If anyone could help I'd appreciate it...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2010 10:02 PM GMT
    So my best friends eyes turned devil red about a month and a half or two months ago. It turned out she had iritis, but they weren't sure what caused it... they thought she might have a problem w/ her immune system. They put her on steroid drops and things seemed to start gettng better. She had to go in for a lot of testing, and today I went with her to get some of the results. It turns out she has lyme disease. Now the Dr. said her optic nerves are swollen and she has some brain swelling. The weird thing is these are symptoms of advanced lyme disease, but she didn't have a high IgG count (the antibodies produced when someone has advanced lyme disease) she only had IgM antibodies.

    SO... my question to you guys, if anyone can help, is: Is the brain swelling definitely from lyme disease, and should her antibiotics take care of it, or is this something more serious? I've been trying to research it so I can talk to her and make her feel better because she's freaking out, but I'm not finding much. Anything you guys know would really help. Thanks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2010 10:58 PM GMT
    check out www.aldf.com
    did you try webmd?

    did you goggle iritis or Lymes Disease?

    Also, I googled iritis symptoms

  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Feb 24, 2010 4:28 AM GMT
    Sorry, I can't help with the medical stuff, but it sounds like seeing another doc for a second opinion would be good. I certainly would if I had brain and optic nerve swelling. I hope she recovers soon.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 24, 2010 6:08 AM GMT
    Try these, they may help. Good Luck.
    http://www.thelymelady.com/lyme-disease-brain-fog.htm
    http://www.emedicinehealth.com/lyme_disease/article_em.htm


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 24, 2010 6:20 AM GMT
    Honestly, with something potentially this serious, I wouldn't really rely on any self-diagnosis from information you find online. You and/or your friend may think that things match, but only an actual doctor will know which signs mean what and how important they are.

    Having said that, I agree with Sparkycat: she should really get another opinion if she has doubts. Even if the current doctor turns out to be correct, that's about the only thing that can clear the doubt.

    I hope for the best for her, and just wanna commend you on being there for a friend who's really going through a tough time. Having someone around when you're dealing with scary things like she is can really make all the difference.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Feb 24, 2010 9:14 AM GMT
    Does she wear contact lenses?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 24, 2010 9:16 AM GMT
    Thanks guys, they've helped a bit, but I think it'll just take time for her to get over the intial shock of hearing such bad news... it seems like nothing I say is calming her down icon_cry.gif. She's a tough girl though, and she'll be fine. Thanks again for the help though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 24, 2010 9:22 AM GMT
    ucimae saidHonestly, with something potentially this serious, I wouldn't really rely on any self-diagnosis from information you find online. You and/or your friend may think that things match, but only an actual doctor will know which signs mean what and how important they are.

    Having said that, I agree with Sparkycat: she should really get another opinion if she has doubts. Even if the current doctor turns out to be correct, that's about the only thing that can clear the doubt.

    I hope for the best for her, and just wanna commend you on being there for a friend who's really going through a tough time. Having someone around when you're dealing with scary things like she is can really make all the difference.


    Just wanted to qiuckly reply to one part of this... she's not relying on any self-diagnosis, I was just hoping for some links to any site (hopefully trustworthy) that would have some info on it that could ease her mind icon_cry.gif She's really worried and I wanted to find something in print that would make her feel just a little bit better. Thank you for hoping the best for her, she will be okay, even if I have to cure her myself icon_smile.gif. I recently had a scare w/ my heart so we're accompanying eachother to our cardiologist/MRI appointments this Friday, lol. Great start to the new year, huh?
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Feb 24, 2010 12:08 PM GMT
    I'm no immunologist, but IgM is usually "newer" antibody, as opposed to antibody your system is making from the memory of past exposure. So that is odd she's having advanced symptoms. Maybe it's just a particularly quick progression with her.

    Another thing though is that optic nerve and brain inflammation is not exclusive to Lyme disease. Multiple Sclerosis, for example, can have overlapping symptoms and look similar on MRI, and do the same thing to optic nerves and white matter in the brain.

    Lyme disease is something that is easily misdiagnosed, so I hope she's had a lot of tests that are ruling everything else out. Is she seeing a good doctor? A neurologist might be someone to make an appointment with.

    I wish her the best. An out of nowhere diagnosis like that can be pretty consuming. You're awesome for just being there for her.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 24, 2010 1:35 PM GMT
    Lyme's disease, caused by B. burgdorferi, can be a challenging diagnosis to make. Lyme's disease has replaced syphilis as the great imitator. B. burgdorferi and the organism that cause syphilis are both spirochetes. The diagnosis can easily be missed if the usual findings of Lyme's disease were not noticed. Not everyone remembers the tick bite or the classic bulls-eye rash followed by a flu like illness characterized by fatique, malaise and muscle aches. Bell's palsy is frequently reported.
    There is another group of individuals that are misdiagnosed as having Lyme's disease, and their symptoms are due to another illness.
    Iritis can be caused by Lymes' disease. Iritis is more frequently associated with the collagen diseases rheumatoid arthritis and anklyosing spondylitis. Brain swelling and optic nerve swelling can have many causes besides Lyme's disease.

    If someone tests positive for the IgM antibody but not the IgG or Western blot test, then he may have a false positive test result (not Lyme's disease) or a very recent infection. If his IgM, IgG, and Western blot tests are positive, then it is likely that he has Lyme disease. If his antibody concentrations rise over time, then it is likely that he has an active B. burgdorferi infection.

    If an IgM result is not detectable but the IgG and Western blot test are positive, then it is likely that the person tested either has a later stage infection or had an infection at some time in the past. If all tests are negative, then either the person's symptoms are due to another cause or the antibody levels are too low to detect.

    A specialist in infectious disease usually handles cases of Lyme's disease. He may consult a neurologist or rheumatologist depending on what organ systems are involved.

    B. burgdorferi is readily killed by antibiotics. What may happen in Chronic Lyme's disease is that the immune system which was activated by the bacteria goes out of control. The bacteria may long be gone, but the dysfunctional immune system destroys healthy tissue. Joints are destroyed especially the knees. Other organs like the brain can be involved.

    I hope all turns out well for you and your friend.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 25, 2010 12:05 AM GMT
    Thanks for your help guys, I talked to her and she made 2 more appointments today with other doctors to make sure she's getting the correct diagnosis. She has her MRI on friday, so hopefully they can fix her soon! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 25, 2010 3:44 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear the news about your friend. My sister discusses this with doctors and researchers at John Hopkins here in Maryland. Drop me a note they can make some connections.