Lyme disease is a bit of a conundrum. It’s caused by the bite of a deer tick which carry a hardy bacteria.
Know you Lyme from your Lemon
Let’s go right back to the start.
It’s likely the ticks that cause LD have been around for many, many years. The mention of animal ticks goes back to writings from the 17th century. Although, symptoms caused by a bite were not linked together or given a name.
Indeed it was not until as late as 1975 that the disease was christened Lyme Disease (LD). I have read a lot about what happened at this point. And here is my summary.
Plum Island, an animal disease centre, is situated near Long Island in New York state. Scientists were employed there after WW2. Infamously, some were former Nazi scientist from war torn Germany. Various research and experiments were carried out on at this high security location. At some point deer ticks were deliberately infected with a stronger type of the bacteria. Let’s not go into the reasons why.
Apparently in the early 1970’s a few deer got loose and swam over the water to a place called Lyme. Over the next few years many local inhabitants became plagued by a particularly strong debilitating strain of the deer tick bacteria – Borrelia. And so it became known as Lyme Disease.
I am not even going to guesstimate how it came to the UK. Though it does appear there are various strains of LD.
Symptom Diagnosis and Treatment
One of the first symptoms is a circular rash, with a inflamed middle at the site of the bite. A person may or may not have this or even notice it.
At this point a fever is probable.
Doctors are more likely to test and diagnose the disease if the rash is visible. Not only that if administered with the extra strong antibiotics at this time there is small chance that the bacteria that causes the disease can be eradicated.
But a good majority of people with LD don’t notice the rash. Perhaps it is in an obscure place. Or it simply does not manifest itself.
If that is the case everything becomes harder. The test for Lyme really needs to be carried out by an infectious disease specialist. A local GP will often mis-diagnose the symptoms. Sometimes those suffering from LD are told they have Glandular fever, Lupus, ME, MS or another problematic condition that share a few of the same traits.
To list the symptoms is a difficult task as like many medical conditions they are very individual to the person suffering. But they may include –
Severe headaches and neck stiffness.
Additional rashes on other areas of the body
Arthritis with swelling and severe joint, tendons, muscles, and bone pain
Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath.
Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet – circulation problems.
Problems with short-term memory.
In regards to symptoms the severity or amount a patient may have can vary widely. Which of course is another reason why it is so hard to diagnose.
If the initial rash is missed and a diagnosis not made then it becomes difficult to treat successfully. The antibiotics may not work as the bacteria takes a firm hold at different sites in the body. And this is precisely the reason there are such a range of symptoms.
Now the disease is chronic.
It also appears that LD has a detrimental effect on the immunity system in general. Meaning that a sufferer is more likely than the average person to pick up other illnesses and suffer from numerous allergies.
My man has Chronic Lyme disease.
He didn’t notice a rash but we can pinpoint the fever. Not knowing what caused the sweats meant he just sat it out. For two years before diagnosis his health was problematic. Although very fit in other ways, because his job involved vigorous exercise everyday, he noticed more pain and also frequently became run down.
About a year later one side of his face dropped – facial palsy. Of course his first assumption was that he’d suffered a stroke. Realising this was not the case he began a search to find out what exactly was wrong. All avenues led to the probability it was Lyme Disease
The GP carried out a blood test that came back negative. Luckily he knew somebody who was knowledgeable about infectious diseases. Another test was carried out and came back positive.
It was at this point that the depression kicked in heavily and can be spasmodic. But we do try to enjoy each day. Laughter really the best form of medicine, and is certainly one we employ.
It was probable he’d been living with the disease for two years.
Antibiotics were administered but didn’t work.
Luckily the palsy improved. Though some of his face is still slightly numb. Many people have more extreme symptoms than him, so in a way he is lucky.
It has been over five years since his diagnosis and we find he can cope on a day to day basis by doing various things.
- Rest when needed.
- Exercise when able.
- Fresh air.
- Enjoy the small things and laugh!
- Tablets – see below…
- Take chlorella and cilantro. They can help limit the continued re-population of the bacteria in the body.
- MSM, a anti-inflammatory
- Fish Oil
- B vitamins to boast energy.
- When depression creeps in 5HTP – this is a natural remedy that stimulates serotonin in the brain.
- Eat fresh food – not processed.
- Include lots of spices such as chilli and turmeric. Great for the immunity and circulation. Plus garlic for immunity.
He tends to vary the amount of the tablets depending on how well he feels. But states they certainly make a difference.
Cannabis, particularly the oil, is known to help. But of course this is illegal and impossible to get. Yet funnily enough if he had been diagnosed with MS he would be able to receive it on prescription. The cannabis seems to stop the bacteria from infecting more parts of the body.
I don’t think the Lyme lessens his sex drive. It can make him extremely tired. But when we are both in the zone we have exciting and often adventurous sex play. If he is too tired to get down and dirty it is important to remind myself it is not because he finds me unattractive.
Can Lyme be sexually transmitted? Still not known. There are reports of whole families – parents and their children being infected with the disease but the various governments don’t feel it warrants research. Even though the statistics tell us the amount of patients with Lyme Disease gets larger every year.