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Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Still the Lyme?


 imkrystai - Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:22 pm

I am a 23year old female. When I was about 10 years old I got sick, was shuffled in and out of several hospitals who treated me for the flu. I had stopped eating and would vomit after drinking just water. Eventually I was vomiting blood, couldn't move, was completely incoherent. After being told it was the flu several times, and not getting better I went to the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. I was given several tests, including a spinal tap, and found out I had Viral Meningitis and Bell's Palsy, caused by Lyme disease. It is unkown how long I had the Lymes, and was given normal antibiotics for a few weeks and sent home. Years later I am experiencing symptoms I cannot get diagnosed. I have had joint pain over the years (which I know could happen as a lasting effect), and am currently feeling it worse than ever before. In addition, I am constantly tired, have intermittent bowel problems (diarrhea), migraines almost every day, and can eat but don't have an appetite and don't feel right. My memory has always been bad but I feel like I just can't think anymore.....Do you think it is possible the Lyme was never treated correctly due to how much was not know about it back in the early 90s? Recently I've read that Lyme disease which was caught somehwat late should be treated with months of antibitocs, not the 2 weeks or so that I had. I cannot get an answer and have a feeling it is somehow related to it. What do you think I should do as a course of action? It seems like every doctor I've seen said nothing is wrong, when my body is telling me something is surely wrong.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:41 pm

User avatar Late manifestations of Lyme disease are similar to what you describe. Joint pain, particularly of the large joints like the knees is most common. Headaches are possible. Bell's palsy is common during the active infection.

Typically, treatment for 14-21 days is sufficient. Many studies have shown no benefit to more than 4 weeks of therapy. In the case of meningitis, some will treat for 1-2 months and initially treat with IV antibiotics.

While it is possible that your symptoms are related to lyme disease, if you were treated for 2-3 weeks its fairly unlikely. Many of your symptoms are somewhat nonspecific and can be related to a number of causes.

I would recommend discussing your symptoms with your doctor and getting some screening labs (such as a CBC, ESR or CRP, and possibly a "mini" rheumatic work up including an ANA).

Hope this helps.

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