Time ticks slowly in detection of Lyme disease

The three doctors she then started seeing said that her Lyme levels were off the chart. She probably had the disease since 2003; it had gone undetected.
One of the biggest problems facing the 28-year-old is that she’s not informed. One infectious disease specialist told her not to Google the disease or talk to anyone about it.

Excerpted from  the Loudoun Times ( Posted: 04/28/2011 ) 

Raechel Macpherson had cramped hands, inflammation from head to toe and a body pain that increased daily. She knew that something wasn’t right.

She even dropped 20 pounds for no apparent reason and started losing her hair. She was referred to an infectious disease specialist. The original diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis – until Macpherson was tested for Lyme disease.

The three doctors she then started seeing said that her Lyme levels were off the chart. She probably had the disease since 2003; it had gone undetected.
One of the biggest problems facing the 28-year-old is that she’s not informed. One infectious disease specialist told her not to Google the disease or talk to anyone about it.

“I don’t feel like they’ve informed me anymore than the Internet has,” Macpherson said. “It’s like they know something that they’re not telling us.”
According to the Loudoun County Health Department, there were 223 cases of Lyme in 2010 in the county. The county’s health department and Dr. Jeffery Conklin, a Nova Medical Group Certified Internist and Pediatrician, both said the amount of cases of Lyme in Loudoun last year made up 18 percent of cases in the entire state of Virginia.

“Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness caused by a particular bacteria named Borrelia burgdorferi.  The black-legged deer tick is responsible for spreading most cases of Lyme disease,” Conklin said. “They usually bite mice, birds, or other small rodents that are infected with the bacteria and spread it to humans on subsequent bites. It usually takes about two to three weeks from a tick bite to the onset of Lyme disease.” 

Conklin said that even though the ticks are called deer ticks, deer actually don’t harbor the disease. However, they only carry around and spread infected ticks.

Matt Spinks, 30, from Paeonian Springs, was first diagnosed with Lyme more than two years ago. He believes he got it from a tick in the woods around Waterford. 

“It took a long time to get diagnosed. I felt horrible for months. At first it started out as fatigue. I was really tired. I was in construction, so at the time I was kind of equating it to working hard, but I was only 26 years old, and thought I shouldn’t be feeling like this,” Spinks said. “I’d get off of work around 4:30 and sit on the couch and I’d fall asleep and sleep all night and wake up 6:30 or 7 a.m., and it felt like I didn’t sleep a wink.”

“Then everything started hurting,” he continued. “I started getting really bad pain in my joints and shoulders and arms and legs and it got to the point where it was hard to walk for about a week or two.”

After seeing three different doctors, Spinks was finally tested. The test was administered seven months after he started to feel weak.

Prescribed a three-month treatment of doxycycline, Spinks returned to test his Lyme levels again and received a second round of treatment. For now, he goes back on doxycycline if his Lyme flares up. He gets his levels tested around twice a year.

 For the complete article: http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/news/article/time_ticks_slowly_in_detection_of_lyme_disease123/

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~ by Rob on May 10, 2011.

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