Saturday, August 7, 2010

Health drama

  Those who don't want to hear about my health issues should skip this post, it's nothing but boring stuff about doctors and hospitals and antibiotics.

  So, I got a negative test result for Campylobacter jejuni last week.  Yay!  The course of antibiotics I was on seems to have done the trick.  I will soon (one more test is required) have the Magistrate off my back, I hope.

  However, this does not mean I'm off antibiotics!  I got two insect bites on my legs a week and a half ago.  I thought initially that they were mosquito bites.  Then I thought they were really big mosquito bites.  Then red rashes started spreading out from them, and I started paying attention.  The rashes got bigger and bigger, the larger one peaking at about 4-6 inches in diameter (it's not round).  They were really quite red, a mild flushing of the skin but with brilliant red speckles on top.  I asked a friend who is a doctor about it, and he said it sounded like it might be Lyme disease.  I had figured it for a bacterial infection, but Lyme disease hadn't crossed my mind, and so, full of alarm, I zipped in to the hospital's urgent care that evening, since there is, as I understand it, some need to treat Lyme disease early, and I had already been sitting around just watching it progress for a week.

  Shelled out 150 euros up front to see the urgent care dermatologist.  He didn't think it was Lyme disease, but he did think it was a bacterial infection in need of antibiotics.  He was also insufferably smug and condescending, and stated that although Lyme disease does not always present in the same way, and he wasn't really sure of his diagnosis, there was no need whatsoever to worry about it, because there was no urgency at all to treating Lyme disease early.  He said that was a myth, and when I said I had just read otherwise on the internet, he sneered at me.  When I said that I wasn't comfortable with a "wait and see" diagnosis because I was in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language and didn't have decent health coverage, he completely misunderstood my concern and went off on a long tirade about how Austria's health care system was better than that of the U.S. (which I have no doubt it is) and so I had nothing to worry about.  I ended up not trusting him or respecting his judgement at all, so I demanded that the antibiotic he gave me be the one that would be used to treat Lyme disease (20 days of doxycycline) rather than the one he wanted to give me (a couple of days of some broad-spectrum antibiotic).  This way I have my bases covered, and won't have to go back to the hospital again, and have some assurance that I won't get sick while hiking in the Alps.


1 comment:

  1. I am pleased to hear you are taking control of your health despite ignorant hospital doctors.

    I would however suggest you read the Burrascano guidelines

    Found on ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society).

    The minimum recommended dose is 200mg twice a day for 6-8 weeks. The length and strength being much longer than our NHS and other health care systems recommend. Something to do with the replication which can be as long as 4 weekly in order that it has been caught.

    First not everyone gets a bulls eye rash and it is not always bulls eye shaped. Your description sounds typical.
    If you do get the rash you are infected and antibiotic treatment should be given.

    ILADS treat many patients with chronic lyme because they were not adequately treated at this early stage.

    Whilst some people can be infected and not show symptoms Lyme can remain in the body for years and then at some point 20-30 years later a compromised immune system can trigger a full blown chronic illness where the immune system is no longer able to cope.

    There is huge controversy about this illness in it's chronic form with those of us who know we are suffering chronic lyme and our doctors realising long term antibiotics help improve our symptoms but the established health authorities sticking their head in the sands and following IDSA discredited guidelines and saying long term antibiotics won't help. For information of research presented at the recent IDSA review hearing supporting ILADS approach see ILADS website.

    You have a window of opportunity not to be missed, good luck in getting adequate treatment and thus preventing a long term chronic illness.

    Many links to interesting websites can be found on my blog Looking at Lyme Disease.