When The Medical System Doesn't Recognize Lyme Disease
May long weekend in Alberta is a great time for Albertans to get outside! Without even suspecting it, a tick can bite you. Our friend sent us this picture, of her daughter asking us if we thought it was a tick bite. She had been out in a field a couple times over the weekend enjoying a bonfire with friends.
At first glance we said that it looked like the classic bullseye rash you can get from a tick with Lyme disease. You can see more about the rash on the Lyme Disease Association of Alberta's website here http://albertalyme.org/diagnosis/about-the-rash.
We told her to go to the doctor and get it looked at right away. They decided to go to the hospital in a small town just outside of Calgary. When they got in to see a nurse she told them that it was probably a pimple. Then after examining it a bit further she said, it's probably a fly bite and to not wait around the hospital, explaining that there's no black centre and that she'd be able to see the tick. That is not true. You will not always see the tick.
In this image, her mother put felt marks around the ring to keep track of it. This was taken a few hours after visiting the hospital. We're still shocked that the nurse told them to go home. We suggested that she see her family doctor as soon as possible and to take her own health into her own hands. The Lyme Disease Association of Alberta did a pole in 2016 asking Lyme patients if their doctor identified the rash. Just over 80 per cent said NO!
The next morning they got in to see their family doctor who right away prescribed her antibiotics to treat Lyme Disease. Thank goodness. Lyme disease is best if treated during stage one. If this would have went on it would have become more difficult to diagnose and treat.
This image is the following day. As you can see the bullseye grew. Please know what the symptoms are and tell your healthcare provider about it. She started feeling flu-like symptoms the next day. The symptoms for Lyme Disease can get worse during each stage of the infection.
For a full list of symptoms visit http://albertalyme.org/diagnosis/signs-symptoms. In this case, she caught it within days of being infected. So happy she listened to her body and the symptoms.
Lyme Disease Association of Alberta - http://albertalyme.org/
Alberta Health Services - http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/lyme-disease.html