Welcome to medhelp.
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis and your pain. The symptoms of Lyme vary (sometimes substantially) from person to person and over time, so no two people have the same symptom set. I have not had the warm water sensation, but others here do.
Anxiety is also a symptom of Lyme, because it affects the brain and the endocrine system and it's very common to be anxious, both from being sick and from the illness itself. Anxiety should lessen as your treatment proceeds, but I don't know how long it takes in different people.
About the back pain, that is also not uncommon. I have had lower back pain and stiffness at times, but it doesn't last long, so again, someone else here might be able to advise.
Here's a question for you: were you tested for other diseases ('co-infections') also carried by the Lyme ticks? A number of them don't respond to the same drugs as Lyme, and have to be tested for separately.
The CanLyme website has useful information, and you might also find helpful information at these websites:
ilads [dot] org
lymediseaseassociation [dot] org
truthaboutlymedisease [dot] com
lymenet [dot] org
chroniclymedisease [dot] com
ILADS is the main organization for Lyme MDs and has a good bit of information you might find helpful. Others here may also have some ideas about your back pain.
Best wishes -- check back to see if others post here in response to your message, okay?
I did the test for Bartonella and CD 57. Only my CD 57 is back and it is normal. Always confused, is this the Lyme or is this a back injury (moved a heavy dresser in Jan. 2010 about the same time got the neuro symptoms and then other symptoms came out over the months. As for the anxiety, I can be fine one day and then totally insane the next (Ie. crying, angry, feeling like I don't want to live like this, etc. Thanks for your help!
The anxiety ups and downs are not uncommon. Happens to many of us. I look back to when I was really ill and can see the situation very clearly in hindsight, and I'm not the only one here. Doctors don't seem to fully appreciate that as a symptom of the disease, it seems, but it's real. And it interferes with being able to cope with and think through dealing with Lyme and with life. It will get better with treatment.
The trick is to be sure you are being treated for the right things. That CD57 is normal does not mean everything is okay...which you already know from how you are feeling. Below is a chunk of text from another website, which I found by searching "cd57 lyme disease". The links are truncated, but you'll still get the flavor of the conversation, and there is more to be found on the internet. I would particularly go to ilads [dot] org, under the tab 'About Lyme' and read Burrascano. You can search his 'Diagnostic Hints ...' for the terms you want.
What is known is that the tests are not that great, and that Lyme is a slippery creature, so that it sometimes takes a little wandering around to get the right diagnosis and the right treatment combination.
My own CD57 was in the lower side of the normal range, but not at the bottom as one might expect, and I was extremely ill for a long time.
Did you MD discuss with you the decision to test for other possible coinfections? You have not said whether your MD is an ILADS fan, but I would guess s/he is, or you wouldn't have had a CD57 test run. Part of why I was so very ill was that I had Babesiosis, like malaria. That got treated first, and made a big difference. Then I got Ehrlichiosis from another tick bite, and that its own set of miseries. (It's always something.) And everyone reacts differently to the different infections.
And what DOES your MD say? What is the game plan?
You hang there. I certainly remember feeling the way you describe.
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Below is information regarding the CD57. It may be a good indicator of having Lyme and possibly tracking progress, but keep in mind it is being found to be a bit unpredictable, more & more LLMD's aren't putting as much faith in the test as they use to and it should NOT be relied upon fully for diagnosis of Lyme and/or progress. Your symptoms tell the story and should always be considered first!
A low CD-57 can be related to all Tick Borne Diseases, Lyme, co-infections and possibly even viral co-infections - Dr. S (inventor) explained the different possibilities directly to me at an office visit I had w/him 5/08
Dr. Stricker and Edward Winger were in involved in the discovery of the CD57 blood test and its relation to Lyme Disease. It is often called the "Stricker CD57 or Stricker panel".
The test (recommended by most LLMD's) must be done at Labcorp and may be covered by insurance. (If your insurance doesn't cover the test, the cost is around $100-$150) LabCorp test code is 505026
In Dr. Burrascano's Treatment guidelines (I highly recommend that all Lyme patients print this 34 page manual): http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_gui ... _17_08.pdf on page 8 it explains the CD57 as follows.
"Our ability to measure CD-57 represents a breakthrough in LB diagnosis and treatment. Chronic LB infections are known to suppress the immune system and decrease the quantity of the CD-57 subset of natural killer cells. As in HIV infection, where abnormally low T-cell counts are routinely used as a marker of how active that infection is, in LB we can use the degree of decrease of the CD-57 count to indicate how active the Lyme infection is and whether, after treatment ends, a relapse is likely to occur. It can even be used as a simple inexpensive screening test, because at this point we believe that only Borrelia (Lyme bacteria) will depress the CD-57. Thus a sick patient with a high CD-57 is probably ill with something other than Lyme, such as co-infections.
When the test is run by Labcorp (preferred lab) we want our Lyme patients to test above 60; a normal count is above 200. There generally is some degree of fluctuation of this count over time and the number does not progressively increase as treatment proceeds. Instead it will remain low until the LB infection is controlled and then it will jump. If the CD-57 count is not in the normal range when a course of antibiotics is ended, then a relapse will almost certainly occur."
The CD-57 can be ordered by your doctor through Labcorp using the following info: 505026 HNK1 (CD57)Panel
The range of normal on this test is 60-360. Testing low on this test or below 60 indicates very likely active Lyme Disease. As a Lyme patient we "shoot" for 200 before stopping antibiotics (and of course remission of all symptoms for 4 full months) meaning our subset of natural killer cells (part of our immune system related to Lyme) are strong and healthy and fighting.
A CD57 can be used as a screening test, but only "works" only if it is low. If a CD57 comes back within normal range, it does no rule out Lyme Disease and co-infections. If symptomatic it is always wise to follow up this test with Igenex testing and then still base treatment on symptoms since no test is 100% reliable.
For an excellent explanation of the CD-57 read page 8 of the August 2006 issue of Public Health Alert for "All you wanted to know about the CD-57" : http://www.publichealthalert.org/Articl ... anted.html
AND http://heallyme.wordpress.com/2009/01/2 ... d-57-test/
Written by Dr. Stricker's nurse, Ginger Savely regarding two important tests C4A and C3A:
http://www.publichealthalert.org/Articl ... %20C4a.htm
Longterm decrease in the CD57 lymphocyte subset in a patient with chronic Lyme disease.
Stricker RB, Burrascano J, Winger E.
California Pacific Medical Center, 450 Sutter Street, Suite 1504, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA. ***@****
Lyme disease is a tick borne illness caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. In a previous report we described a decrease in the CD57 lymphocyte subset in patients with chronic Lyme disease. We have now identified a patient with chronic relapsing and remitting symptoms of Lyme disease who had decreased levels of CD57 lymphocytes over 10 years. This observation represents the longest duration of an immunologic abnormality ever documented in chronic Lyme disease. The CD57 lymphocyte subset appears to be a useful marker of long term infection with the Lyme disease spirochete.
PMID: 12088407 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1208 ... d_RVDocSum
---the above text copied from truthaboutlymedisease [dot] com --- with thanks to them!
Thanks for the info. I testes 98 on CD 57. My MD is not a Lyme Dr. No such thing in Alberta - "Doesn't exist here" even though I have travelled a lot and remember a tick bite in another province. Anyways a naturopath Dr. told me to have the test done. I just wish I could see some improvement because I am dragging my heels everyday trying to work (part-time) and I don't know how much longer I can keep it up but don't want to lose my job because I can get more hrs. when I am well. In six years never had a problem until Jan. when statted to have so much pain. I would cry as soon as I got in the car and call my mom/hubby.
My MD is not sure of this Lyme diagnosis (done through Igenex) so I doubt he would write me off work. Did you get better just taking the Doxy? 200 mg a day? Thanks for any imput.
I have not taken doxy; my LLMD (Lyme doc) prescribed other meds.
Ticks have several failings, and one of them is not being able to read maps. Therefore this statement that 'we don't have Lyme here' is simply foolish, and I do not know why MDs cling to it, but they certainly do, as you know.
It is possible that you do not have Lyme, didn't have Lyme, or have been cured of Lyme, but something is clearly wrong from your description, and that you remember a tick bite is plenty suspicious.
You really must get a full work up by either your current MD or find an MD who will. Sometimes friendly docs will venture down the path with encouragement, but only you will know after trying and trying with your doc whether he will or not. You might send him/her a link to Burrascano's Diagnostic Hints on the ILADS [dot] org website, or put in on a CD and mail it to your doc to read. It's pretty long to print out, but you can do that too. Docs often feel better if they see the kind of materials on the ILADS [dot] org website ... then they know it is not just a lot of fluff off the internet.
I would also suggest you search on line "LLMD Edmonton" or "LLMD Alberta" and go through the hits there to see what you might find as clues to a local doc who is up to speed on Lyme and coinfections.
Without ruling out the coinfections, you don't know what you are trying to treat, and doxy may not be the right drug. Your CD57 looks quite respectable, but mine was pretty good too -- and remember, I'm not medically trained, so you can't rely on me. CD57 is an indicator, not a flat-out absolute conclusion. If you can get your friendly doc to read up a bit and order some more tests, that might be the way to go.
Sorry not to be more helpful, but this is a disease complex that the patients have to take charge of, since the medical community is in disarray.
Best wishes --
I am so confused by my symptoms. On one hand, my lumbar MRI and brain MRI are clear (except for moderate arthritis in back, with no nerve compression, I am 42). The Lyme test I did with Igenex was positive. My thyroid, para thyroid, calcuim, potasium, diabetes test all came back negative. If you were me, would you try to be treating Lyme as the cause of my symptoms or something else?
This all seemed to come out end of Jan. 2010 after moving a too heavy dresser that I was selling (so dumb should had said "bring your husband"!) Anyways the night after moving it, noticed tingling in my legs but no back pain. Over the course of two weeks the pain got progressively worse (in my butt and tailbone) and then went to ER who diagnosed disc problem but neg on MRI. Then a month later (sorry to repeat myself) started to get bad neck stiffness, left elbow pain, severe fatigue, for two days couldn't use my left hand in Apr., got depression and anxiety like I have never seen in myself right away (but could be from the pain and realizing I can't do a quarter of what I used to do).
I have reduced my hours at work to 2.5 days a week (and struggling). I am afraid if I complain to my GP about all of this after he has given me abx, he will stop giving them to me and conclude I am going bonkers. Thanks for any advise......Let me know if I can be of any help to you! There are no LLMD in Alberta, I checked with CanLyme. There in one in Nova Scotia but a ticket there would be the same as going to Europe.