2013-02-13

Lyme Disease. In the Chateauguay Valley?

2012. One of a series of diatribes regarding my recent (a few months ago) experience with Lyme Disease.
Be patient- there's older diatribes of mine regarding Lyme that I will integrate here.
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  Last fall I contracted Lyme disease. 

One of its lesser-known symptoms (it occurs in 5%-10% of "victims") is a condition known as Lyme Carditis, which manifests itself in extreme bradycardia (slowing of pulse rate)
The various doctors that diagnosed me were unfamiliar with this, and soon decided that if I didn't quickly get a pacemaker, I had a good chance of dying. My pulse was down to 28-35 beats per minute.
So they shipped me off by Ambulance to the Jewish General Cardiac ICU in Montreal, where I got the same "You need a pacemaker ASAP!" opinion.   Once I had figured out that this condition was almost certainly due to Lyme Carditis, which most of the Medical establishment here dismissed, it was too late- the pacemaker had been installed.
Oh yeah- during the "installation", my lung was accidentally punctured, resulting in Pneumothorax, and a FURTHER two day stay in the hospital, hooked up to an in-house vacuum cleaner.
BAH!  I am not a Happy Camper.

If I had stayed home another week, and not worried too much about this bradycardia, it would have cleared up on its own accord. It really didn't bother me much-  just a sort of fainting sensation when I ran up stairs, and which I quickly recovered from.

 But then, I never would have known I had Lyme disease - until several months later Rheumatoid Arthritis (another Lyme disease symptom) was setting in, and my doctor would presumably then have said "Gee, Tony- You're getting old! You have to expect these sort of problems at your age!"
Well, no.  I do not!.
BAH again! Guess I'm fucked, either way.

Lyme disease is becoming a serious problem in much of our rural Canadian society here- it is vastly under-reported (again in my humble estimation) due to its being masked by symptoms created by other common diseases.

Think you have Lyme? Consult your local physician. But be aware: In Montreal,  the two-stage blood test takes 6 to 8 weeks for the results to be received!

Ormstown?  I'm STILL waiting for my follow-up test results. It's been more than two months. I'm betting that the 23 day regimen of Doxycycline didn't cure my Lyme, as I had contracted it at least 2 months before my prescription was given.
But then, I'm not the unnamed (as yet) doctor in Montreal that prescribed my Doxycycline.

The local veterinarians in our area routinely test dogs and horses as well as other domestic and farm animals for Lyme.
And?  Quite a few animals have it.
And here's the kicker: Apparently they can provide you with a diagnosis in less than one day. That is, if you're a dog. Or a horse. I asked a local vet if she could test me for Lyme, but she just laughed.  Ha-ha. Funny, huh? 

Ah, but there's a hospital much closer to me than Montreal or even Ormstown, that can provide me with a Lyme disease diagnosis.
This local hospital is, of course,  in the US (in "small-town" Malone, NY) and apparently can provide a diagnosis for Lyme disease (including the "Western Blot" test)  within two days!
Alas, this will apparently have cost me $150- $200.
It's expensive, but I may just go this route. 

And- this damn pacemaker is UNCOMFORTABLE!  If I can get it removed, I just might put it on E-Bay.
Hey, Medtronics? What's the going price for a 2nd-hand pacemaker?

   -----  end of diatribe -----