Friday, September 17, 2010

Lyme Disease and Other Insults and Annoyances

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I have had some trouble with my stamina of late. I have had trouble completing my normal tasks and I have not been sure why. A week ago, I woke up with a shoulder so sore and painful that I could not brush my own hair. Although I have had annual visits, I haven't had a sick visit at my internist's office in the four years in which we have been associated, and strangely, I had trouble getting in to see her. Apparently, healthcare professional or not, unless I am experiencing cardiac arrest, an appointment to actually SEE her is a challenge. I suspect other health care workers are moved to "the back of the bus". Later in the day, my left shoulder was sufficiently sore enough that I could barely drive with either arm. A day later, my left knee was too painful to walk on. To make what is now a repressed memory shorter, I paged my endocrinologist, who is now treating me for Lyme Disease. It's good to know that her expertise does not end with thyroid and other endocrine disorders. Lyme Disease is a funny thing. We are continually told when we ask annually for a Lyme titer that it's rare disease, but every realtor I know locally who walks out country property has had it. Most of my friends have had it, and one of them saw an infection control specialist because she had Stage III. My eldest son's fiancee has had it. Even Canadian National Health in Nova Scotia is having to treat children for it, as it apparently does occur there also. There are also frequent false negatives during testing and many people believe that Lyme Disease is undiagnosed in many people and generally underdiagnosed in the population at large. The concerning thing is that although it can be eradicated in many people, one keeps the organ damage one received if a case remains undiagnosed for an extended period. It can be a tough disorder to diagnose based on symptomatology, because the symptoms can be quite varied between individuals.
Consequently, I feel absolutely awful. I felt worse than I can remember feeling in the 24-48 hours after starting the Doxycycline. I can't think straight and the kids are joking about Mom's two day short term memory loss. It's times like these that I feel a tinge of relief that Daniel is spared from experiencing this particular joy of living. I am also glad my Dad does not have to experience this either. When my endocrinologist asked me about tick bites, I had to laugh. People who live on Virginia forested farms are more likely to get a tick bite in the Spring and Fall,than not to, even when one uses DEET. I never did see a bullseye marking, around a bite, but my pale British/Scottish skin always reacts strongly to any tickbite, so once again, I am atypical. I don't understand how I could have Lyme Disease. I eat so many lemons in tea and even in cola, you'd think they would block Lyme. Did I mention I think I have a short term memory loss, and quite possibly reading my ramblings, some additional neurodeficits as well ?

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