Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What's the Good Test, part 2

So, on to the "good test". There is a lab in California, Igenex, which specializes in Lyme disease western blots, shows ALL the bands on the DNA bloodwork so you can see them and your doc can make educated (hopefully, if he's what we call Lyme literate, and knows what he's doing) and also reads thousands of these things a year. They also do the co-infection panels, because the same tick that gives a person Lyme can give them, at the same time, up to seven other infections. I have two, but I had originally three, including a mycoplasma in my system that my docs found two years before they found the Lyme. should have been a big tip off, but wasn't... too several more years of my won research to find the real cause.

All of that said... I was CDC negative, Igenex positive, and we only figured that part out because my doc's office called and said my test came back negative (pre-Lyme literate doctor) and when I, in tears, told Noah he said "No. The spirit witnessed to us that this was the answer. I want to see it for myself." He got them to fax over the results, and right under CDC negative (duh) it said "positive." He called me and we both sorrowed and rejoiced... it is so nice to know the name of the monster you are fighting, even if it is a mythological beast come real. The trouble with treating Lyme for a couple of months, with a single antibiotic, is that it can happily encase itself in a hard shell, hide until the antibiotics are gone, and then resurface to wreak more havoc. It can change its protein form from standard to spirocete. Cousin to it's evil friend, syphilis. Lyme is a beast.... but it is a beast that, if not kill completely, you can at least place in chains in the basement. It tries to escape periodically, and you beat it back, but it doesn't have to kill you....not if you care for it.

It has to get diagnosed, though, because without treatment, the effects are astonishing. Besides infertility, if it doesn't kill of the egg in your womb, it can pass through the placenta an happily infect your unborn child- I have two of mine who are Lyme positive, the third as yet untested, but with no symptoms (knock wood.) It can cause memory loss, palsy, and dementia rivaling Alzheimer's if left untreated. It can kill, but just like early AIDS patients (whose fight for recognition eerily mirrors that fight we face for Lyme recognition and treatment) sufferers are written down as death from pneumonia, or flu, or other things that get in and butcher when the immune system is overloaded or down. Unlike AIDS, though, antibiotics beat back the problem, though there is much discussion over whether it kills it off completely. I have an aunt who was treated quickly after a tick bite with full scale doxycycline in Iv form, the best treatment for Lyme, which is epidemic in her state, Virginia. She was pronounced clean two years ago, but since has been "reinfected" twice. All her symptoms return, and her immunologist says she must have been bitten by a tick again, as her rash comes back. Other Lyme docs say you can beat it back, but it doesn't take another tick bite to reinfect... it can go into remission and then return any time from a year to thirty years later, the key being to see when the trouble returns and treat again.
Lyme also causes all the the symptoms on the checklist I forwarded, and more. And doctors are missing it everywhere, because they still believe "that's not a problem here. Only those up North get that." Similarly to how AIDS patients in the nineties heard that "that's not a problem here. Only NY and LA." Unfortunately, bacteria and viruses care little for boundaries, between states, between countries, between people. Oh, and Lyme too, can be sexually transmitted.

But the Igenex test isn't covered, usually, by insurance. It's about 380 dollars. It's nasty expensive. But.... if you pray over it and feel like this is the answer for you to do, it is worth every penny to be able to go into a doctor and say "look at this. Now, send me to a specialist, and let's take care of this problem."

hopefully all that was not terribly rambley....I adore you, and I'm so sorry that you even have to suspect this sort of garbage. I want you to be prepared to know the trouble with getting a regular test. If a doc tells you "no big deal, we order the ELISA, it's negative, nope, not getting another test, you don't need one," you have to be educated in all this garbage so you can say "no, I want the other one anyway, humor me." It's so hard to find doctors to feel safe with, who pay attention to you, and it's so hard to get unprogrammed from the -deity complex we have regarding doctors. They are BRILLIANT, and have studied long.... but just as sometimes "when they are learned they think they are wise, and hearken not to the counsel of God, for they set it aside, believing they know of themselves, therefore their wisdom is foolishness and profiteth them nothing," we must be learned in both research and the spirit to know what guidance our family, our lives, our health needs. I hope I'm about the help at all with that, whether this beast is what you are fighting, or it is another.

love you- Tamar

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