Hi Doctor, I have a bacterial condition. It's caused some varied symptoms and I think it might be causing my dizziness but I'm not sure. I want to make sure I don't have an ear infection and am thinking it's yet another symptom of the bacteria.
Yeah, I'm seeing a couple of doctors for it. I've been on antibiotics and since I have difficulty with them (notice my listed allergies,) I've been advised to try some alternative, herbal supplements. I'm actually much better than I was a few months ago.
Who is my doctor? He's in Connecticut.... (Do I want to mention their names and perhaps endanger them?)
The bacteria? Oh, I'm sure it was spread by an insect.
Symptoms? Well, for me, I get brain foggy and very lethargic. Like, I don't want to get outa bed lethargic. Sometimes I get electric zaps in my legs. Lately, I've been getting headaches. Sinus-type headaches or headaches that make me feel like I've worn my hair in a ponytail for far too long. If I just move my hair, my head hurts. That's been a little better lately (since decreasing the Byron White A-L, I think.)
No, I never used to get headaches. I wondered if I had a sinus infection a couple of times and then they went away. My doctor said he's seen that with the bacteria. I do have allergies also.
I'm absolutely not depressed. In fact, I can't wait to go home and go on a long bicycle ride with my family. Thank you, but no, I don't require an antidepressant. Yes, sometimes I'm very anxious but it's a symptom.
How do I know anxiety is a symptom? Well, if I'm super-stressed, I have an increase in all my symptoms. And if I start a new medication that kills the bacteria, sometimes, totally out-of-the-blue when there's no possible reason for me to feel anxious, my heart will start pounding away and I'll feel super stressed.
Yep, my doctors have said that the die-off of the bacteria can cause symptoms.
Well, that's what they say and that's been my experience. (And the experience of 1000s of others, I say in my head.)
Am I anxious now? Not anymore so than the typical person who can't find a cause or a way to alleviate symptoms of a disease.
So, I don't have an inner ear infection? Well, that's really good news to hear after 3 hours of testing.
Do you have any idea why my nose has been twitching for months?
Nah, it's not cute anymore. In college, a long time ago. It was a party trick; look at me, I'm a bunny rabbit. I'm Bewitched. I guess it's cute if I wanted to do it but it does it on its own and it's really annoying. (And I'm a little old for cute.)
You think I should go to a physical therapist for my neck? Oh, but you see, it's always a little tender and I've just been doing a lot of bicycle riding this week for the first time since winter ended, and I have scoliosis.
It's possible...I could ask my chiropractor if he thinks the dizziness is related to my neck.
Oh...you don't believe in chiropractors? You think they can make things worse? Oh, that's not good. I've been going to chiropractors for half my life and they've done amazing things to help me.
The name of the bacteria that's affecting me? Your really want to know it? The CDC doesn't even want to know it.
OK, I'll tell you.
No, it doesn't go away with 3 months of doxycycline. That's a myth that's perpetuated by the CDC and the Infectious Disease Society.
Well, a short burst of antibiotics can work for some lucky people who catch the tick bite immediately, but, in real life, for most people, this doesn't ever go away.
You see, not everyone gets a bull's-eye or knows that it's there. I know I was bitten on my head. With all this hair, I'd never have seen a bull's eye.
I'm just trying to be as healthy as possible. If I can keep my immune system really strong, I'll be OK in the long run because I don't have a terrible case of it. But I have friends who have it much worse. My own son has joint pain and vision issues from this.
When did I get it? I really have no idea. Perhaps as a kid playing in the woods. I've always had dogs; dogs pick up insects, carry them around. I might have given it to my kids--I don't know. Yes, there are some studies that show that this bacteria can be passed through the placenta.
I know you don't know about that. Scientists have sat on these studies rather than make them public. Let me show you a local study.
You really don't know much about this bacterial disease? That's a shame. Your shame, to be quite forward.
You are a doctor, right? Does learning anything beyond your specialty interest you? Have you misplaced that goal of wanting to save the world? Is doctoring simply a... JOB to you now?
Do you realize how many people you might be sending away who have the same thing I do? Why don't you know more about this than I do? Why won't you listen to me?
You won't listen to me, will you? Not until someone in your own family gets this, and even then....
Oh, how I wish I'd had the gumption to say those last lines.