SAFWH is diagnosed Bipolar 2 and ADD. He takes Effexor XR and ritalin. He was diagnosed by a respected neurologist at a teaching hospital after years of being treated as chronically depressed. His personality was always somewhat of an "absent minded professor" type, easily distracted, forgetful, etc. This affected his self esteem considerably. The ADD runs in the family, both sons, his father, etc.
Recently he was also diagnosed with Lyme disease. The only symptom he had was a thumb that was unable to hold his cello bow. He had the same symptom a year ago which was dismissed as nothing by a hand specialist. This year, he insisted on a Lyme titre which was "very high" according to the doctor.
The scary thing is that he seems to be losing some processing skills. He is slower, he is more forgetful. It isn't outwardly obvious, but it is noticeable to me. I don't know if it is Lyme or early dementia, or medication adjustment.
I do find myself getting impatient when I am explaining the same thing for the fifth time. I try hard not to sound condescending. Add to the mix, he is deaf, and uses hearing aids, when he forgets them, it is like the looney bin. Some of the things he thinks I've said are utterly ridiculous
He is only 63. Who do we see? A neurologist? An infectious disease doctor? If it is the ID doc, do we wait for six months to try to get a reliable read on the titre?
Getting old is not for the faint hearted...
But his driving scares me.
I would consult with both the neurologist AND the ID and if there is a lyme dr in your area, please see them!! I went undiagnosed for a long time because after the initial tick bite I was treated for only 10 days instead of the recommended 3-4weeks. I was told it was everything from rheumatoid arthritis, to ms. I lost all feeling in my right arm for nearly 3 months,and experienced crippling pain in my joints and muscles. My mood and brain and vision were in pretty bad shape.
I finally convinced my pc to test me almost 9 months later because no matter what we tried, I just kept declining. As soon as I got my dx, I called a local lyme dr, and was seen right away. Ive been lyme free for 3 1/2yrs now, but still frequently experience some of the symptoms. Ive been told by other people who have had long term lyme that they experience these symptoms as well.
Dr. PJ, are there differences in damage due to Lyme's vs early dementia? What kind of doctor would do this testing? Could it be a medication issue? I neglected to mention his high BP and cholesterol but of which are only controlled with medication. His diet isn't the best.
"I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance." Garth Brooks
Along with Neuro, I would suggest seeing a Rheumatologist if you do not have someone in your area that is versed in treating lyme. It sucks, and it is difficult to treat. Proper treatment is key to good long term outcome.
Also, in our area, we have a driving simulator at the medical college's geriatric clinic. I recommend to my clients that they have their loved one take the simulation and if they pass, then they can keep driving. Sadly, most don't pass.