I was reading a post in correspondence to my wife's question on medhelp suggesting Lyme disease.
My wife has neuro and cardio symptoms which have been worsening.
However, 2 yrs ago I do remember that she was having CFS symptoms and the GP at the time suggested it was CFS. However, her new GP refuses to believe that.
Today she has been diagnosed with Sinus Tachycardia and RBBB (Right Bundle Branch Block), she has experienced pain, fatigue, a swollen lymph gland on her neck which has been there for 2 yrs also, a swelling in her throat and a swollen tonsil, without pain, itchy skin, dry skin, tiny itchy blisters on her skin, petechiae.
All of this happened after she caught mumps! But I DO remember a few days before her mumps symptoms, she has these bites on her leg. Big ones, one with a bruise around it. They appeared when she took a bath. They were very itchy.
Her blood work has been fine apart from elevated RDW (Red Cell Width) at one point her calcium was up but then two further tests showed it to be well within normal range again.
She was well until 2 yrs ago. We are in the UK and do not live near the countryside, however, she loves cats and has often stopped to pet a cat in the street, I wondered if she could get a tick bite from a cat?
She's terrified that she might have a tumor because her neuro symptoms are worsening for her, but she does have severe anxiety too.
You can get a tick bite just from walking through a field or near grass or any vegetation, in the woods etc. Most people don't get bit directly through contact with an animal. My next door neighbor got lyme from gardening in her yard.
Cats can pass "Cat scratch disease" also known as Bartonella. Bartonella is also passed by ticks. A few suggestions for you: I have dealt with Lyme disease personally and had a daughter with cancer. Your wife's symptoms are concerning and mimic many Lyme symptoms. I was diagnosed with mono around the same time my Lyme symptoms kicked in. The Lyme probably allowed the mono to take over and your wife likely got mumps as a result of a weakened immune system as well rather than the mumps giving her something. But it's also possible that her mumps triggered genes already present in her DNA and activated them, in turn causing autoimmune conditions. This happens in many disease processes. I personally opted for Lyme treatment after so many "we don't knows" and two positive Lyme acute Western blots and a positive ELISA. I was told by the IDSA that they were "false positives." I chose to see an LLMD and while I received treatment I continued to investigate my symptoms to be sure I didn't overlook other causes. Lyme treatment did help me and no other cause to date has yet been found or proven for all of my symptoms. My thyroid failed at the same time as everything else fell apart. Your wife needs to be tested for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This means testing her level of thyroid peroxidase antibodies, not just the TSH. It is imperative they test those antibodies. One can have a normal TSH and have a thyroid under attack if those antibodies are elevated. Your wife can be started on the smallest amount of synthroid if she shows elevated antibodies and her TSH is 2.0 or higher. Her symptoms could also be related to another medical issue. Cancer is one of them. The petechiae and bruising are concerning but if her blood counts are normal, it would seem to rule that out. The swelling of the tonsil and throat without pain also make cancer concerning but may be related to the mumps. The itchy bumps definitely make me think of Bartonella. Bartonella does cause red, itchy bumps. RBBB is highly indicative of Lyme but symptoms of Bartonella and Lyme can sometimes overlap because many Lyme patients are infected with both Lyme and Bartonella due to the tick carrying both of the bacterial strains. I would also recommend they test her estrogen levels. These are the things that tend to go haywire with Lyme or coinfections. They need to do some viral titers as well for example, HHV6 better known as roseola or "fifth's disease." My HHV6 levels were twice the level of normal levels. When the immune system is under attack, viruses that we had as children will often reactivate and are part of the problem in Lyme. Other viral titers they need to check for reactivation are Parovirus B-19. Mine were elevated at 7.82 with normal levels being less than .9 (point 9). They should also test for cytomegalovirus. My levels for cytomegalovirus came out to be 16.3 with a reference range as 1.0 or higher being positive. I was tested for mono which showed elevated titers from March to August and one year later when I visited a doctor for Lyme she ran the EBV early antigen AB Igg with results showing my levels greater than 8.0 while the reference level was no higher than .8 (point 8). A test for HSV1 (virus that causes cold sores) showed my levels to be at 35.3 with a reference of positive being 1.0 or greater. So it was 34 times higher than needed for me to be positive. All of these titers were elevated in me prior to my Lyme treatment. They do not have to be elevated for one to have Lyme, but again they are indicative of a weakened immune system if they are elevated. My ABS CD57 NK cells were low. These are your "natural killer" cells, another clue that my immune system was malfunctioning. She should be tested for Chlamydophila pneumoniae. This is a bacteria that causes atypical pneumonia. Many Lyme patients test positive. I was negative, fortunately. My vitamin D levels were a whopping 17 which is low, near the levels of osteomalacia (the levels where rickets are seeb in children.) I tested negative for all co-infections. Her C-reactive protein needs to be checked for inflammation in her body. There are two types, one for the heart and one for inflammation. Be sure they check the one for inflammation as they are different. An elevated count can tell them if inflammation is present though it can't pinpoint the source. It does, however, give them more evidence of a disease process and more clues. Mine were elevated nearly the entire time I was ill. Anxiety can be caused by a failing thyroid caused by autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's) which happens to plenty of Lyme patients. Anxiety also comes from being sick and not being heard by physicians. I know have a different anxiety. I actually get extremely anxious when I have to see a doctor now because of the mental anguish I went through to be diagnosed in the first place. Most doctors were kind to me, but the constant rejection of "we don't know" affects you emotionally. I also ended up with burning hands and feet, better known as erythromelalgia that flares to this day but not quite as bad. I am hoping by given you this information that it will give you more things to ask of your physicians so you can get answers. All of these tests helped us to understand that my immune system was weakened and helped me in receiving treatment for Lyme, but they also gave me more credit with the other doctors as well. Your wife may have Bartonella alone or Lyme or a combination of both. Do listen and believe her. It is miserable no matter what the cause. There were a myriad of other symptoms but I won't list them all here. I hope this will help you to research or at least help you to know what tests you need to insist the physicians give your wife. Wish her the best and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
You also mentioned her RDW was elevated. This can be indicative of iron deficiency anemia. I too was iron deficient, though I don't recall my RDW levels being off. My ferritin levels were tested and found to be at 18. (low-normal) They prefer to see your levels around 50. Hematocrit only shows what is available in the blood. Ferritin is the storehouse from which all the iron is released, so when one has low ferritin, it means their entire iron storehouse in the body is low. If you run out of ferritin, you run out of your iron supply. I would be sure you keep up the CBCs on a regular basis until those numbers change to rule out cancer, but I think her symptoms are leaning more to an autoimmune disease process. Be sure they test her ferritin levels not just her hematocrit levels.
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