Have you ever celebrated a positive test for an illness? I have, and so have many others who have suffered long from Lyme disease without a diagnosis.
As I mentioned in previous posts, when I first suspected Lyme disease in 2017, my doctor didn’t test me for it. A year later, my new primary care provider did suspect Lyme, but the test returned negative.
While I awaited my results, I made an appointment with Dr. McIntyre for my daughter Michaela. The month before, Michaela’s pediatrician had prescribed two weeks of Amoxicillin for acute Lyme. But I had heard and read she needed at least three weeks. In fact, with Lyme disease, sometimes even four weeks isn’t adequate.
Why Standard Treatment Might Not Be Enough
As Dr. McIntyre writes in her consent form, “The standard treatment for acute Lyme disease is one month of Amoxicillin for children, or one month of Doxycycline for adults. A study done at Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that 36 percent of patients who received this standard treatment remained ill.”
She went on to say, “Some patients who initially respond to the treatment may develop chronic Lyme disease symptoms months to years after their initial infection.”
Michaela seemed fine, but I wanted to make sure she dodged any long-term disabilities.
How My Lyme Disease Test Impressed
At Michaela’s first appointment with Dr. McIntyre, I received an unexpected gift. My lab results were in, and I had tested positive for Lyme disease!
In fact, my number was double or triple the required amount to be considered clearly positive. At a later appointment, Dr. McIntyre described my Lyme test as “impressive.” Though a blood test isn’t how most people want to earn that label, I found it validating.
Plus, this was the C6 B. burgdorferi (Lyme) test, which is highly specific. In other words, it only delivers false positives about one percent of the time.
Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide was authored by a team of MDs. In it, they say, “If the positive test is an IgG Western Blot or a C6 Lyme ELISA, it is very unlikely that either of these tests would be falsely positive. A positive result on these latter tests would be excellent evidence to indicate past or recent infection.”
Twice more, I would test positive on the C6, making a false positive nearly impossible.
My body released all the tension it had been carrying. I wasn’t crazy, just aging, or a hypochondriac. I had a test-proven and often debilitating disease called Lyme.
But then Dr. McIntyre said something that would prompt me to do more research. When going over my low CD57 count, she said, with a serious expression, “I’m not sure how long you’ve had this.”