Monday, April 28, 2008

Medical Monday

Now ordinarily Monday's are reserved for Medical Monday's so of course- I felt you all deserved some normalcy in my not so normal life.

This post is a little insight on some stuff and more medical than ever not about my story- but information I got of the Lyme Disease Association's website. Hopefully to give you and your family some more insight on Lyme itself.

Since this hasn't been really done anywhere on my blog- I felt I should answer one major question.

What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) that is transmitted by ticks and can attack every system in the body. A bull’s eye rash may occur 50% of the time and often, a flu-like illness including fever, joint pain, and headache may occur. If left untreated, the disease can result in cardiac, central nervous, musculo-skeletal and psychiatric manifestations. All 50 states have reported cases, and it is found in 65 countries worldwide, including Canada. Lyme disease can mimic other conditions such as MS, ALS, chronic fatigue, Lupus, Autism and Fibromyalgia.

Protect yourself-
things we wish we had known about Lyme disease

Protect yourself. Check yourself, family members and pets for ticks daily. Remember that ticks are carried by deer, mice, birds and other small animals found right in your backyard. Nymphal ticks are the size of a poppy seed in early spring and are particularly hard to find. They are active above 35 degrees. You can be reinfected repeatedly each time you are bitten by a tick.

Remove the tick properly and take it to a Department of Health laboratory or testing facility to have it tested for the presence of the organism that causes Lyme disease. Since infection can spread rapidly throughout your system, you may want to consult your doctor about prophylactic antibiotic treatment.

Observe. A person infected with Lyme disease can exhibit symptoms within days of exposure, but symptoms may appear eeks, months or even years after the bite.

Treatable. Lyme disease in its initial stage is often easily treatable; however, delayed diagnosis or inadequate treatment an lead to serious brain, heart or joint problems.

Examine/evaluate. Early symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, numbness, tingling, fatigue, swollen glands and igratory pains that may come and go. Late stage symptoms are generally multi-systemic and can be very serious.

Co-infection. A single tick bite can transmit more than 1 tick-borne illness, such as babesiosis, anaplasmosis or tulermia. o-infections can complicate Lyme diagnosis and treatment.

Testing. Since the diagnostic tests for Lyme are often inaccurate and therefore unreliable, a clinical diagnosis for Lyme disease should be made by a physician based on medical history and symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention supports this in their literature pertaining to Lyme disease.

Youngsters. Children ages 5-12 are at the highest risk for being bitten by ticks because they often play in tick habitats. Children often find it difficult to explain the subtleties of how they are feeling, and may often appear well and remain physically active.

Obvious. A person may have Lyme disease without presenting the most obvious and "classic" symptoms such as bull’s eye rash, flu, joint pain or swelling. Many people never see a tick or develop a rash.

There are over 100 strains of Lyme disease in the United States; therefore, length and choice of antibiotic treatment vary greatly. Standard treatment of 2-3 weeks may be insufficient.

ecurring. Many people who suffer from Lyme disease experience symptoms that come and go over time. Continued symptoms or the development of new ones after treatment may be a sign of persistent infection or a new infection. The medical community is divided over the existence of "chronic" or persistent Lyme disease.

Symptoms. The symptoms of Lyme disease, (also known as the Great Imitator) may mimic those of multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, mononucleosis, Alzheimers, Guillian-Barre Syndrome, ALS, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson ’s disease, ADD, or ADHD, GERD, or many other diseases.

Educate. The more you know and understand about Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness, the greater your chances are of avoiding infection and detecting illness if it occurs.

Lyme disease can affect behavioral and cognitive functioning. Memory loss, attention deficit and processing problems, mental confusion, slurred speech, disorientation, irritability, depression, anxiety and learning problems have all been reported as a result of Lyme disease.

Fact. A person living in a Lyme endemic area should consider Lyme testing if suffering from a chronic condition that does not improve with treatment. Examples include recurrent gastrointestinal problems, a chronically sore throat, or chronic ear infections.


Time For Lyme, Inc. affiliate of Lyme Disease Association, Inc.

Hopefully the information above has educated someone a little more about this disease, treatment and how to handle things a little bit better. I wanted to apologize for last week and no Medical Monday! I was actually at a doctors appointment out of town so I was not able to get to a computer. These last two weeks have been quite insane looking back upon them and I continue to be blessed with a wonderful support system of friends and family and total strangers. I started aqua therapy in Physical Therapy while they aren't accessing my port I am able to get in the water a lot so that's enjoyable and working many muscles all at once. Which is a major plus.

My walking continues to get better on a daily basis although some symptoms have been rearing their ugly heads more than ever. So I can't seem to win it all! Although I am confident that there will be a light I just don't know when and I keep it close in my mind that it may not be here for awhile- it's on God's time table- not mine. Today while feeling pretty crappy I listened to a song that really made me think- listen to the beauty of her voice and the lyrics she sings... ( Interpretations are welcome. Comment as you wish. It hit me quite hard and it made me think- as I hope it does you too... She has a wonderful voice and each person with their own talent blesses me just knowing they're healthy!

The walk is coming along with great success and posters are up everywhere, in the hospitals and in local business windows. We have confirmed a T-Shirt company and continue to have things fall into place.

Here's to a good week!

I heard that some were a little bummed that I didn't update much last week due to my intense schedule so this upcoming week I promise to those of you who are avid blog readers- a post a day!




Jake- Now this boy is one impressive kid- after all he has the choice as all do to walk out at any time but he chooses to stand by my side and supports me through kind words and all the encouragement he can muster. He shows me each day what it's like to be a healthy teen without even knowing it and in return I show him a little glimpse of my life as a teen overcoming Lyme. He never ceases to amaze me with what he does or how he does it with simple actions or a little note left for me to read later... He has really made me so thankful for my life and he deserves a little credit as everyone does! :)

1 comment:

BJK said...

HI Victoria,

It was so great to hear your speaking went so well. Gods strength is made perfect in our weakness.

My son needs the computer for some spanish homework, so Ill be brief.

I had a couple of song come tomind as i read your last couple of posts:

God Bless, walk in the faith of the Lord!