Category Archives: Lyme Disease

Fa-La-La

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Merry Christmas, everyone! It’s hard to believe that yesterday was Christmas. Where does the time go? I hope you all had a wonderful wonderful holiday and got a chance to spend some time with family. Andrew, Franklin and I were lucky enough to spend 3 whole days and part of two days at my parent’s house in Pennsylvania.  We were overwhelmed by all of the awesome gifts that we received from our two families and having the chance to spend time with my grandmother, mom, dad, and brother (and Andrew and Franklin of course) was just wonderful. Now we’re back in DC, settling in and trying to get ready for work this week (YUCK!). This weekend we’ll be heading off to OCMD to ring in the new year and a whole host of new resolutions… to be shared (perhaps?) at a later date. For now we’ll focus on putting our pasta maker to use!

I wanted to follow up on my last post (wow 1/2 month ago, I’m sorry!) In my last post about the implications of a tick on autoimmune diseases, I mentioned that my regular doctor told me that my lyme’s disease test came back positive. I then went off to visit an infectious disease doctor. The appointment went well- I spoke with both a doctor and an assistance who took my vitals, chatted with me about my history and told me where we were going from there. Basically they wanted to re-run blood work to confirm lyme’s and test for mono, toxy something or other which is caused by eating undercooked meat or soil, and a host of other things. I begrudgingly agreed. What’s another 3 or 4 tubes of blood… so off I went with a chat from the infectious doctor that he’d call me back in a week.

About a week later I received a call from the assistant I had met with- she was really nice and she calmly explained to me that my lyme’s disease test came back positive again as did the mono test. Thus, she said, I’m really sorry- you have lyme’s and mono. Umm what? Where did that come from? At least it explains the tiredness and the neck stiffness and the headaches and what not. They prescribed another 2 weeks of doxycicline (so I have a month prescription now) and told me to take it easy and that the mono would go away on its own.

The upside of this is that I have a diagnosis and I’m on medication. The downside of this is that for the whole time that I am on doxy, I can’t take enbrel… so my back and my SI joints have been acting up A LOT. I’m just hoping that now that it’s been a little over two weeks, my Rheumy will give me the go-ahead to go back on Enbrel so I can get back to feeling 100%. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s been a rough Fall/Winter of 2011, but we are happy and ready for 2012- we both feel as though there are good things to come!!!!

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The Implications of a Tick on an Auto Immune Disease

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If you read my last post, Implications of an Autoimmune Disease, then you are aware of some of the risks that come along with Enbrel; mostly a weakened immune system. In addition, you know that I’ve been dealing with some swollen glands, sore throat, stiff neck, headaches, fatigue, and more recently… despite the Enbrel helping my back, I did not like these other symptoms. So, after a visit to the minute clinic, another visit to a regular doctor to get tested for Mono, the flu, and a whole slew of other illnesses, I finally got my answer.

On Thursday afternoon, I called my doctor to cancel the appointment we had scheduled for Monday because it overlapped with Andrew’s staple removal. The doctor came on the phone and said, “well I’m looking at your bloodwork… everything looks normal except well, you tested positive for Lyme’s disease.” And thus, I had an answer to my symptoms. Albeit, perhaps not that answer I had hoped or wanted (if you can possibly hope for some type of illness), but, at least it was an answer. She said she would send me antibiotics that I should take for two weeks and she would refer me to an infectious disease doctor who I needed to follow up with.

I’m sorry what? The last time we went hiking was 6 MONTHS AGO! Such is life. On Thursday and Friday, I checked my email and mail for either a prescription or medicine; I found neither. I called my doctor’s office to ask if I could just come pick it up and the woman told me that it was the doctor’s day off and she would just call me back on Monday. This kind of upset me because even though Lyme’s is very treatable, 1) I feel like SH*T and 2) you’re supposed to start taking antibiotics the second you find out. Luckily, on Saturday, the medication showed up in the mail . The medication is doxycycline (pictured below). You take it twice a day either 1 hour before eating or 2-3 hours after eating. It causes nausea and headaches and fatigue. Here I pause- wasn’t I supposed to be on this medication to stop the headaches and fatigue? Oh, life! In the meantime, I had to call my Rheumy and explain that I had been diagnosed; he told me to immediately stop taking Enbrel. Which is just fantastic, considering that I just started to feel immensely better on Enbrel.

I called the infectious disease doctor Monday morning and the woman said that the next available appointment was January 23rd. Wait, what? 1.5 months from now? There’s no way I can make it 1.5 months without Enbrel. So, I called my doctor back. She said, yes you can wait until January 23rd and you should keep the appointment because you may need a longer course of antibiotics. I mentioned that I had to stop taking Enbrel until my clearance from the infectious disease doctor. She replied that this infectious disease doctor was the only one in the area and that I should call back and say if there are any cancellations to let me know. Let me pause here– does it make any sense to go on antibiotics for two weeks, only to go off them for a month, only to possibly find out at the end of January that I should be on a longer course of antibiotics? But, i digress.

Andrew then did a search of infectious disease doctors in the area and found one up near my Rheumy. I immediately called and they were super friendly and got my an appointment.. wait for it… TOMORROW MORNING! Amazing! So, I am off tomorrow morning to figure out the next course of action. Needless to say it has been a whirlwind tour of diseases and illnesses! By now I am sure that Andrew is sick of my complaining, but, he is being a great sport and I continue to appreciate his support as I have my mini emotional breakdowns!

I will see that although the past few months have been trying, finding out that Andrew’s tumor was benign, seeing the drain and now the staples/stitches removed makes me sooooo completely happy! On top of that, I just found out that I got an A in one of my courses and an A+ (the first he’s given to a student at JHU) in my other course. So really, it’s hard to say that this past week has been anything but AMAZING.