The doctor put John on an oral medication called doxycycline. This is standard treatment for Lyme disease. He was supposed to take this medication for 3 weeks and if he wasn’t better to give them a call.
We left the office, got the prescription filled, he took his first dose and went back to work.
By Saturday afternoon John said he thought he might be feeling a little better.
Was it wishful thinking or was he REALLY feeling better?
We went to church on Sunday morning. After church, John grilled something ( I don’t remember what) for dinner and we while we were eating he said his right eye wasn’t blinking.
By the evening, the right side of his face wasn’t working at all. It looked like he had had a stroke.
We had been told by a friend that a doctor we knew casually, was an infectious disease doctor who was well versed in Lyme disease. This doctor, while not taking new patients, was willing to see John. We will be forever grateful that she did.
We saw her on Thursday morning, July 12th at 8:30 a.m. She asked many questions, checked his reflexes and did a thorough examination. She determined that the Lyme disease was in John’s central nervous symptom. She could determine this definitively with a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) but said she didn’t need to do one because of the symptoms John was experiencing. She said there are drugs that do not cross the blood/brain barrier and the treatment that John needed was intravenous drugs on a daily basis for at least four weeks. She was fairly certain it would be covered by our insurance without additional test. AND…she would like to get the peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line done that afternoon if possible! WHAT?
When John got the paralysis in his face I knew this was serious, but an immediate insertion of an IV line and DAILY IV antibiotics? Ok, Mary…take a deeeeep breath!
The hospital couldn’t get it done that afternoon, but the next morning (Friday, July 13th) we were in the hospital getting the line inserted and received his first dose of the antibiotic.
The home health nurse came on Saturday morning and brought the first weeks worth of antibiotics, drew blood and showed us how to administer the drugs. John was able to do this himself, which was good. *smile*
With the PICC line he could not get it wet, he couldn’t get it dirty, he couldn’t sweat (it would cause the bandage sealing the line to come loose), he needed to stay out of the sun and he wasn’t to drink alcohol because it would inhibit the effectiveness of the drug.
We were leaving on vacation that evening…headed to the beach. No sun, no water and no sweat.
Should be interesting…
I did not get the last part of this series written before I left for a few days to visit my elderly parents. I’ll be back with the final part early next week.
If you do not already subscribe to my blog via e-mail or RSS, maybe now would be a good time to do so…if you want to read the ending that is!
Have a good weekend…