My brother had lyme disease approximately in 1990. He was wheelchair bound for 8 months. For the past year and a half he has had weakness in hand and been dropping tools. Approximately 10 days ago he was admitted to ER with symptoms of stroke with near paralysis of left hand and leg. He initially had droopy mouth and could not smile but was able to several hours later. He has had MRI of head and later of neck. Nothing showed up. All other tests showed nothing. Spoke with doctor (neurologist) and requested whole spine MRI which his boss did not want to do. Asked for infectious disease doctor to see him and was told blood tests came out fine, including test for MS, although his antibody levels are high due to his having had lyme disease. They are ready to release him to rehab with a diagnosis of left hemipersis (left weakness). Has anyone had similar issues that many years later??
I've been reading around on the internet all day and the one yet-to-be-released study that says people who've had Lyme, namely Chronic Lyme, are only more likely to get Lyme again because they live where ticks live is clearly bogus.
Odds are he's having a recurring Lyme Infection. The advanced Lyme will hide when it realizes it's under attack and only come out once it knows it's safe. There's also the chance that a viral infection changed the Lyme's DNA and the new Lyme strand is undetected by his body. With each recurrence and full treatment, more of the Lyme will be killed and the severity and possibility of a recurrence will diminish (eventually being eliminated), so it sounds very reasonable for him to have a Lyme relapse after just one year of Lyme recovery.
It sounds like his docs are incompetent and aren't trying to help him. Why else would they disregard the possibility of Lyme when the symptoms sound rather Lyme-like (more specifically, it sounds like when the Lyme has reached the brain and started messing up the brains functions)? In fact, the left malfunctioning more than the right makes sense because only the left side of the brain is used when moving the right side of the body, but both the left and right side of the brain are used when moving the left side of the body, suggesting that the right side of the brain is more infected than the left side.
This is a time when I'd suggest you be your own doctor, or at least find a new one that will test for Lyme, a nuerological complication, before diagnosing a different nuerological complication. Good luck, and if you can't find the help you need here, ask at other medical forums.
I think the possibility IS good that he was reinfected, especially with high antibodies to show exposure to the infection. Hi have tested positive for the antibodies -- but they aren't that high, showing that I was bit a long time ago but developed the antibodies I guess. (Who the heck knows?)
Anyways, it's a bad year for ticks.
Sorry to hear about your brother! Hope he comes back stronger and better.
Sorry to hear the news, but your brother is lucky to have you to look out for him.
I've read from several posters here about flare ups after a quiet period when the Lyme seemed gone, only to pop up again when a stressful life event occurs -- another illness, family trauma, etc.
However reinfection is also possible: I am pretty sure I got Lyme and just felt moderately lousy for a couple of years, but then got it again (with a nasty coinfection) two years later, and it really laid me out. Partly it was the virulence of the coinfection, but my immune system was already under stress keeping the first Lyme infection largely under wraps.
Does your brother have access to a so-called LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) who takes the broader view on Lyme matters? If not, let us know what area of NY (?) you are in and maybe we have someone here who can make a recommendation in a private note to you. High antibody levels against Lyme from a 9 year old infection? Hmmm. And Bell's Palsy can be a symptom of Lyme.
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