Fight Lyme Disease With Knowledge
Fight Lyme Disease
To the Editor:
I would like to commend Kendra Bobowick on her excellent article on protecting against ticks and the disease they may carry. As stated, knowing what is going on with your body and seeing a physician is critical. But, one needs to go the physician loaded with knowledge. My husband nearly died from this disease. Although I took my husband to a myriad of doctors and endless trips to the emergency room, not one physician suspected a tick-borne illness, even when I suggested that it might be Lyme disease. They laughed and said it was impossible. Not until he collapsed, near death, did they take me seriously. They did a lumbar puncture and his spinal fluid was teaming with Lyme bacteria. He was in the hospital for a month and suffers to this day with irreversible brain damage, peripheral neuropathy in one leg, lasting affects from Bellâs Palsy in his face and a host of other complications. This is a guy who was the picture of health and vitality who worked out regularly and ran five miles a day. He is lucky to walk five feet now, unassisted.
Do your homework and never take no for an answer. That is also critical. Knowledge is power and in the case of Lyme disease, potentially life saving.
Last summer I, too contracted Lyme disease but was fortunate enough to have the bullâs-eye rash and an encyclopedic knowledge of the disease gathered from my husbandâs devastating journey. When I discovered the rash on a Sunday morning, I immediately took my pajama-clad self to the ER and told them I had Lyme and needed to be treated immediately and with the appropriate antibiotics. Fortunately for me, the doc that treated me was a Lyme literate physician. Even catching it as early as I did, I still developed a very high fever, heart arrhythmia, severe leg cramps, and extreme fatigue for months.
Also, blood tests for Lyme are notoriously inaccurate. If you think you have Lyme, get started on antibiotic therapy immediately. If the symptoms are there, never wait for the test results. Early intervention is absolutely critical. Also, a rash is not always present. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a rash associated with Lyme is present in only about 60 to 70 percent of cases.
I am speaking from experience. Lyme disease is a devastating illness if left untreated. My husband is not the man he was before Lyme and will never be that man again.
Please take Ms Bobowickâs recommendations seriously.
Thank you again, Ms Bobwick, for such an informative article.
Sharon Donahue Emerson
370 Walnut Hills Road, Staunton, VA Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â March 25, 2010