Monday, August 11, 2008

The Waiting Game

Two entries in one day? That's definitely a record for me! I've avoided any update on myself here for awhile simply because I have no idea what's going on, but lots of people have been asking how I'm doing. So, here's what I know...

I still feel pretty terrible most of the time, with general CFS symptoms (exhaustion mostly) plus really bad pain in my knees. This has been going on now for almost 4 weeks, and it seems to be getting worse. I am absolutely sure that something besides CFIDS is going on because I have felt so good for the past 6 months and had gotten to the point where I rarely crashed and, if I did, it only lasted a day.

I saw my doctor last week, and she was understanding and concerned (as always!). She ordered a bunch of tests - 8 tubes of blood! - including a Lyme PCR, parvovirus, basic CBC, and a bunch of inflammatory markers. I have been waiting, rather impatiently, for the results. Her office called Friday afternoon while I was napping to say the Lyme test was negative and the parvovirus test wasn't back yet. By the time I got up, the office was closed for the weekend.

FYI, both Lyme and parvovirus are known triggers of CFS - that means these infections can trigger CFS to start or trigger a worsening in someone who already has CFS.

Lyme seems to be the most likely culprit, despite the negative test. Lyme tests are notoriously inaccurate, even though the PCR is a bit better than the standard antibody tests. So, I am anxious to try antibiotics. We live in an area where Lyme is almost epidemic, and many doctors here understand that the only really accurate test is to see if the patient responds to treatment. However, I know that my doctor will want to see all test results before trying anything.

Meanwhile, I am impatient not only because I'm sick of feeling so crappy, but also because we're supposed to go camping with my whole family this coming weekend. Three summers ago, I pushed myself to go on a family vacation when I was badly crashed, and it was a total disaster that I still have not gotten over emotionally. My entire family was in deep denial about the severity of my illness back then and just pretended everything was fine all week, when I was mostly bed-ridden. It was awful. Things are much better now with some family members, but others still don't acknowledge how my life has changed. So, I would really like to be feeling better by the time Friday rolls around.

So, I'm waiting. I think I'll leave another message with my doctor before the office closes for the day to make sure they call me immediately when the lab results are all in. Then, I better go lie down again. Even the laptop is too much for me right now.


Daphne said...

Please do try the abx. That is the only thing that has made a difference to Terri, even though she too had initial negative Lyme tests, but now she is doing SO much better. Best of luck!

Sue Jackson said...

Thanks, Daphne. Yes, we know the routine with Lyme. My older son has had it twice (and also has CFS). Both times we treated it very quickly and aggressively. My doctor's office was already closed when I called, but I'll try again tomorrow morning.


Luke S said...

Lyme PCR tests are notoriously unreliable. You need an Igenex western blot Lyme test, which you will have to pay out of pocket for. The first two tests came back negative, a PCR and standard western blot test. The standard insurance paid PCR and western blot test are just not sensitive enough. I found my Lyme after my Lyme literate doctor ordered an Igenex western blot test.

- Luke