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"Early" Lyme Symptoms

Hello - I am wondering if anyone can clear up the "early treatment" timeline for Lyme Disease.
The rash started out looking and itching like a mosquito bite or poison ivy then developed the bullseye a day or so later. We were not even aware of any sort of insect bite until the rash showed up and went to the doctor and got antibiotics the day the bullseye emerged. No other flu like symptoms, body aches, etc. so far and the itching has stopped since taking the antibiotics. Is there anything else we should be doing or looking for? Has anybody else experienced a similar scenario with confirmed Lyme Disease?
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Avatar universal
Welcome to MedHelp Lyme --

You are asking good questions!  'Early treatment' translates as 'the sooner, the better' --  Lyme is an erratic infection with symptoms and awareness that vary widely among those of us who have Lyme,  partly because Lyme often brings along with it one or more other, separate infections that are not related to Lyme itself, but are carried by the ticks that *do* carry Lyme.  

As a result, the mixture of these other infections along with Lyme cause symptoms to be different in each person.  It requires and experienced and wise MD to understand all this, but unfortunately many MDs who *think* they really do understand Lyme etc. diagnosis and treatment, when really the docs may be largely clueless.  The reasons for that confusion in the medical world go back some years, when Lyme was first discovered.  The 'founders' (for lack of a better word) initially decreed that Lyme was rare, hard to get, and easy to cure with a few weeks of doxycycline antibiotics -- full stop.

As can happen, the MDs who first discover such a new and puzzling ailment tend to focus on their earliest inclinations, and then may stubbornly continue to cling to those inclinations regardless of later data.  Too many Lyme docs are -- sadly -- 'clingers' in that way.  The result for the entire community of Lyme patients and Lyme MDs?  Confusion.  You ask, "I am wondering if anyone can clear up the 'early treatment' timeline for Lyme Disease", and that is a prime example of the confusion still among MDs:  in a rapidly spreading and new illness, docs too often cling to early ideas rather than keep an open mind.
  
You say:  "The rash started out looking and itching like a mosquito bite or poison ivy then developed the bullseye a day or so later."  Many of us never see a tick -- and never see a rash of any shape.  Count me as one of those.  Eventually, the medical community will have all the aspects of Lyme figured out, but for now, it's common for those with Lyme to have erratic and uncertain diagnoses and treatment.

You say:  "We were not even aware of any sort of insect bite until the rash showed up and went to the doctor and got antibiotics the day the bullseye emerged."  I never got a rash, and others I know didn't either.   So you were 'lucky' in that regard.

You say, "No other flu like symptoms, body aches, etc. so far and the itching has stopped since taking the antibiotics."  That's good ... but in answer to your question, "Is there anything else we should be doing or looking for?"  I would say that if you or one or more of your family members feels off in any way, it is worth seeing a Lyme specialist.  Without a tick bite, without a tick, and without any rash at all, I had Lyme and didn't know it ... and several MDs told me I couldn't possibly have Lyme because I "didn't look sick enough" [a direct quote from an MD.]

You ask, "Has anybody else experienced a similar scenario with confirmed Lyme Disease?"  Yes, indeed, but unlike diagnosing other infections, I would not wait thinking I must not have Lyme because I didn't feel awful.  Lyme is very subtle, and any odd symptoms (like simple tiredness) could mean Lyme and other infections also carried by the 'Lyme' ticks are at work.  

In desperation, an MD (one of the ~20 docs I saw before I was finally diagnosed) tested me for Lyme, since the doc had ruled out everything else.  My Lyme test came back positive! -- which Lyme tests don't always do, since the human immune system is often suppressed by the presence of Lyme, giving a 'false negative' test result (which is a whole other problem with Lyme diagnosis).  Despite the positive Western blot test I had, the MD told me (direct quote):  "You could not possibly have Lyme:  I have patients with Lyme ... and they are all near death."  (Gee, thanks, doc.  And he was wrong.)  

An old friend of mine had had Lyme some years before I got ill, and when the doc blew off the positive Lyme test I had, I knew to find a Lyme specialist for different (and better) testing.  I was diagnosed with Lyme and babesiosis, then treated for almost a year with specific antibiotics.  That was about eight years ago now, and I remain healthy and rid of Lyme.

Moral of the story?  If you feel sick, keep trying to figure out what you've got till you know with certainty, and then figure out what will get rid of the ailment.  It's worth it, and the hardest part was getting the *diagnosis*!
Avatar universal
PS --  I'm not medically trained, but it sounds like you jumped on the situation quickly -- which is good!  Many of us never see a tick or a rash, so you're ahead of things.   The sooner you got antibiotics, the better.  The goal is to treat quickly, before the bacteria settle in, and it sounds like you might have done just that -- !  

Did your doc say that you should come back for a follow up appointment when the antibiotics are done?  You might not need to, if the symptoms are gone, but then again, it's always good to have confirmation from a doc that you are cured.  If your doc didn't say you should come back for a follow up, you might want to make an appointment anyway, just to be on the safe side ... but I'm not medically trained, so can't say what's right or wrong in your situation.  

That said, I would like to have a confirmation that tests are now clean.  That's what I would do.  Best wishes!  and let us how you do --

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