfort in chest
-back/neck pain/stiffness
-sleeping problems
-bladder weakness
-foggy mental state
-last period was extremely heavy (always have had irregular periods, never on schedule. had endometriosis a couple years ago, leading to an 8 month long period.)
-irregular/abnormal bowel function
-panic attacks
-jaw pain/tooth sensitivity
-receding gums/teeth slowly becoming loose
-carpal tunnel (probably)
-foot hugely swollen at time of bite (no bullseye rash), itchy with what
looked like whiteheads throughout the area. secondary lesions present.
-problem solving ability impaired/general uncertainty about everything
-pain in feet/ankles/calves, even when walking just a couple blocks
-dry skin (scalp, hands, and feet)
-eye twitching
-shortness of breath
-poor coordination
-trouble concentrating/memory loss
-mood changes
-pins & needles in fingers/knees

Sorry this is so long, I hope some of you can offer some input/advice.

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