Friday, September 14, 2012

Lyme Surprise

So cute, but....
Coming back from vacation is always somewhat of a let down.  This time it was a little more than just not wanting to return to reality that made returning home unpleasant.  So soon after writing about what a wonderful time I had away, I have some not so good news and another medical adventure to share. 

On our final day of vacation, I woke up with a mild headache and noticed a red rash on my arm. My first thought that was that I must have gotten too much sun the previous day.  I am fair skinned and have gotten sun rashes in the past.  I took over the counter headache medication and thought little of it for the rest of the day.  However over the next 48 hours it became abundantly clear that I was definitely sick.  My head was throbbing and I was intensely nauseous—not to mention my rash was still there and it was very hot to the touch.  I contacted my internist and thankfully she fit me in immediately.

Once she looked at me, my internist was sure I had Lyme disease and needed to begin treatment with doxycycline antibiotic immediately.  I had been in area with a large deer population making the Lyme disease diagnosis more likely.  Lyme disease gets worse the longer it is left untreated; and given that I am immuno-compromised and have autoimmune disease, early treatment was particularly critical. 

I also had to stop taking steroids so that my immune system could properly fight the Lyme bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi.  For now, I am extremely weak and will be planting myself on the couch and doing all I can to allow my body to recuperate.  This means doing my best to do nothing, which should not be hard given the way I am feeling.

I am far from pleased that I have another health aliment with which to contend and I hope that my body can fight it off appropriately without any long term consequences.  On the positive side, I am lucky that I did get a rash that caused me to go to the doctor sooner rather than later. Not everyone with Lyme disease gets a rash. I am also lucky that my internist saw me right away and got me started on treatment immediately.  I am trying to find a silver lining to keep my spirits up during this new health challenge.

To learn about the transmission, signs and symptoms of Lyme disease check out these links from the American College of Physicians and CDC


  1. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this but I am glad that you had a rash that helped to easily identify what was going on. Take good care of yourself and hang in there!

  2. I am glad you caught this early. It is a miserable disease. I got this back when little was known about the disease and my treatment was inadequate. Thank heaven things are better now and that the antibiotic you were put on is the appropriate treatment. If you have questions on the disease, don't hesitate to contact me. i'll help you as best I can.