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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Tick disease, spider bites??? HELP....


 chanson - Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:27 am

51 yo f, emphysema/copd, migraines, poss., ehrlichosis/powassan virus, bp high: abdominal surg, L/R knee surgeries,hyster.: diabetes (moms side), cancer (mom/dad/brother); Inderol, topamax,albuterol, atrovent,imitrex inj.
We moved from ME to TN Apr. 2006. May 2007 after a camping trip in TN at horse stables, I came down ill with flu symptoms, rash on shoulders and 2 interlocking red circles the size of half dollars. .We found the ticks (lone star/deer tick) at the end of May. Blood tests showed poss. ehrlichosis. Dr. in TN dismissed it with no meds. In June we were on our way back to ME, when I came down severely ill (fever, aches,headaches, intestinal issues,etc.) I also had over 10 brown recluse bites (no necrosis). Spiders were confimed by professor of entomology CA. Lost 14 lbs in 6 days. Moved back to ME in August. Oct.-Became ill again for 7 wks. Headache, fever at am and pm (101 and higher) nausea, severe fatigue. In 3 mo. I lost over 30 lbs. In Jan. 2007 my BP was normal at 101/68, since then it has been getting higher. Dec. it was 150/126. My dr. said the CDC contacted her and now it could possibly be Powassans Virus. I have had blood tests, lumbar puncture, xrays, MRI's. Everything seems normal--except by CDC standards (are they alarmists and or hopeful??) . A dr. in TN once told me that he had several pts. with 'unexplained high BP'...How can that be? I am so tired of the 'ifs', the labs, the hospitals. . I just want to feel like myself. A yr. ago I was myself, full of energy, could not sit still. Now there are days where it literally hurts to walk across the room. I know I am getting older and a lot of the symptoms I blamed on getting older (bruising easier, blurry/distorted vision, breathing (COPD) not healing as well, etc.)Has anyone ever done studies on the long term effects of brown recluse bites--particularly to the people that ONLY become ill from them??? Is it a possible the venom is still working through my system? I know dr.s have to go through the entire work ups, but I am getting so tired and frustrated--it has been almost a year since I actually felt well. Any advice, help, etc. would be appreciated. Thank you.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:16 am

User avatar Hi Chanson,

I think it is quite unlikely that the spider bites are the cause of your symptoms. Brown recluse bites typically cause local necrosis, although they have been described to cause a severe illness and shock-like picture. This would be very unusual to continue for a year.

When you were tested for tick illnesses, were you tested for lyme disease? Lyme disease is very common and can present with a rash similar to what you are describing.

I would also recommend you consider seeing a rheumatologist to help investigate the possibility that all this is actually an autoimmune disease.

Follow up with your doctor is important.

Best wishes.

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