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Jodi I's Story

In the fall of '98 I began to have headaches, blurred vision and incredible fatigue. By that December I was experiencing spells of lightheadedness and heart palpitations. This continued and by spring of '99 I began suffering joint symptoms. In that August bloodwork was done showing an elevated sedmentaion rate, but nothing else.

My doctor never even suggested a Lyme test, even though we are completely surrounded by fields and woods, and even though we walked through there often and camped. This was the first problem. His excuse for not suspecting Lyme was that "it is not even up here yet" (referring to Central Maine). I was given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and told to accept it and learn to live with it.

After going down many wrong medical paths I was given the name of a Dr. Jennifer Nields, from a neighbor who shared the same symptoms as me, and tested positive on a Western Blot for Lyme. This all happened in the late summer of 2000. Through my neighbor's urgings and those of Dr. Nields', I got in touch with Dr. Sam Donta in Boston.

A nurse practioner here in Maine did a clinical diagnosis and started me on antibiotics until my appointment with Dr. Donta. Bloodwork was ordered by Dr. Donta since my primary care wouldn't do the western blot by the lab, Dr. Donta requested. My western blot was positive. The ELISA was negative, but so many doctors believe it is accurate.

My neighbor's wife now has Lyme as well as another man less than two miles away, and another friend the next town away. All of us tested negative on the ELISA. Dr. Donta said that it is all about re-educating physicians. I completely agree, but know this takes time. In the meantime, how many others are out there being misdiagnosed?! The thought frightens me.

God bless to all fellow sufferers. I am doing the combination of plaquenil/biaxin and I am seeing improvements every month.

Jodi Ireland
Fairfield, Maine

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