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When Lyme disease becomes a nightmare

Original post made on May 5, 2012

Sherry Cagan of Portola Valley says she nearly died when she ended up in the emergency room with the systemic MRSA staph infection last year. After seeing "maybe 50 doctors" for a long list of symptoms that included hip pain, arm pain, numbness in the foot, fatigue, sleeplessness, brain fog, and decreased lung capacity, she finally received a diagnosis that had eluded her for seven years: Lyme disease.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 3, 2012, 4:03 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Judy Morley, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Thanks for good reporting on Lyme disease. I was successfully treated for 3 years. This is the most accurate and comprehensive news article I've seen. Appreciate the good research.


Posted by resident, a resident of another community
on May 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

There are a lot more Lyme patients in the Bay Area than you would think from coverage, mostly because of doctors believing it's an East Coast problem and not thinking it exists here. When people don't get early diagnosis and fast treatment, it becomes a more serious problem. Controversies over late-stage treatment, enmeshed with various conflicts of interest, mean most patients keep their heads down and just get the treatment they need if they can. I'm surprised to see such a comprehensive report in a local paper. I have read that ticks in Santa Cruz county are infected at a higher rate, and some of the coinfections occur at an even higher rate than Lyme.

An award winning film about the disease was produced by a Palo Alto resident and was on the Oscar documentary short list last year.


Posted by Mari A., a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm

The article states: "There are several Lyme tests available, but none is considered 100 percent reliable." I slept out in the open in the Big Basin area about 6 years ago at Cutter Camp with the cub scouts and remember feeling a lick on my belly and scratching it off in the middle of the night. I then developed the telltale Lyme disease bull's eye rash and went to get tested. The test had conflicting results so they could not tell weather I had Lyme disease. My doctor and i decided to treat it like Lyme disease and i took a series of strong antibiotics that made the skin on the backs of my hands very sensitive to sun. It was summer and i am outdoors much of the time. Although it was an uncomfortable experience i am very glad I took the antibiotic treatment. My philosophy with Lyme disease is: when it doubt go ahead and treat it!


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are a growing problem in the Bay Area, as this article demonstrates. Many people go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed - it's tricky. Also, if you have dogs and cats (outdoor), check them frequently. They can get Lyme and/or pass the critter to you, but you can have them tested.

Dr. Christine Green is another local doctor who specializes in Lyme. I bet there will be more focusing on it in years to come, given how it and the other tick-borne diseases have been shifting territory with climate change.


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