Up-tick: Lyme Task Force meets as cases rise

Many people know Lyme Disease as a tick-borne illness that causes a "bulls-eye" rash around the area of a bite. Fewer people understand just how serious Lyme Disease can be–- and how prevalent it's become in Virginia. With cases skyrocketing–- more than 900 reported in 2009 (up from 357 in 2006), according to the Virginia Department of Health–- and long-term effects of the disease including permanent neurological and joint damage, Governor Bob McDonnell appointed a task force in October aimed at increasing awareness and improving treatment options. The Lyme Disease Task Force will hold a public forum on Tuesday, March 15, from 1 to 4pm at James Madison University's Festival Conference and Student Center in Harrisonburg. Comments may be sent to Task Force Chairman Michael Farris at Lyme@PHC.edu.

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3 members of my family have contracted Lyme disease. My daughter was quickly diagnosed thanks to the telltale bull's eye, and was treated with a 4 week course of antibiotics with no lingering effects. My aunt and another relative, a young man, weren't so lucky; One developed severe arthritis, and heart disease, and the young man has such serious intestinal problems that work and family life have become a challenge and treatments have so far been unsuccessful.

I was bitten on Cape Cod in 2001, I knew I had Lyme after 2 days bacause the rash started to expand, After getting home from the Cape, about week later the rash was the size of a baseball. I went to the ER here in Taunton.I was seen by an MD that claimed he knew a lot about Lyme, he looked at it and you don't have it because it was not the EM bullseye rash, no bloodwork was done and he sent me out. The rash over a month was the size of a basket ball. I went to several MD's and finally after a year and a half I was diagnosed. At that point my knees were all shot. I was put on a picc line to my heart and had to inject myself with antibiotics for 30 days. After that I felt better but never normal again.In the past 6 months my symptoms are back. only 10 times worse. I am undergoing several tests with 3 MD's, they are all consulting with each other.I just got back from an MRI I had done today. Due to all this, I am in foreclosure, claimed bankrupcy, depleted most of my pension. I was denied dissability 2 years ago, I am applying again. I am considering moving to Cost Rica! I have had it!

The second comment proves how important is to listen to yourself
instead of doctors who don't care/know enough. Be your own advocate--no one
else will be.

My husband was also sick with a fever and flu-like symptoms for over 2 months that was thought to be Lyme disease and treated as such, but later was diagnosed as a related tick borne illness of which there are at least a dozen. The overuse of antibiotics is a problem in our country, but the experience of my family has taught me when in doubt take the prescribed course of medicine.

other lyme-like disease caused by ticks:


I got a tick bite on my junk last summer--true story.