This is a totally unscientific blogpost about Lyme Disease. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Over the years I’ve known a lot of people who have had Lyme Disease. I live out in the woods and always wondered if I would know that I might have gotten Lyme Disease because the symptoms are similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The one difference is that Lyme Disease’s onset typically coincides with a bull’s eye looking mark where the tick bite occurred.
So this spring I woke one morning and found this on my shin. There was a large black tick inbedded in my leg which I attempted to remove with Tweezers.
The next day it looked like this and I realized that perhaps part of the tick was still inbedded so I had to perform more surgery to remove the tick.
You can see that there was a lot of red around the initial bite, but it sure didn’t like look the bull’s eye photos I’d viewed online. In addition, everyone says that the Deer Tick is almost invisible to the human eye and this tick was pretty large.
The following day it looked like this:
Which was a tick bite, the scar and perhaps some poison ivy. I had been doing a lot of yard work and there is a lot of PI out there and I had a lot of it on my. However, I still decided I should call my primary care doctor to pay a visit. You can’t be too sure, can you?
He looked at it and agreed that it was not classic symptoms, but he thought based on my RA, it would be a good precaution to start me on the standard anti biotic doxycycline. First line for lyme disease. He sent me for a blood test and then gave me a slip to go in 2 months for a follow up Western Bloc blood test. I think it was 21 days for the doxycycline and then I went about 6 weeks later for the follow up test. The doctor’s office called and wanted to see me. The Western Bloc had shown that I indeed had Lyme disease. I think I’m scheduled for a follow up blood test later this fall.
So the moral is that not all Lyme Disease follows the classic patterns. With RA, you have to be more cautious in dealing with changes to your body. You have to pay attention and be your best advocate. Incidentally, I saw my Rheumatologist in between the 2 blood tests and he said that my Primary Care Doc did exactly as he would have and he was happy that I have pro active doctors.