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Getting help for Lyme disease symptoms [Letter]

I would like to add a few comments to the recent article about avoiding Lyme disease ("Avoiding ticks is the key to preventing Lyme disease," Aug. 21).

In mid-March of this year, I worked in the yard raking and bagging leaves left from the winter storms. I had Lyme disease two years ago so I checked myself over carefully and found no tick, rash or bite. However, about a week later I started getting mild headaches. Next, I experienced numbness in my feet, a slight ache in one ear, a mild ache in one hip joint and worst of all, extreme fatigue.

I went to my primary care physician, was given a blood test that proved positive for Lyme disease and took the antibiotic doxycycline for five weeks. It did not help. A follow-up MRI showed no negative results. My doctor suggested I might want to consult an infectious disease physician. I had to wait seven weeks but got the very best (he is from Johns Hopkins and was on the Dr. Phil show discussing Lyme disease). He gave me an exam and sent me to the lab for blood and stool tests. Seven vials of blood were taken and 27 pages of blood and stool reports came back and revealed that I did not have Lyme disease. The doctor said: "You have no infection or inflammation and no Lyme disease. You are OK." He refused to give me Biaxin, another antibiotic, despite my request. He suggested that perhaps I had a sleep disorder and that was why I was tiring out so easily. He said that perhaps I was working too hard in the yard and maybe an anti-depressant might help calm my body down. He suggested I return to my primary care physician.

In my research, I found out that most doctors turn away when "'chronic Lyme disease" is mentioned. They don't believe in it.

Disappointed in my two experiences, I visited an alternative medicine doctor (holistic medicine) who helped several of my friends who had depression, fatigue and frequent head colds. He prescribed 13 alternatives including a multi-vitamin, Vitamins B-12 and D-2, fish oil, a probiotic, Alpha Lipoic Acid, DHEA, a nutrition powder and others. He instructed me to take these for one month and then return to evaluate any progress.

That was two weeks ago. The pain in my hip is gone. I have gotten a little bit of energy back. I continue to take the alternative medicines and can only hope for further improvement.

In summary, it appears that I might have some spirochetes (bad bacteria from Lyme disease) in my gut. I feel that something is working on me and I remain determined to find out what it is and defeat it.

David Boyd, White Hall

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