The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


November 5, 2012

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Lyme disease a real lemon


Negative (+)?

The doctor ordered extensive blood work that was sent to a firm in California that performed a full panel blood work for LD and its co-infections. My test came back negative (+). Which means only one band was positive and the rest were negative. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines require two positive bands for a positive test. And I began oral antibiotics.

A second opinion

I wasn’t getting better and decided to switch doctors and had blood work done again. Six months later, blood work revealed negative (+). But the crazy deal was the band I tested positive in before is now negative and the band that was negative was now positive. UGH!

Unforeseen problems

My medication was changed each month and I was feeling much better and I chose to go off all meds. Within three months I was worse than before. Cognitive skills were declining rapidly. My one hope of getting better was to receive antibiotics through a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line. One problem, the insurance company may not cover it without a positive blood test.

There is one other test to get a positive LD diagnosis; a three day urine catch. It’s a shot in the dark. The hope is to pass dead Borrelia Burgdoreri spirochetes (the bacteria that causes L disease) in the urine. You take a specimen once, every other day, three times. Thank the Lord! I finally received a positive diagnosis. Unfortunately the insurance company denied coverage stating the PICC line is experimental without a positive blood test.

It is very possible I may never have a positive blood test. That is what makes Lyme disease so dangerous. There may be hundreds and even thousands of people out in our community who may have gone to well-meaning doctors, had blood work done that came back negative and have LD.

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