Melissa uskoo, että nopea diagnoosi pelasti hänen henkensä. Melissa on liittynyt paikalliseen Borrelioosijärjestöön, pitää yllä dieettiä, ulkoilee, ottaa valohoitoa ja käyttää lisäravintovalmisteita. Kylmä ilma tuo hänelle edelleenkin oireita. Myös hänen miehellään Robertilla diagnosoitiin borrelioosi. Robert ei ole koskaan nähnyt ihomuutosta itsesssään, mutta hänellä on ollut mm. mielialanvaihteluja. Asiantuntijat ovat sitä mieltä, että borrelioosi tarttuu sukupuoliteitse.
http://www.centralmaine.com/sports/Outd ... _dis.shtml
Sunday, June 8, 2003
Ticking bombs: Clinton woman survives bout with dreaded Lyme disease
By DWAYNE RIOUX, Staff Writer
Copyright © 2003 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
If you don't believe there are Lyme-disease-infected ticks in central Maine, just ask Melissa Zahoransky of Clinton.
In June of 2000, Melissa spotted a bright red pimple on the back of her leg. At first she simply shrugged it off as being a common insect bite, but couldn't understand why there was a small red circle around the bite area. Three months later, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Since then, Zahoransky says her life has been one big rollercoaster ride. High one day, low the next.
Melissa and husband Robert had just purchased a home on the Johnson Flat Road and were busy landscaping the property. She said she never felt the tick bite her, but soon after noticing the dime-sized red circle behind her knee, she began losing feeling in her leg. A few days later, she started having dizzy spells, along with breathing problems and swelling. Then came heart palpitations, followed by feelings of anxiety and depression.
"My whole body swelled right up," she said. "Then the mood swings started. I was crying all the time. I didn't want to be around anyone. I was scared to death."
Lyme disease, transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick, usually starts as a rash in humans and can harm the central nervous system. The rash only occurs in 50 percent of people infected with Lyme.
The disease can cause flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, pain in the joints and muscles, facial paralysis, heart palpitations, nerve disorders and birth defects. Left untreated with antibiotics, the disease can spread throughout the body causing permanent paralysis. It's also a disease that is extremely hard to diagnose. Lyme can lie dormant for long periods of time before being detected through testing.
Seventeen vials of blood were extracted from Melissa to test for a number of possible illnesses, including Lyme. The first test for Lyme was negative, but a second, more precise analysis called Western blot, confirmed Zahoransky had contracted the disease. She was immediately placed on antibiotics.
Melissa is quick to credit her doctors for diagnosing the illness so quickly. he believes the early treatments saved her life.
Melissa was treated with antibiotics until Jan. 21. This Mother's Day marked 100 days of being antibiotic free. She prays she never has to go back on medicine.
Melissa has also joined a Lyme disease support group which meets at Inland Hospital in Waterville once a month.
She regulates her diet, takes vitamins and exercises daily. She also uses a day lamp to help combat seasonal depression, another side effect caused by Lyme, especially during the dark winter months. Any sickness, including a common cold or flu, can be dangerous.
"A cold can still totally wipe me out," she said. "I never had any of the ailments I've now come down with before I contracted Lyme."
Robert, her husband, has since been diagnosed with Lyme and is being treated for the disease. Robert never had a rash, but has suffered through a number of Lyme-related ailments, including mood swings. He is also being treated with antibiotics. Medical experts now believe the disease can be sexually transmitted.
Melissa is more than willing to talk about her experiences with anyone who believes they have contracted Lyme. Although contracting Lyme has threatened their health, the Zahoranskys are grateful it has not affected their two young children.
"I'm glad it happened to me and not my kids," she said.
During a recent seminar held at Thomas College in Waterville, Beatrice Szantyr of Lincolnville, who specializes in diagnosing and the treatment of Lyme disease, warned that Lyme is well established in Maine.
"For years, people have said there is no Lyme disease here. Most folks who contract Lyme get it from away and come home with it," she said. "The bad news is we do."
Szantyr said the number of reported Lyme cases continues to increase each year. In the period of 2001 and 2002, there were more than 100 confirmed cases of Lyme reported in Maine. The doctor said the number of cases reported represents only one-tenth of the number there actually are.
"So, is it 100 or 1,000 cases per year? We don't know," Szantyr said. "About 75 percent of the cases of Lyme reported are acquired in Maine. It's the truth. Most Maine cases of Lyme were gotten in our own backyard."
Szantyr said no one is immune to Lyme disease. Everyone has the likelihood of getting it. She said census information gathered by the Maine Public Health Department shows a marked increase of reported Lyme disease cases taking place between June, July and August.
"This huge peak made a lot of sense because it reflects the activity of the
ticks that multiply to spread the disease," she said. "But as long as temperatures stay above freezing, ticks remain active. That's why we've seen Lyme disease cases reported in November and even into January."
Szantyr said Lyme disease is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacteria called spiorchette, which can be easily transmitted from deer ticks to warm-blooded mammals. During the spring and summer months, young tick larvae feed on an infected animal host. As ticks grow, they drop off and cling to bushes and grassy areas and are transferred by direct contact to the fur of wandering animals or the skin or clothing of passing humans.
"If the tick is infected with Lyme disease, it will pass along the infection to it's new host," she said. "Remember, ticks don't jump or fly. They crawl. And for some reason, they always crawl up."
Szantyr said early symptoms of Lyme usually begin with a rash. The rash can show up on any part of the body, including under the arm pit, behind the knee, or the groin. The rash can vary in shape and size. Some rashes may be as small as a dime or large enough to spread over an entire torso. The rash can have the ringed characteristics of a red bullseye. Left untreated, the rash can expand in size.
"The rash usually occurs during the first week of infection," she said. "It is generally painless or does not itch.
"Lyme disease can be contracted without knowing you've been bitten by an infected tick," said the physician. "It's important to contact your doctor if you think you may have contracted the disease."