This original article was provided to us by Mr. Marc Merullo. Living near to deer, even in Ohio, makes this an important message regarding medical run around and lyme disease:
My name is Marc Merullo and I would like to explain an experience that would make this possibly the most important article you will read. I am in the recovery process for lyme disease- but it took me way to long to get here.
I live here in Massachusetts and have all of my life. I grew up in Winchester, then later moved to Littleton, then to Maynard. I have worked in Concord for 20 years. Since my childhood in Winchester, I have always been an active, outdoor person who works a lot, studies languages, does a lot of yard work and tries to keep active.
During the year 2005 I noticed some gradual increase of strange symptoms. At first I thought nothing of them since they were just minor aches and pains. Aches and pains can come with age as well as wear and tear of the body I thought. Who would run to the doctor over a sore elbow or knee?
Unfortunately those aches became more severe as time when on. As more time passed those aches and pains grew into more serious symptoms. This was now becoming a concern. The first major symptom was an inflamed throat, which led to the inability to swallow. I immediately called the doctor and fortunately he could see me that day, so I went and he examined me.
He said I had throat inflammation and had to give me something to get the throat back to normal. I was instructed to go to the emergency room the following day to have them confirm my throat was back to normal and the prescription had worked. Fortunately the throat was in fact back to normal. I was relieved.
However, soon after a new set of symptoms moved in. There were pains in various parts of my body. Everyday there would be a different symptom. The symptoms included extreme fatigue, dizziness, sciatic nerve pain, sore muscles, redness in right eye and joint inflammation.
One night while going to do laundry my left shoulder became so inflamed I could barely move my arm. I had planned on going to the hospital but instead I took advil and the next day the inflammation was mysteriously gone. The next would be my knee. I went up to my primary care and he referred me to a knee doctor. This knee doctor was the best in the area and well known.
The knee doctor examined me and sent me for an MRI which came back normal except for inflammation.I was given a sleeve to keep the inflammation down and wore it all summer.I mentioned some of my other symptoms and didn’t get a response. Lyme disease was not on the radar.
From 2005 to late 2006 I was getting joint inflammation in various joints. I would get XRAY after XRAY and all they would say is “nothing is broken”. From 2006 until 2009 my symptoms became a lot worse some included extreme dizziness as well as anxiety.
I also had sore hands ,bells palsy and my legs felt as if I had major arthritis. After repetitive visits to the doctor, hospital even a practitioner, I finally demanded to see an E.N.T the dizziness may have been related to inner ear problems I thought.
The specialist was really good and did order various tests. Unfortunately for me they came back negative. One test done at a major hospital showed some hearing loss .They also cleaned my ears out but this in no way resolved my symptoms.I kept googling symptoms to try to give myself a diagnose and got a run around of answers.
I was getting nowhere with the doctors and nowhere on my own. On some research I had found a few herbs that were effective at treating various ailments.
Upon starting these I was feeling a slight relief.The relief however was short and I found myself back at square 1. I had a hard time walking let alone going to work or doing any of the responsibilities previously mentioned.On one occasion I went to the doctor because my dizziness was so bad, I could not walk all day without feeling as if I would fall.
The doctor thought I was imagining it and gave me an antidepressant prescription which I tore up in front of him. He was an oversized man and I told him to focus on his patients as much as he focuses on his appetite. Other doctors mentioned working too hard,stress,too much caffeine- all completely false conclusions.
One day I came into work very sick. I had been awake all night prior because my right leg was blown up like a balloon.They sent me to the hospital in which I was once again getting a run around.Finally they decided to give me an antibiotic for cellulitis. This was not the correct diagnose. When I called work I had informed them they gave me an antibiotic for cellulitis.
Finally my Lyme Disease Diagnosis
A customer who is a dentist happened to be in the Barbershop when I called ,mentioned to my boss to have me check for lyme. I took his advise and asked for the test. They did not believe it was lyme but I insisted on the test. The test came back positive with all but two bands positive. In a lyme test that is a strong positive result.This was a diagnose that was made 5 years too late, because if lyme is not treated within a short time it can become chronic.
The risk of losing that career you so longed for, to disability becomes greater.
Many people are put out of work because of chronic Lyme Disease and it needs to be diagnosed as quick as possible.Then the next issue is treatment. Some say 28 days is enough time to cure Lyme disease.
That is only true with an acute case. According to my research a chronic case can take many months to years of treatment-perhaps a lifetime.
Coming of of antibiotics I have relapsed many times I always end up back on them .Ticks are in low lying areas and The Northeast is a very high risk area .
Ticks can be active at any temperature above freezing.People in high risk areas need to be checked for lyme at the first site of any strange symptoms despite who advises against it.
The disease is actually becoming an issue and needs to be dealt with.If not lives will be ruined, careers lost, relationships lost, filing bankruptcy due to high medical bills. The loss of friends and relatives is also possible due to their inability to deal with you. How absolutely painful this can be.
And, All of this over a simple blood test
There are two known blood tests for lyme.The first is the Elisa ,the second is The western Blot.In its chronic form Lyme can resemble over 100 different diseases including Chronic fatigue syndrome, ALS, MS, RA, Parkisons,and many physichiatric disorders.
I read Lyme is a factor in a lot of chronic illnesses.There are ways to test for lyme if blood tests turn up negative one is a spinal tap .The next is a brain MRI. There are many reports of false negative tests .If in doubt a Lyme Literate(LLMD) Doctor should should be consulted.
There are many people being treated for conditions they don’t have leading to wasted time and money ,when the possibility exists that their illness is due to getting infected by a Lyme infected tick and a test was not performed on time.
More Tests once you are diagnosed with lyme disease
Upon a diagnose of lyme it is very important to be checked for coinfections such as Babesia and bartonella. These co-infections according to research are very important to be treated as well as Lyme itself. Babesia is known to cause imbalance,headache,fatigue,sweats as well as cns involvement as well as Lyme.
Some other coinfections include Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever .