I am shocked being just diagnosed with Lyme! I have been very tired and run down...had bloodwork done and mystery solved. I am also Vitamin D3 deficient and need to go on supplements. I'll start Doxy for 3 weeks tonight - yuck. Can't go in the sun, or must cover up. Hello long-sleeved riding in 90 degree weather!
Anyone else out there with Lyme? I know for a fact a tick bit me end of May. I didn't get the classic rash though. Doc says I was exposed in the last 3 months. So either at our scout campout or trail riding. Now I am worried about my horse!! Should I test him too??? He was tested 6 months ago but was in the low range.
Shocked but now I understand why I have been dragging and so overly tired and borderline depressed (because I have been so freaking tired!)
Other places you can get this: mowing, walking on or playing on your lawn, walking the dog, retrieving your horse from the pasture, gardening (the area landscapers have a particularly tough time putting in the natural looking, wooded landscaping that home owners now favor. They come home and shower the ticks off of themselves daily). Just about anywhere there is any type of grass, you can get this.
My hard time with the meds has been well documented here. Make sure you are taking either a cup of yogurt each day or acidophilus to put the beneficial bacteria back into the gut, and avoid the gas, cramping and diarrhea that can accompany the doxy. I found the first week of treatment was lousey. Then things got better a bit. Good luck!
Thanks - unfortunately the directions specifically say to take it on an empty stomach! I will definitely take an Acidopholus pill daily and eat yogurt daily.....but the fact that I have to take it one hour before eating or 2-3 hours after on an empty belly worries me!
Don't put off treatment for you or your horse! If your horse tested positive already, even with a snap test, you need to move quickly. This disease attacks and then hides in all types of tissue including neurologic and brain. Horses get very irritable, hate being touched and change personalities for the worse. Eyesight and perception get very skewed. Lots of bucking and spooking and kicking. It affects memory for both species. I live in an epi-center for it, and most of our vets have it as well.
There is a version of dog vaccine for lyme that helps with prevention. It is only about 80 or so % effective and is given every 6 months. since we started using it, we have had no horses come down with new cases. I can give you more state of the art info for horses and people if you want to pm me.
tpup...don't panic. I've had Lyme 5x. Yup, 5 different separate times. I'm pretty much a walking Lyme disease, LOL!
Not everyone gets the rash. So for those who aren't feeling right, still ask for a test even if you've never seen a rash or even a tick. When bloated a deer tick is still pretty tiny. If it attached on your head or back of your neck you'd probably never notice it. If you aren't in New England, demand the test. New England is a hot bed for Lyme and doctors are more apt to tesat for it, other parts of the country not so much.
tpup...stock up on antacids. The Doxy for most people causes moderate to severe indigestion or acid reflux. I found the pepcid chewables work very well and I'd keep the Maalox liquid in the house to take a swig when needed. Stay away from acid-y foods as much as possible. No tomatos or tomato sauces, no spicy foods, etc. Pretend you're an 80 year old person who requires bland food.
Plan on sleeping on 2 or more pillows, laying down flat can make the stomach acid issues worse. Or if you can find a wedge pillow, even better. Massive difference sleeping more upright.
Wear a hat in the sun and go buy a heavy duty sunblock...like SPF 45. Doxy makes sunburn much more likely.
Afte you start the Doxy...it's not unusual for the first 2-6 days to feel worse. From what my doctors have told me, many times when people start taking the cure for Lyme the "fight" inside the body to wipe out the Lyme makes the symptoms flare up for a short while. After 10-15 days you'll feel a LOT better. After 20-25 days you''ll feel 100%. Do NOT skip the pills or stop taking them early. 3 weeks is a short cycle, I think my first 2 times I was on Doxy 4 weeks. Now if I get it I'm on 8 weeks or longer. But then I'm a mess. The 3 or 4 week cycle wipes it right out. You will test positive for it for a year or more afterwards though.
All in all, considering it's a disease and not an average illness, it's not that bad. It sucks having it many times repeatedly, but that's not overly common. I live in CT (where Lyme started) not far from Lyme CT. I also do/did wildlife rehab and handled tons of tick riddled animals and I also live in the woods. So don't freak out about possibly getting it so often, I'm kind of an anomoly.
Hope you feel better soon!
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
I"m sorry to hear that you've been diagnosed with Lyme, but the good news is that you've got the diagnosis and you're starting treatment. If it's left undiagnosed, Lyme is a dangerous disease.
It is prevalent in the area where I live. Each of my horses has had it (or Ehrlycchia), and everyone in my family has either had a Lyme diagnosis or the bullseye rash which was treated prophylactically with Doxy.
Make sure you follow the doctor's orders to the letter and best of luck with your recovery.
MistyBlue - I've just finished the doxy for my fourth bout of Lyme, so you are not an anomaly, although you have me beat! Agree w/all her advice; I don't think the doxy needs to be taken on an empty stomach, though, but I've been told it binds with calcium, which renders the doxy ineffective. So you cannot eat/take anything with calcium in it for two hours before you take the doxy and two hours after. Many/most antacids contain calcium, unfortunately.
My doctor also prescribes it for me for 8 weeks too. And he said given my history if I ever have a tick bite that I should go on it for three weeks, he does not think a shorter course is advisable.
Doxy can really make you burn -- I had to wear gloves in addition to the long sleeves, and put zinc oxide cream on my nose which was beet red, so be careful.
As for your horse, my vet says every single horse in Dutchess County tests postive for lyme (unless they were recently imported and kept stalled). She only treats if the horse exhibits symptoms.
Good luck. Sorry you've joined the "I've had lyme disease" club!
Well I think I may be mildly allergic to the Doxy. I have been itchy since taking it, and had trouble sleeping from itchiness on my face, legs. Will call the doc today - no rash or trouble breathing or anything, but I just feel itchy.
As for my horse, that's what my vet said....do not treat unless symptomatic. He has been fine. I may retest him in the fall to be safe though.
If you don't feel 110% after 3 weeks, ask for another round of doxy. Be pushy about it if you need to. I got the rash when I was 14, and was given 2 weeks of doxy... which did nothing. Ended up being diagnosed with Chronic Lyme at 20 with extreme pain & fatigue & muscle weakness, etc.
Took 3 years to fix (18 months of antibiotics) which is a 'speedy' recovery for CL.
Be religious with your doxy, take a probiotic 2 -3 hours AFTER you take the doxy.
I had Lyme in 1989 for about a year before it was diagnosed (the blood tests apparently weren't very refined yet). I started getting bad migraine headaches, I was suddenly dyslexic with numbers, I was always tired, I had sore knees and knuckles, and I just wasn't myself. I never had the rash or saw a tick. But since I was a 12-year-old who was always outside with my dogs and horses, it wasn't surprising.
I had no problems being on doxy for a few months and I recovered. However, I was recently put on doxy again for eye infections (that I got when my old gym's pool did not have chlorine in it one day ), and I had a reaction to it this time. I got a rash all over my neck, shoulders, and chest. My doctor told me to stop it, the rash cleared, I restarted it, the rash came back, and after going through that cycle twice, she said we'll have to try something else. I also took doxy with some Saltines because it made me nauseous otherwise.
I have some lingering effects from Lyme ... the worst of which are migraine headaches and mild dyslexia. I was completely shocked when my neurologist connected them to having had Lyme, but she said it is likely because I went untreated for so long. I can't complain, though. It could always be worse and it's certainly nothing that prevents me from riding!!
I hope that you are feeling better soon and I'm glad you finally got answers and treatment after feeling rotten.
My husband, one horse and I just finished treatment for it and yesterday I started treating two more horses for it. I hope they come out of treatment as well as we did. I'm worried about one mare; she was such an athlete and she's just not even close to herself at this point.
While I was taking doxy I got such a bad sunburn that I gritted my teeth in my sleep and broke a tooth! Yesterday I learned the new tooth is going to cost mega bucks
Thanks everyone - it sounds like lots of Lyme ordeals - hope everyone else is okay and recovers!
Well doc said stop the Doxy - I clearly had an allergic reaction that got worse this morning - from ONE pill. Itchy everywhere, tight throat and chest. Took a Benadryl and within 20 minutes I started to feel better.
Doc prescribed Ceftin which I'll start tonight. Fingers crossed it agrees with me. From what I researched it tastes horrible, and makes your food taste crappy....and lots of stomach issues with it. As long as I can sleep and not feel itchy all night, I'll be happier.
Also there is a documentary that was in the news in washington dc. Dr Sarah Fletcher is a terrific researcher. She is an endurance rider and a friend. She has a Lymes discussion forum that meets every month to pass the latest news. "Hope to Heal Lymes" there are other chapters.
I have recently been diagnosed with stage 3 Lyme disease, which means it is in my brain and nervous system. I am seeing a specialist in South Carolina who is amazing. Lyme is an epidemic that often is not treated seriously. The bacteria of lyme is very difficult to kill and can remain in your system for years, only appearing when you are under extreme stress or exposed to another bacteria. I got my lyme in 2003, had 2 rounds of doxy and thought all was well with the world. Unfornately, 6 years later, I was bitten by another tick (no lyme tick this time) and the lyme reared its ugly head. It is quite serious this time. One sympton is teeth grinding and a cracked 3 molars last year, with the cost of 3 crowns was not a fun expense. I now have a form of diabetes, chronic head aches, my legs are in constant pain and I wake up every night with horrid leg cramps. I am chronically exhausted and I am about to possibly lose my job because of all of this. It is in my nervous system and I have trouble remembering things. I am now on 5 different antibiotics, including doxy, which I have been on since april, and multiple vitamins and supplements. I am trying to avoid IV antibiotics because NC insurance companies do not like to 'cover' Lyme disease issues. I cannot go out in the sun because of the doxy (avoid sun exposure), and I am trying my best to get better. Please see a specialists before it gets too serious. I am 42 and I feel like I am 80. I cannot have caffine, sugar and I need to stay away from all gluton, no processed foods, etc.
Last edited by Obi; Aug. 1, 2009 at 04:21 PM.
I was "fortunate" enough to get flu-like symptoms when I got Lyme disease. Fortunate because it sent me to the doctor for an early diagnosis. I did remember finding a tick on me, in the middle of my back in the morning (so it must have been on me overnight - Yuck!) some time earlier - actually in March. So since I live in the Land O'Lyme, I knew enough to go to a doctor who knew enough to start me on doxy before the test came back. I already had GERD and was on medication, so the heartburn issues from the doxy were not much different for me. It took me about a week to start feeling better. AFAIK, I have not had another round of it since!
I had to deal with that last year as well. Never seen the tick or a bite mark. Was on 8 weeks of doxy, as I was still feeling pretty lousy after first 4 weeks. So, make sure you get long enough treatment, and take it easy!
The amount of fatigue was really bad, I could barely stand on 2 feet, but it did get better after the course of doxy.
what allswyft said...be sure to push for another round of Doxy if symptoms reoccur...your bloodwork may not always be an accurate test now...
we almost ALWAYS have some horse being treated for Lyme on our farm...fortunately they tolerate the Doxy well and most people seem to handle it well also. I had my first bout with Lyme 10 years ago and am being treated for a reoccurence this year...I NEVER know that a tick bit me and only the first time had the rash...good luck, sounds like you caught it early which is a good thing!
I have been so sick and tested negative for LD via Quest/Labcorp. Had blood tested at specialty LD lab ie Igenex and results came back - as best I can interpret - as possible - ie some bands positive. I am taking Doxy for another issue (eyes) ie 50 mg/day.
Curious - those that are treating for chronic LD - what dose of Doxy have you taken?
And where do you suspect you were bitten? ie what state? I feel that if I have LD it would have been in Texas. Have also heard that if one has had LD for many years - the antibodies (?) lessen and become harder to detect.
Also learned that it is almost impossible to find a doctor that will treat chronic LD.
I had my horse tested at Texas A&M and he was negative. But I wonder........
I am being treated by a doctor in SC. I could not get a doctor to diagnose it in NC. It is next to impossible to get it diagnosed in some states. PM me if you want the name of my doctor as he has patients that fly in from all over the US to be treated. I am on 100 mg of doxy, twice a day, 3 times a week. I also take 4 other antibiotics, as well as medication for my diabetes, my leg pain, and my overall pain. I am on a bunch of supplements too. I will be on this protical for at least 1 year. I have heard that there is a possibility that Lyme exist in horses urine (for those who walk around the barn barefoot ) and when you are pulling ticks off your horse, there is a chance that it can be transmitted via blood from the tick to you through an open sore on your hand. These may sound dramatic but from now on, I do not take any chances. I was exposed in North Stonington CT, near Lyme CT, but live in NC now.