A couple weeks ago, I got an ear-and-sinus infection. It was a pain, I felt like crap, etc. I went to my GP, and because he’s used to how infections do a number on me, he was willing to give me a relatively long, strong course of amoxicillin to fight the infection. A funny thing happened, though.
About 3 days into the antibiotics, I started being more exhausted, but strangely there was less pain in my joints and muscles. As I continued through the antibiotics, this continued – my joints and muscles felt better and better.
I got curious and googled to see if the antibiotic was one used to treat Lyme disease. You see, my friend Sharon from the blog AfterGadget, who has chronic Lyme, pointed out a while ago that my symptoms sounded like Lyme. Amoxicillin is the second-line drug used for treating acute Lyme disease. The fact that I felt so much better pain-wise is, I think, the clincher on a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease. I haven’t had a lab test run yet, but to my mind that’s somewhat irrelevant. You see, the lab tests for Lyme are impressively inaccurate and prone to false negatives – the studies say that the Western Blot test, which is the most commonly run test, gives false negatives to 30-50% of people who actually have Lyme. There are better tests, but they’re only done by two labs. I’ll be asking my doctor to write for one of those, but I already have the paperwork for a Western Blot (and my insurance covers testing 100%), so I’ll be getting it done anyhow. The fact that it misses a lot of cases doesn’t mean it misses all cases, so it’s worth doing as it is less hassle than getting one of the other tests run.
I’m actually really happy about finding out I almost definitely have Lyme. While it may take a couple of months to totally clear this out of my system, this is something that can go away. To me, at least, this is enormously good news. Way better than adding another hard to pinpoint, hard to manage condition like a variety of arthritis to my long list of diagnoses.