Thursday, July 06, 2006

more Lyme disease

Edited to add: This is what a bullseye rash, the most obvious symptom of Lyme disease, looks like. I saw three of these in the morning; by afternoon there were a dozen or so all over him. However, not everyone who gets Lyme disease shows such an obvious rash; I didn't. But once the doc got his eyes on this, there was a prescription in my hands in ninety seconds flat!

Yes, it's almost official; everyone in this family has now been afflicted with Lyme disease or erlichiosis, another tick-borne illness. Mr. Attitude was showing some strange symptoms last week, spiking a moderate fever every evening and one night writhing with pain in one leg. We had an appointment set up a week ago, then cancelled because he was starting to feel better. Today as I was waking him up, I noticed a small round red rash with a lighter center on his arm. I checked him over and found two more similar rashes. This was an exact repeat of the sequence of symptoms Starflower had two years ago. So today instead of going to daycare and work, we have a 10:30 appointment with the doctor.

Lyme disease is nothing to mess with. It is entirely treatable with a course of antibiotics if caught early, as Mr. Attitude's case probably is, but left untreated all kinds of chronic problems can occur. They say prevention is the best cure; wear repellant, long pants tucked in socks, and check for ticks daily. Yeah right. With three kids playing outdoors constantly, and the ticks the size of a pinhead or smaller, prevention is next to impossible.

Mr. Attitude, by the way, is feeling just fine right now.

14 comments:

madcapmum said...

Blarst!

Is Lyme disease something you can become immune to through exposure?

Deb said...

I asked the doctor today, and he said no, you're not protected from it once you've had it. :( Which makes me wonder, they had a vaccine for it a few years back that they pulled off the market. I wonder if they found out the vaccine really didn't work, because vaccines work on the principle of immunity through controlled exposure.

Pam in Tucson said...

Hi Deb. That's a bummer. I didn't know much about Lyme disease, even though I lived in Connecticut for a couple of years, but I've learned about it quite recently. Almost everyone in the family of the Canadian friends whom we just visited, in addition to some of their friends, is being treated for a tick-borne disease - Lyme disease and others. They think that a couple of the children were born with it. Our friends have lived in Connecticut, Ontario, and now BC. With the blessing of their M.D., they're being treated by an osteopathic physician with naturopathic training. He's treating them with the Marshall Protocol. It's a long process, but the results have been dramatic and very positive, with many long-time symptoms that were originally attributed to other problems gradually vanishing.

I hope all goes well for your family.

Pam in Tucson said...

P.S. I'm still getting returned emails from caremailsmtp1.prontomail.com which is blocking with SPAM filter pattern (s222702), including the above comment, even though the comment itself seems to have posted. Thought you might want to know, in case other emails you're receiving are affected.

Jim said...

Well that's certainly crappy that you all have to deal with that.
It's one of the major concerns I have on these owl surveys we do, with so much bushwhacking, tick encounters are inevitable but so far I don't think I've been bitten, but I have found a few crawling on me.

I hope Mr. Attitudes treatment is successful Deb, we humans face a lot of new and ever-emerging challenges these days...

Laura said...

Thanks for the reminder. I'll be reviewing those symptoms with the kids. And best wishes for a successful treatment.

Deb said...

Pam- yeah, when it goes chronic all kinds of symptoms can show up. I asked my doctor about it a year ago, when I was feeling kind of achy, and he said it's so difficult to diagnose chronic Lyme disease that unless it's really causing disability most doctors won't touch it. Our family doctor graduated from Harvard medical school, and he's a really nice guy, so I tend to trust him on these things.

Pam- is your account through CareMail? I get bounced email notices from them when I comment on my own blog. Their help seems very difficult to access, and my account is only a free one so I'm sure they're not exactly going to bend over backwards to help me. *rolling eyes*

Jim- thanks for the well wishes, the doc says it's early enough that the treatment should work.

Laura- I think I might take a picture of one of the rashes and post it, just as an example of what to look for. I don't know how the deer tick situation is in your area, but I've learned two lessons from this: antibiotics rule! (in certain situations), and: Always trust your "mother's intuition".

Deb said...

Pam- I may have to take back what I said about CareMail- I just got two normal-looking comment notifications from Blogger on the last two comments I made here! Problem may be solved!

Gina said...

Oooh, Lyme Disease is so scary. Best wishes to you all...

I always laugh at the recommendations for prevention, too: seems like another plot to keep us inside, watching TV.

But you don't want to mess around with that. I've seen friends have bad consequences from not catching it soon enough. Thank goodness you're on top of things!

Floridacracker said...

Good Mom.
Good vigilant Mom.

GreenmanTim said...

Here's to prompt treatment! Antibiotics work marvelously on early Lyme unless, like our son, you are allergic to penicillin-based antibiotics. Then there are fewewr options, but one of them worked for him when he had lyme last year. The bout my daughter deal with three weeks ago cleared up after 2 days of drugs but she finished her course only yesterday.

madcapmum said...

I've never seen anything like that ring, thank goodness. I never hear folks talk about Lyme disease up this way, so I wonder if it's one of those things we don't have this far north? I'll have to look into that.

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks for the pic - had read about, but never seen the rash, but always thought it developed around the site of the bite, but I guess not if your son had multiple bullseyes.

My dog tested positive for Lyme's a few years ago when I brought him in because he had been limping suddenly. We treated him with ABX and he was fine. A year later at his annual check-up, the vet wanted to give him the vaccine (which I had always refused previously) - once I agreed to it, the vet informed me that the recommendation (in dogs that had previously tested +) was to follow up the vaccine with another course of ABX. What??? Made absolutely no sense to me at all. Made me further question if the vaccine was effective at all. Wonder if it's not the same with humans.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Thanks for showing the rash! So far, I think, I have avoided Lymes but then maybe that would account for all the aches and pains that I thought was just part of the aging process.