?Viime heinäkuussa Linda Perry sairastui nuhaan. Sikainfluenssaepäilyn vuoksi lääkäri kehotti pysymään kotona. Parissa viikossa oireet hävisivät mutta palasivat muutamaa viikkoa myöhemmin pahempina kuin aiemmin.
Linda Perry yritti hoitaa itseään kaikin tavoin. Hänellä oli kipuja hartioissa, selässä ja nivelissä. Hieroja näki hänen selässään ihomuutoksia ja sen seurauksena Perry hakeutui lääkäriin uudelleen. Hänellä todettiin borrelioosi. Antibioottikuuri poisti oireet.
Perry on yksi onnekkaista parantuneista. Perryn mukaan jokaisen sairastuneen on oltava oman asiansa asianajaja. Jos epäilet sairastavasi norrelioosia, lue aiheesta kaikki mahdollinen tieto kerro lääkärillesi mahdollisimman paljon tautisi kulusta.
Tri Bronstein näkee työssään norrelioosin eri muodoissaan. Hän on yhä useammin havainnut että antibioottihoidot eivät auta kaikkia sairastuneita. Linda Hamill on yksi heistä. Hän kärsii kivuista lantiossa, käsissä, migreenikohtauksista jne. Oireet pahenivat vähitellen ja hän sai myös neurologisia oireita. Hän unohteli kesken lausetta mitä oli juuri aiemmin sanonut, hän ei osannut ajaa autolla kotiinsa jne. Hän sai antibioottia puolentoista vuoden ajan ja sinä aikana neurologiset oireet hävisivät. Jotkin oireet kuitenkin aktivoituvat edelleen aika ajoin. Hänellä saattaa olla useita täysin oireettomia kuukausia ja sitten oireet jälleen puhkeavat joksikin aikaa. Ajattelen elämääni ?ennen ja jälkeen borrelioosin? -tapahtumina. Hamill on yksi monista Berkshiden alueen asukkaista jotka tri Bronsteinin mukaan kärsivät kroonisesta borrelioosista.?
The Berkshire County tick season begins
By NICHOLE DUPONT
Posted: 03/31/2010 02:46:48 PM EDT
In July of last year, Perry of Williamstown was suddenly struck by the flu. Because her symptoms came at the height of the H1N1 pandemic, doctors told her to stick to home until her feverish symptoms subsided.
"I was quarantined for a week," Perry said. "Then after a week or so, the symptoms went away. But then, two weeks later, they came back, and they were even worse than before."
Perry, an otherwise healthy 58-year-old woman, tried to take care of herself. She went to her masseuse, hoping that a massage would relieve the tension in her neck and back.
"I went for a massage because my joints were bothering me," she said. "Of course, the second I took my shirt off, my masseuse was horrified. She said that I had welts all over my back. So I went straight to the medical association to see what was wrong."
What was wrong was very simple: Perry said the doctor took one look at her back and the diagnosis was certain.
"The doctor brought in his staff and said 'Look at this, you see that, that's Lyme disease.' He put me on an antibiotic and within, I would say at most 48 hours, I was definitely feeling better," she said. "I don't have any symptoms now."
Perry is one of the lucky ones. Dr. Larry Bronstein of Mahaiwe Chiropractic and Health Services in Great Barrington treats patients in "all phases of the disease." Bronstein said he is finding more and more often that the antibiotics are not successful for some Lyme disease sufferers.
"I'm finding that for a small percentage of patients, the antibiotics don't seem to handle all of the symptoms," he said. "When this happens, we need to start doing individual lab testing. Basically the patient needs a personal detective. Lyme disease can be a great mimicker of other problems. A lot of people can have ongoing aches and pains."
For Linda Hamill of Otis, these aches and pains have become part of her daily life. In the fall of 2001, she noticed that the joints in her hands and hips were painful and swollen.
"I didn't go to the doctor," she said. "I was in my 40s at the time and I just figured it was arthritis, since that runs in my family. But by Christmastime, I felt lousy again. Even worse than before."
Hamill barely made it through the holidays that year. On her first day back at work after her vacation, things really took a turn for the worse.
"I got a migraine at work. Then when I stood up from my desk, I felt like I was paralyzed, my legs felt like Jell-O," she said. "I went home with a low-grade fever."
As her body gradually deteriorated, Hamill said she also had frightening neurological symptoms as well.
"I would be talking to people and completely forget what I was saying in the middle of my sentence," she said. "Once I was driving through the center of town on my way home, and I had no idea where I was. None. That's when I started to sweat."
Hamill said her doctor ordered a CT scan for multiple sclerosis, but then called her later in the day to inform her that she had Lyme disease.
"I took the doxycycline for nine months and then some other antibiotics because I couldn't do the doxy anymore," she said. "I was on antibiotics for a year and a half. I don't have any of the neurological symptoms anymore, but things flare up. I'll be good for a couple of months, then I just don't feel good. It just doesn't go away. My life is before Lyme and after Lyme. I'd go back to before in a heartbeat."
Hamill is one of a growing number of Berkshire residents suffering from what Bronstein calls chronic Lyme disease.
"Once you go online, you quickly begin to see the two different schools of thought surrounding Lyme disease," he said. "One is that a good dose of antibiotics will cure the disease and that any symptoms a patient experiences beyond that is not Lyme. The other is that there is the possibility of chronic Lyme disease, that there is a small minority that has ongoing symptoms because their immune systems have been compromised."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, most Lyme disease cases are eradicated by a first, and sometimes second, dose of antibiotics. However, cases that are not treated in a timely manner can lead to "persistent and recurring symptoms" much like the ones Hamill continues to experience. In 2008, there were 3,960 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Massachusetts (New York saw 4,165), but this number does not include those who have been successfully or unsuccessfully treated or those who, despite having the disease, have yet to receive a proper diagnosis because there is no trademark bulls-eye, or blood tests are producing false negatives.
In this regard, Perry said being a self-advocate is the most important factor in Lyme disease treatment.
"Even if you are just suspecting that you have Lyme disease, read everything you can about it and tell the doctor everything you are going through," she said. "Even if it seems insignificant at the time, it could help with your diagnosis."