Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Gimme Lyme!

How would you like to have Lyme disease? You know, the mysterious, crippling, tick-borne spirochete? I would be thrilled! And I'll tell you why: Because it would represent a possible ray of hope in my battle with ALS. Maybe I don't have ALS, maybe I just have Lyme disease. Maybe I have ALS, but the Lyme disease is making it worse. That's why I was thrilled to pick up the results of my recent blood work and see that my results for Lyme disease are still as mixed now as they were a year ago. I sent this email to my neurologist and will let you know his response:

My latest blood work results come back positive for Lyme, again.

The results reported 12/18/04 (which the GP has) were:

--Lyme disease for kD 18,23,28,30,39,45,58,66, and 93 IGG nonreactive


--Lyme disease 41 kD IGG reactive

Recall that the results from circa January 9, 2004 were:

---IGG factor: 0.2, with 0.8 or lower listed as "not detected."
---IGM 0.9, with 0.8 to 1.2 listed as "indeterminate" (0.8 would be "negative", and > 1.2 "positive")

I do not know the difference in the units and testing methods for the two result sets, then and now, but I do see a trend of nonnegative results. My questions to you are:

1) Is it possible that I had, or have, Lyme disease?
2) How closely might Lyme mimic ALS ... assuming, for discussion, that my response to Lyme was atypical?
3) Should I be treated for Lyme, and what does that involve?

In other news, my cholesterol picture has improved, only because they moved the goal posts. A year ago my ratio of LDL+VLDL ("good cholesterol") to HDL ("bad cholesterol") was 3.65. Now that I have spent a year eating only one egg a day, my level of HDL is almost the same, but ironically the LDL and VLDL have both come down. So my ratio of good to bad is currently 2.98. But they have changed the definition of what "normal" is to allow for a worse picture. And while I am not yet normal, I seem to be looking better. Also on the cardiac-risk-factor front, the triglycerides are well within normal limits, and that's good. They came down from 250 a year ago to 104 now. I keep this data at the bottom of the metrics page.

Here are images of my latest Lyme results from IgeneX:

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