A famous art collector is walking through the city when he notices a mangy cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a store and he does a double take. He recognizes that the saucer is extremely old and very valuable, so he walks casually into the store and offers to buy the cat for two dollars. The store owner replies “I’m sorry, but the cat isn’t for sale. The collector says, “Please, I need a hungry cat around the house to catch mice. I’ll pay you twenty dollars for that cat.” And the owner says “Sold,” and hands over the cat. The collector continues, “Hey, for the twenty bucks I wonder if you could throw in that old saucer. The cat’s used to it and it’ll save me from having to get a dish.” And the owner says, “Sorry buddy, but that’s my lucky saucer. So far this week I’ve sold sixty-eight cats.”
One day, a cat dies of natural causes and goes to heaven, where he meets the Lord Himself. The Lord says to the cat, “You lived a good life, and if there is any way I can make your stay in heaven more comfortable, please let me know.” The cat thinks for a moment and says, “Lord, all my life I have lived with a poor family and had to sleep on a hard wooden floor.” The Lord stops the cat and says, “Say no more,” and a wonderful, fluffy pillow appears. A few days later, six mice are killed in a tragic farming accident, and all of them go to heaven. Again, the Lord is there to greet them with the same offer. The mice answer, “All our lives we have been chased. We have had to run from cats, dogs, and even women with brooms. Running, running, running; we’re tired of running. Do you think we could have roller skates so that we don’t have to run anymore?” The Lord says, “Say no more” and fits each mouse with beautiful new roller skates. Week later, the Lord stops by to see the cat and finds him snoozing on the pillow. The Lord gently wakes the cat and asks him, “How are things since you got here?” The cat stretches and yawns, then replies, “It is wonderful here. Better than I could have ever expected. And those ‘Meals On Wheels’ you’ve been sending by are the best!”
I recently saw a patient with a history of Lyme disease and and a bullseye rash. He had it 4 years ago and was treated with antibiotics. He came to me because of nausea, diarrhea, belly cramps. Many people are unaware that when you are bit by a tic, you can now get a number of other infections such as bartonella ( the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever) and mycoplasma species ( cause of chronic fatigue ), Anaplasma, and babesia ( a parasite). Its not just lyme alone, which makes the picture of what is going on very complicated. Sometimes the labs dont confirm what you suspect and the physician has to go based on symptoms.
Lyme is called the great imitator cause it may mimic over 300 other diseases including, crohn’s, celiac, thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus ( just to name a few). Bartonella also causes enlarged lymph nodes and may mimic appendicitis. These infections may be associated with a rash which resembles stretch marks but occurs in areas where stretch marks dont occur.
My patient had a thorough evaluation by two other Gastro specialist as well as MRI of the brain, While there was no evidence of inflammation, or active infection, these infections often cause the immune system to be activated and chemical from the immune system can affect the body in different ways. I believe in this case, his brain was affecting his gut, causing cramps and diarrhea and vomiting. His endoscopy and colonoscopy were entirely normal, ruling out other causes of nausea vomiting and diarrhea.
Another point to make is– people can get bit more than once with a tic. There are different species of infections carried by tics. One treatment and success doesnt preclude getting bit again and new symptoms or recurring symptoms. Seek out a health professional who will listen to you, believe what you are telling you, who wont dismiss you and has the persistance to pursue and refer if he doesnt know what is going on.