My brother left behind his recording of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” before he succumed to the brain tumor he had fought so bravely. I miss you dearly Alan.
Janis C. Kelly
October 31, 2014
“Health care providers should consider Lyme disease as a cause of cardiac symptoms in patients who live in or have visited a high-incidence Lyme disease region, especially during summer and fall months and regardless of whether the patient reports erythema migrans. Additionally, health care providers should investigate the potential for cardiac involvement in patients who have other signs or symptoms of Lyme disease, particularly if they report chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or syncope,” the authors write.
The follow-up investigation to a December 13, 2013, report of three cases of sudden cardiac death associated with Lyme carditis included examinations of Lyme disease in seven high-incidence states. Lyme carditis was defined as acute second-degree or third-degree atrioventricular conduction block accompanying a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
During 1995 to 2013, the 121,894 cases included 1696 cases of Lyme carditis. Age-adjusted all-cause mortality (0.6% within 1 year of Lyme disease diagnosis) was lower than expected based on national rates. “Two of these deaths (0.002% of the total) were classified as suspected cases of Lyme carditis–associated mortality after review of available clinical information,” the authors write.
The two new cases were men in their 40s and 50s, both had clinical evidence of disseminated Lyme infection, and both experienced cardiac arrest within 6 weeks of Lyme disease symptom onset.
Median age for Lyme carditis was 43 years, but carditis was more common among men aged 20 to 39 years, among women aged 25 to 29 years, and among those older than 75 years than in patients aged 55 to 59 years. Most carditis (69%) was diagnosed during June through August. Patients presented with “fatigue, malaise, muscle and joint pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and syncope,” the authors note.
“In reported cases, sudden cardiac death remains infrequent when Lyme carditis is recognized and treated with appropriate antibiotic therapy. However, two additional suspected sudden cardiac deaths associated with Lyme carditis were discovered, bringing the total number of cases identified during this investigation to five (three confirmed and two suspected). These cases highlight the public health and clinical challenge that Lyme carditis poses and the need for better primary prevention strategies,” the authors conclude.
The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63:982-983. Full text
Why Do Those With Lyme Disease Become Estranged? – Tired of Lyme l Lyme Disease Support & Consolation.
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Health first. Social Life second.
1. Mental and physical symptoms
2. Fear of ridicule, embarrassment, or misunderstanding
It’s hard enough for a person with Lyme Disease to track down and attain all the answers for themselves regarding their own state of health, and then to be questioned about their battle with Lyme Disease from another person? Forget about it! Lyme Disease, in a nutshell, temporarily hinders and collapses the life a person knew. They lose their ability to work, go to school, and even perform their once indulging hobbies. It’s not easy for a 45 year old woman to tell her friends and family that she no longer works because of an bona fide illness that may appear delusionally to others as pure laziness. It’s surely no self-esteem booster for a 14 year old boy to tell his friends that he can’t come out and play for the fourth week in a row because he’s too tired. And of course it’s a crushing blow for a 21 year old junior in college to unwillingly bring his college endeavors to a halt. The raw nature of Lyme Disease is unusual and bizarre to a mind that has never embraced or experienced it, and surely will breed misunderstanding in conversions. The misunderstanding or ignorance of Lyme can lead to ridicule about the person with Lyme Disease, giving them all the more reason to not only isolate themselves, but justify their disconnection from socializing.
Without your health, you have nothing
It’s a simple logic: Put your health first! Friends, a lover, and family will likely be there when you’ve recovered. And even if they aren’t, you will possess the ability to make new friends and even repair relationships. It’s a reward that will return for the strenuous efforts you put forth to overcoming Lyme Disease