Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lyme Disease

From another blog I read, I found out about a documentary on Netflix called Under Our Skin.  It is a documentary about Lyme Disease and the medical controversy involved in diagnosing and treating Lyme Disease.

The documentary shows people with signifcant Lyme Disease and related issues.  These people can hardly walk, some can barely feed themselves.  They talked about how people with severe, untreated Lyme Disease can develope Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.  One woman who didn't know she had Lyme Disease while she was pregnant ended up having a baby with brain damage.

These people go YEARS without knowing they are infected with Lyme Disease.  Only 80% of people develop the "bullseye" rash when first infected with Lyme Disease.  Without the rash, Lyme Disease is mostly diagnosed through a process of elimination.  The tests for Lyme Disease aren't super accurate unless you have REALLY high bacterial loads.  Not to mention, there seems to be a battle going on between doctors about Lyme Disease and insurance companies don't want to pay for extended Lyme Disease treatment.

It has been just over 2 years since I got Lyme Disease.  Thanks to me ridiculously fair and sensetive skin, I developed the bullseye rash (even though it was hard to see because I had 2 bite marks).  In addition to the rash, I got the sickest I have ever gotten in my entire life.  Fever, chills, horrible headache, vomiting.  I thought I was dying.  Plus, I wasn't sleeping.  Even though I was completely exhausted, I would wake up every few hours at night and not be able to go back to sleep.

I went to Urgent Care a couple of days after the rash started.  The doctor told me I had a bacterial infection and prescribed Doxycycline.  Four days later, I was trying on wedding dresses with my mom and Joanna and the rash was unbearable.  I went back to Urgent Care and was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  Thankfully, the first doctor had put me on the correct medication for Lyme Disease so I was all set.

I still can't sleep through the night.  Sometimes I can sleep well, but not real often.  And I have some light sensetivity that didn't used to be there.  Other than that, I am extremely lucky. 

I am so thankful for that painfal rash.  I am so thankful for those doctors at Urgent Care.  My primary doctor still doesn't believe I actually had Lyme Disease, but he seems to be coming around.  Thankfully, he was in Europe at the time so I had to go see Urgent Care.

My doctor said they don't spend much time on Lyme Disease in medical school (or at least they didn't when he was in school).  I hope that has changed.

I am just over the moon that mine was caught early.

Love, Mrs. Janney

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