After the very bad experience I had with the doctor at U.T. Southwestern, I was anxious to try to find someone else who could re-test me for Lyme.
I wasn’t necessarily convinced that I had Lyme, but it was the only thing so far that had come back “somewhat” positive on any of tests that had been done so far. I also wanted to talk to somebody who could explain why I had a positive “Band 41” on my Western Blot*.
Testing for Lyme Disease: Follow the Steps
From what I have read on the internet, Band 41 represents the flagella part of the bacteria; this bacteria could be from Lyme or other infections such as syphilis or gum disease (yey!). So Lyme literate doctors (LLMD) typically like to see other bands show up on the Western Blot that are more specific to the Lyme bacteria before they start treating for this disease.
I have also been reading about a lab in California called IGeneX that specializes in testing for tick-borne disease (www.igenex.com). The big problem is trying to find someone who is will order the test for me.
I tried contacting the LLMD in Bedford, but his office never called me back? I’m not sure why, but I didn’t want to wait around any longer.
I had been reading the book, The Lyme Diet, by Dr. Nicola McFadzean (www.restormedicine.com), to try to better understand what Lyme disease is and what types of treatments are available. I decided to give Dr. McFadzean a call to see if by some small chance she was seeing new patients and if I could get in right away.
I called her office and later on that afternoon received a phone call back saying that she happened to have a cancellation for the following Monday at her San Diego office (it was a Thursday when I called). Thankfully, we had enough American Airline points to get a ticket without breaking the bank.
All I want is to get a follow-up test on Lyme so that I can know for sure whether I have this disease or not. So I guess I have to fly to California to hopefully get that answer. San Diego, here I come!!!
Lyme Spirochetes: My Blood Microscopy
*Western blot – what is it?
Trying to speak about the matter in simple terms, a Western blot is a kind of blood test. It is a routine test that uses antibodies to detect the presence of the protein.
Usually a Western blot blood test is run on a specific gel that separates the proteins according to their sizes. This is to ensure that the antibodies used in this test detect the right proteins and therefore these antibodies will “attach” to them. For instance, during a Western blot test, you see two different proteins, the band 34 and the band 41 (anyway, the numbers don’t matter much). From this test you’ll discover that the band 34 is the right protein and the band 41 is the other type of protein.
Why is this test used? Aside from the scientific research on how much proteins you have in your body, the test is also used to test for certain conditions such as HIV or Lyme disease. In a Western blot, these antibodies also attack certain proteins (ones that they don’t bind to) and also the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.