I agree. Lyme is one of those things that affects various body parts and systems, which can have things go wrong with them, etc., whether or not directly affected by Lyme, but Lyme itself is not classified as a fatal disease.
The double whammy that makes Lyme SUCH misery is that not only does your body hurt and malfunction in odd ways, but Lyme messes with your mind and your emotions as well, which makes 'rising above' the misery extremely difficult sometimes.
In some rare cases, yes. Most of the cases I have read about involved heart issues, either heart block or Lyme carditis. (I had tachycardia up to 155 beats per minute and I wondered if it could kill me.) I have also heard of cases where people died of secondary issues because Lyme had left them too weak to fight off another disease, such as pneumonia.
For most people, stage 3 Lyme will just make you really miserable.
Fortunately I never felt that my life was in much danger, though a few times I was genuinely scared by my symptoms and still do have hints of worry about long-term effects of being ill for so long.
For me the worst part was how deeply my life was affected, yet so few people could understand what I was going through or offer support. I worried deeply for my career, which I had dedicated my life to through education, etc. I have weak family bonds and lost friends when I got sick, and had some dark days with the emotional fallout.
I don't know much about the details (who maintains it or how the facts are verified) but there is a Lyme Disease Memorial Page, hopefully the below link will go through:
I agree with Wonko regarding family and friends, it affects your life greatly.
It is rare but I have heard of it effecting the heart or kidney and that could cause death. But Lyme is not considered a death sentence.
While Lyme disease is not exactly fatal illness, but the pain and sickness, especially with poor quality of llfe and lack of support, can be bad enough to make patient want to kill themselves.
I've read that, and I am not surprised, most death of lyme patients are by suicide.
I have also read that some lyme patients who had cancer in the past or lost limbs in war would prefer to have cancer again, or losing limbs again instead of having Lyme disease. They don't make comparsion lightly. That speaks for itself-the sheer of pain and sickness associated with Lyme disease, especially the late stage.
It's not uncommon. There are so many diseases found to be caused by, or in some cases caused by Borrelia that dying from lyme is not uncommom. Alzheimer is one of them, MS another one. Not so shure about ALS and Parkinson, butvremember there are many well known diseases with unknown cause, and lyme is hard to test.
I'd say yes, but not as quickly as some pathogens cause you to go, for example bubonic plague. If the disease itself doesn't get you, the misdiagnosing medical establishment might. There are many here who spent much time on immune lowering steroids, for example. That much alone tells me that many have died of Lyme, they just weren't diagnosed as having Lyme.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology:
September 2000 - Volume 24 - Issue 9 - pp 1279-1285
Primary Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma and Borrelia burgdorferi Infection in Patients From the Highlands of Scotland
Goodlad, John R. M.D.; Davidson, Marilyn M. F.R.C.Path.; Hollowood, Kevin M.D.; Ling, Claire M.Sc.; MacKenzie, Carol M.N.C.; Christie, Irene M.N.C.; Batstone, Paul J. B.Sc.; Ho-Yen, Darrel O. M.D.
Although a link beteen primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (PCBCL) and Borrelia burgdorferi infection has long been suspected, previous studies have not demonstrated a significant association. The authors looked for evidence of B. burgdorferi in 20 cases of PCBCL from the Scottish Highlands, an area with endemic Lyme disease, and compared their findings with those in 40 control patients (20 undergoing wide reexcision at sites of malignant melanoma and 20 biopsies of inflammatory dermatoses).
All studies were performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. The cases of PCBCL were classified according to criteria described by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Cutaneous Lymphoma Project Group using a combination of morphology, immunohistochemistry, and seminested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement. A nested PCR was performed on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracts from the lymphoma and control cases using primers to a unique conserved region of the B. burgdorferi flagellin gene.
B. burgdorferi-specific DNA was detected in seven of 20 lymphoma cases (five of 12 marginal zone lymphomas, one of five primary cutaneous follicle center cell lymphomas, one of three diffuse, large B-cell lymphomas of the leg) and in one melanoma reexcision patient of 40 control subjects.
The relationship between B. burgdorferi and PCBCL was significant when compared with the control groups separately (p <0.05) or in combination (p <0.01). These results provide strong evidence to support the concept of B. burgdorferi-driven lymphomagenesis in the skin.
Complete heart block in a 19 year old male: tick tock, tick tock!!
Chest 2014 Mar;145(3 Suppl):72A
Sameer Chadha, Geurys Rojas Marte, Bernard Topi, Gerald Hollander, Jacob Shani
Cardiovascular Case Report Posters
SESSION TYPE: Case Report Poster
PRESENTED ON: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 01:15 PM - 02:15 PM
INTRODUCTION: Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by spirochete Borrelia Burgdorferi. Cardiac manifestations of Lyme disease mostly include conduction abnormalities which occur weeks to a few months after the onset of infection.
A 19 year old male with no past medical history presented to our emergency department (ED) with an episode of syncope while walking.
Patient denied any history of chest pain, shortness of breath or previous similar episodes. The physical examination was significant for a heart rate of 33 and an Erythema Migrans rash on the back. On further history, the patient admitted to going on a hiking trip in Upstate New York few weeks ago but could not remember any tick bite. The electrocardiogram done in the ED showed complete heart block. Laboratory work up came back as normal complete blood count and serum chemistry along with negative cardiac enzymes (CK-MB and Troponin I). Patient was started on intravenous Ceftriaxone for suspected Lyme Carditis and admitted to Cardiac Intensive Care Unit for observation. ELISA and Western blot analysis revealed seropositivity for Lyme disease. Patients heart block varied from 2:1 atrioventricular (AV) Block to Mobitz Type 1 AV Block in next few days and finally resolved to a 1st degree AV Block with a PR interval of 236 ms. The echocardiogram showed normal LV systolic function with an ejection fraction of 55%. Patient remained completely asymptomatic through out the course of his hospitalization and did not require temporary venous pacing. He was discharged home with a PICC Line to complete the course of intravenous antibiotics for three weeks and to follow up with Infectious Diseases Clinic and Cardiology.
Lyme Disease is endemic in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of United States. AV conduction blocks of varying severity is the most common clinical manifestation of Lyme Carditis along with palpitations and myo-pericarditis. Lyme Cardiomyopathy has not been observed in United States, but has been reported rarely in Europe where the incidence of Lyme Carditis is lower overall, probably because of a different strain. Conduction delay in Lyme Carditis usually occurs above the bundle of His, often within the AV node. The prognosis of Lyme Carditis is excellent with resolution of the conduction abnormalities with use of antibiotics and patients rarely require a permanent pacemaker.
Lyme Carditis should be suspected as the cause of AV conduction block in the setting of a travel history to Lyme endemic area and Erythema Migrans rash, with or without the history of a tick bite.
Reference #1: N/A
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Sameer Chadha, Geurys Rojas Marte, Bernard Topi, Gerald Hollander, Jacob Shani
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