While in rural Virginia this weekend, I took a long walk in the woods. The next day I was very fatigued and I felt like the inside of my head and neck had been inflated with a bicycle pump. I also had dry heaves and chest congestion with a cough.
When I got home, I found a whole bunch of ticks on myself, and one of them was the bad kind. It was smaller than the other ones, so I looked it up, and it was definitely a deer tick, the kind that carries Lyme disease. So I figured I’d better go to the doctor.
So I told him the story, and he gave me two kinds of antibiotics. He said we couldn’t test for it now, because the antibodies wouldn’t show up for two weeks anyway, but if I did have it, the pills would nip it in the bud.
Anybody have experience with Lyme disease? Does it feel like I described? How long should I expect to feel like crap?
I don’t have personal experience, but a friend of mine also “nipped it in the bud” the way you are. Did a red mark similar to a target appear around where the deer tick was? That’s an indicator that the tick was carrying the disease.
At any rate, it sounds like you’ll be OK. Good luck.
I know someone who got Lyme Disease from a deer tick while hunting. This was at least ten years ago, and for some reason he did not nip it in the bud. He was very ill for about a year. He was always fatigued. He rarely left his house. He’s ok now, though. Good luck to you.
Spouse of a Lyme disease researcher checking in. The next-day time frame does NOT indicate Lyme–it usually takes many hours of engorgement for the tick to transmit anything harmful, and then symptoms develop over the next week or so.
Symptoms are generally flu-like, and once again the dry heaves and cough are atypical. As Beadalin indicated, a red, often bulls-eye-shaped rash is an indicator, though it does not always show up.
All of that said, ticks can transmit four different diseases–this may be why your doc gave you two different antibiotics–so it pays to take it seriously. The best thing you can do is monitor your own health. Suspecting Lyme is more than half the battle, as the truly horrible cases arise from a lack of treatment. If you don’t feel better in a couple of weeks, pursue this with your doctor or another one.
As long as you don’t just assume any symptoms will go away, and find yourself a doctor who is willing to diagnose and treat Lyme (there are a great many who aren’t), you should be OK.
I spotted the rash around the bite before feeling any other symptoms at all, and in fact, never had a strong manifestation of the the flu-like symptoms. That may be because I was watching carefully and went to the doc as soon as I saw the rash starting, and he put me on antibiotics immediately.
Now, symptoms from the antibiotics, on the other hand…well, if the instructions say to take them “with” food, take them after eating something. I found that doxycycline made me hideously nauseous if I took it without something already in my stomach. Swallowing the pill, then eating something less than a minute later left me pulling off the road to hurl violently into the bushes.
The tick has to be attached for a minimum 24-48 hours to transmit Lyme so it’s unlikely with the time frame. That said, early treatment is curative so while it may be overkill it should definitely prevent you from getting sick.
The tick was on me for about 30 hours. But the symptoms started after about 20 hours, so I don’t know. Maybe the tick had nothing to do with it, and I’m just sick from something else. And I didn’t notice any bullseye rash either.
It is a bad year for ticks. I take several off of my dog every week. I am just now getting over being chronically fatigued after several operations and I am overly fearful of getting lymes, so I freak out whenever I see a tick on me.
You did the right thing in getting to a doctor who took your complaints and worry seriously. A trained doctor is what is needed to examine the patient in person. This internet stuff is not even third rate by comparison. The best advice you can get on the internet is to see a doctor and maybe another doctor for a second or specialist opinion.
As an early adopter, I got Lyme disease in the mid 90’s. The bullseye rash was vivid and most remarkable. It burned and itched, and hurt to the touch so that scratching it was quite painful. I felt somewhat flulike and quite tired, and had a malaise for weeks. I think I was on an antibiotic for a long time, a month maybe, or even two perhaps.
Ticks are plentiful around here. I go hiking weekly or more, and usually get one or two. Considering they are closer to spiders than to insects, it’s surprising I don’t get upset about them, but mostly I just worry about getting Lyme again.
Speaking of upsetting parasites, what’s with the kids getting upset about leaches in the story “The Body” (portrayed in the movie “Stand by Me”? They’re less bothersome than mosquitos or ticks.
I think mosquitos are the worst of this lot. Their bites itch, they can fly, and they kill more people (through malaria and other diseases). Plus, that whining sound makes me crazy.
“Willingness” to diagnose and treat Lyme disease relates to how patients present (signs/symptoms/clinical history) and whether the physician follows standard clinical practice guidelines. I have not seen evidence that a “great many” physicians will ignore these guidelines and refuse to consider the diagnosis and/or withhold proper therapy.
It’s correct that a great many physicians (the vast majority, I would hope) are not willing to diagnose so-called “chronic Lyme disease” and prescribe long-term potentially dangerous antibiotic therapy for a condition not demonstrated to exist.
My doctor listened to my story, then looked something up in a book for a few minutes. He dithered a bit about which antibiotics to prescribe, then settled on two - one to take all at once, and another kind to take for five days. I don’t know if that’s standard or not, but he seemed to think that would take care of any Lyme disease I may or may not have been infected with.
Man, I do not feel well tonight. I have a headache and I’m a little sick to my stomach. Lyme or no Lyme, I definitely picked up something in my travels. I hope it goes away soon.
My boyfriend caught Lyme’s last year after a camping trip. He never saw the tick and his first sympton was the rash. He never had any other symptoms at all. He went to the doctor straight away and was on antibiotics for a LONG time afterwards. I want to say he was on them for a couple of months, definitely longer than five days, and as Balance mentioned, they made him really sick to his stomach if he didn’t eat first (and sometimes even when he did).
They gave him a blood test when he first went in, but the antibodies hadn’t shown up yet. When he went in for his follow up (did your doctor mention you coming in for a follow up blood test?) he did have the antibodies. (Or something, I am a little fuzzy on the details of this part. I just know the antibodies didn’t show up in his blood until after he started taking the antibiotics.)
Anyways, definitely check back in with your doctor in a couple of weeks and see about getting that blood test. Don’t just assume the antibiotics took care of it. Also, I think your flu-like symptoms are something else. Lyme’s symptoms don’t typically reveal themselves so quickly. Is it possible they are a reaction to the antibiotics you are taking?
I was just at the Dr. this weekend with Lyme Disease. Started getting random fevers on Weds. and by Friday I had a pretty high fever off and on along with a bad headache. Was getting out of the shower on Sat. evening and noticed a huge ‘bullseye’ mark on my back. It was really picture perfect. So off to the Dr. and now I have a few weeks of anitbiotics. They also took blood to measure something in it which will tell them (at next blood taking) whether I am Lyme free.
I will do what my doctor says after examining me 100 percent of the time. I regard as worthless the advice of experts from the internet who have not examined me. Your criticism of this doctor is reckless and could lead someone to not finish their course of antibiotics. A generalized opinion that doctors are too quick to prescribe antibiotics must face the reality of what is the best course of action for each individual patient.