Living with lyme disease

Below is a typical story of a misdiagnosed California woman who had several unusual and debilitating symptoms.  Her non LLD (Lyme Literate Doctors) were not equipped to recognize the problem.  Making matters worse, not being treated properly and early resulted in decades of living with the illness and her passing it onto her children.

 It is important to recognize that Lyme testing is inconclusive and gives both us and the doctors a false sense of conclusion. 

 Knowing that Mrs. Drobnick had several unexplainable symptoms, the doctors should have been much more aggressive and assumed Lyme.  Prescribing antibiotics incorrectly is less risky than having the patient become chronic with Lyme disease.

Excerpted from Petaluma360.COM ( Posted: 1/28/2010 )

Ten years ago, Petaluman Teri Drobnick began having constant fatigue and recurrent flu-like symptoms. A visit to her doctor turned up nothing, but the symptoms continued.

“I went to the doctor again a few years later and said, ‘Something is wrong with me. Can you do more testing?’” said Drobnick. “She diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome and dismissed me. I went to an acupuncturist after that and she said, ‘Good luck, and sleep a lot.’ She eventually referred me to a doctor in Santa Rosa who is lyme-disease literate.”

After six months of testing, Drobnick was diagnosed with lyme disease, an infection caused by a type of bacterium carried by deer ticks. An infected tick transmits the bacterium to humans and animals it bites. Untreated, the bacterium travels through the bloodstream, establishes itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms, some of which are severe and debilitating.

“I had fatigue, flu symptoms, sore throat, headaches, a lot of joint pain, brain fog and memory problems,” said Drobnick. “I’ve been on and off of antibiotics for 5 1/2 years and on IV antibiotics for a year.”…

“I don’t ever remember getting a tick bite,” said Drobnick. “I grew up in Northern California. We used to camp. I loved hiking. Who knows when and where it happened? That’s the other thing about lyme disease people don’t realize. You can be bitten by a tick and not even know it. Also, most people think if you get bit by a tick, you’ll have a bulls-eye rash, but a lot of people who have lyme disease don’t recall getting bitten or even having a rash. That makes it a very difficult disease to diagnose. Most people with it have been to multiple doctors, trying to figure out what’s wrong.”

Drobnick added that many doctors aren’t well informed about lyme disease and how to diagnose it. Testing for lyme disease can be a challenge, as well, since the test itself can give a false negative.

“Doctors have to know what to look for and know that you can have a negative result from the lyme disease test and still have it,” said Drobnick. “People can have the disease for years, and if it becomes chronic are more difficult to treat because the doctor fails to diagnose it. I had one doctor tell me that because I don’t recall getting a rash, I couldn’t possibly have lyme disease.”

It’s suspected that Drobnick has had lyme disease for at least 20 years, and unfortunately, passed it to her two daughters during pregnancy. Her daughters have suffered from the same mysterious symptoms, but weren’t diagnosed with lyme disease until Drobnick was diagnosed.

More at:

~ by Rob on January 28, 2010.

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