Q: My granddaughter has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and her Lyme doctors have done everything possible for her but after a year she is no better. Her mother feels that she has a mold sensitivity which explains her inability to get well. Even the Mayo Clinic won’t see her because she’s been diagnosed with Lyme. I want to see her go to someone who can say with certainty that all that is wrong with her is due, in fact, to Lyme. She sure needs some answers and we would appreciate some also. Thank you.
A: To begin with, I find it incomprehensible that the Mayo Clinic will not see her because she has been diagnosed with Lyme. She’s not contagious. She’s not going to infect the entire facility. There’s more to the issue than what you have apparently been told, so don’t let that influence you.
Further, if she has a mold allergy or sensitivity, that is relatively easy enough to control. Are her eyes red, does she cough or exhibit symptoms of asthma? Does she have a rash, or runny nose? Does she live in a damp house or one that has been exposed to excess moisture? She may need to see an allergy specialist who can test her to determine exactly what, if anything, she is allergic or sensitive to. Testing may be in the form of a blood test to measure her immune system’s response to mold. Or, she may have a skin prick test where substances are applied to the skin of her arm or back. An allergy will result in hives at the test site.
Now, on to the Lyme disease. If she has been diagnosed, she obviously had a blood test for confirmation. Her early symptoms might have included fatigue, headache, and a fever. A rash isn’t always present but occurs in about 60 to 80% of all infected individuals. She may have had a bull’s eye ring, a telltale sign. You don’t indicate what her doctors did for her once she was seen. As a general rule, the infection was hopefully controlled and eliminated by antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin. If treatment was delayed, it could result in symptoms that may be difficult to treat and in some instances, disabling. Having said this, even Mayo Clinic has determined that the majority of individuals diagnosed with Lyme recover completely with appropriate treatment.
I don’t know where you reside and mention this because some areas of the country are relatively Lyme-free. Nonetheless, your granddaughter should be seen by a specialist in the field who can review what has been done and proceed from there. I recommend you contact your local hospital to determine if they have a Lyme specialist on staff. If not, request a referral to someone with the knowledge you require. A year is much too long to go without improvement. Don’t hesitate any longer.