- CASE FILE
7 ER visits in the past 18 months for stomach nausea, headaches, tremors, and nerve pain, have left the Doctors baffled? Could it be Lyme?
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
In March 2018 I began experiencing moderate to severe stomach nausea, which eventually landed me in the ER. A CT scan of my abdomen was fine, but labs indicated an elevated billirubin level. A HIDA scan was performed, which showed I had a low functioning gallbladder. After being referred to a GI Doctor and undergoing an EGD, Colonoscopy, and Ultra Scan of my abdomen, there were no other findings or explanation for my stomach issues, so I had my gallbladder removed in Aug. 2018. After surgery, I felt great and thought I was "fixed," however, four weeks post surgery the stomach nausea and headaches returned. Over the next several months the frequency and severity of the headaches and stomach nausea increased. I also began experiencing a variety of other symptoms, such as chest pains, hand/finger tremors, brain fog, headaches, sensitivity to light, terrible nerve and muscle sensations throughout my body, and generally feeling ill most days. I've had several severe "episodes," including one or more of the symptoms, which resulted in more trips to the ER. Last count was 7 trips total. In May 2019 I visited the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, and met with a Gastroenterologist who reviewed my medical history. Up to this point I had mainly been experiencing GI issues, with the tremors and other symptoms just beginning. He suggested a different treatment plan for my "mild Gastritis" noted on a previous EGD report and told me I would have to see a Neurologist for the hand tremors and other nerve issues I was experiencing. During my numerous ER visits and other appointments with specialists, I have had a variety of blood tests and imaging, including X-rays, CT scan of the abdomen, Brain MRI, and Pulmonary imaging. With all the procedures, scans, and labwork, still no diagnoses, other than the "mild Gastritis." At this point I was (and still am) very ill, with no confirmed diagnoses or treatment. In July 2019 my wife and I were visiting family in Northern California and happened to run into an old friend who has been dealing with Lyme disease for several years. She heard my symptoms and suggested I get tested for Lyme. When I returned home to Southern Utah, I mentioned this to my Primary Care Doctor and he ordered a test. It was obvious to me he really didn't know much about Lyme disease. The test results came back negative for Lyme, but I soon learned the test he ordered (ELISA) was not the correct test for Chronic Lyme disease. Due to frustration and a sense of urgency to get the correct tests, I began searching for a Lyme literate Doctor in my area. A search on the internet only came up with a single Neuropathic Doctor. I was skeptical, but met with the NMD and ordered a series of Lyme and co-infection tests through Igenex, a specialty lab in California. A couple weeks later the results were in and, by the labs own criteria (not CDC), they suggested I was positive for Lyme (B. burgdorferi), as well as Borreliosis - Relapsing Fever Borrelia and possibly Babesiosis. Due to these results, the Doctor suggested I begin a protocol of supplements and antibiotics, first targeting the Babesiosis. He prescribed Azithromycin and Atovaquone for initial treatment. Although skeptical and frustrated with the situation, I am very ill and desperate for relief, so I have been taking the prescribed meds for the past two weeks. I'm still not convinced I have Lyme disease, but like so many others, I'm stuck between Western Medicine unable to diagnose my illness and the skepticism I have for alternative medicine. Additionally, the high cost and associated anxiety of being forced to turn to alternative medicine while so ill is very taxing on me both physically and mentally. I'm beginning to feel hopeless in my situation and desperately need more answers. I need my life back!