Borrelia-bakteeri voi vaikuttaa monin tavoin lapsen kykyyn opiskella; tarkkaaavaisuusongelmat, alentunut kyky lukea ja ymmärtää lukemaansa, näön hämärtymistä, ärtyisyyttä, mielialanvaihtelua, valo-ja ääniherkkyyttä, iho-ongelmia jne. Oireiden vopimakkuus vaihtelee aaltomaisesti - hyvät ja huonot jaksot seuraavat toisiaan.
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In Their Words: Early diagnosis is key to helping kids deal with Lyme disease
Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 12:00 AM
Body and Mind staff By Body and Mind staff
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manotti.JPGSubmitted photoMiriam Manotti
BY MIRIAM MANOTTI For The Patriot-News
I?ve traveled the road of Lyme disease with my daughter for seven years, and the longer we go, the more people I meet who also have children suffering from this illness.
Each one has a different story, and yet, each one didn?t get Lyme disease hiking in the woods, they got it in their own backyards in Harrisburg, Hummelstown, Hershey, Camp Hill and Mechanicsburg. It?s here, and we need to understand it in order to help our children.
My daughter became ill in March 2003 at age 7. By the end of April, she was falling asleep in class. By May, she had lost 7 pounds in 14 days. She had many obvious symptoms (fatigue, pains, rashes), but the doctors were baffled. She finally was diagnosed in June 2003 and was given a brief course of antibiotics. As with more than 65 percent of Lyme patients, my daughter had coinfections that were not diagnosed or treated.
Over the years, my daughter developed rashes on her body, including long reddish streaks on her hips and stretch marks behind her knees, signs of ?Bartonella rash.?
She developed acid reflux that slowly got worse, culminating in 2008 with a diagnosis of GERD and Barrett?s esophagus. And as the bacteria entered her brain, she developed ?brain fog.?
The brain fog affects her memory, the clarity and speed of her thought process, and her ability to comprehend. Her brain tires very quickly, and success in school has become impossible to achieve as she struggles to pay attention, remember, process, participate, read and write for seven hours each day.
My daughter?s school has already had its share of children who suffered from Lyme disease and is sensitive to what is required to help her survive. They have an admirable desire to assist her. At present, this means consistent communication and streamlining her education, with the understanding that her situation will be re-evaluated every few weeks until she recovers.
Lyme disease is a multi-organ systemic disease involving possible other coinfections. In my experience, many people end up with chronic Lyme disease because they can?t obtain medical help in early stages. This is especially true with children who are even less aware of their bodies and less able to describe how they feel. Parents and teachers need to recognize the changes in behavior, personality and symptoms early in its course. The longer the illness goes untreated, the higher the chance a child will develop a chronic, difficult infection to treat, involving the eyes, joints, heart, GI tract and brain.
Lyme disease and its coinfections have a profound effect on a child?s cognitive function and ability to perform successfully in school. A teacher or parent may notice diminished attention span, distractibility, impulsivity, incomplete assignments, chronic lateness, poor school attendance, mobility problems, change in socialization, letters running together, jumbled numbers, inability to read and comprehend, double or blurred vision, headaches, sensitivity to light or sound or skin problems.
Others symptoms include a lack of self confidence, withdrawal, aggressive behavior, mood swings, loose associations, ADD and ADHD symptoms, obsessive thinking, agitation, anxiety, depression, stomach problems, abdominal pain, sudden weight loss or gain, loss of interest in activities, extreme fatigue or falling asleep in class.
These children may look well, but are very ill and often misunderstood. The students may have better days and worse days, compared with being on a roller coaster, with ups and downs.
You can help make a difference through your education and awareness. Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Miriam Manotti is a member of the Harrisburg-area Lyme disease support group. She writes from Lower Paxton Twp.
* The Lyme Disease Association has a number of resources on its website, including a Powerpoint presentation on prevention and a booklet for kids. Go to lymediseaseassociation.org, put your mouse on the ?Resources? tab at the top and scroll down to ?Lyme in the Schools.?
* Visit the Web page for the Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania for links to articles and help finding a doctor, www.lymepa.org.
* Lyme Disease Support Group, 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at Country Meadows West Shore, 4833 Trindle Road, Building 5, 1st floor dining room, Hampden Twp. Topic: ?Sharing and Caring About Our Future: Children with Lyme Disease.? Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related topics: children, health, lyme disease, miriam manotti