My 4 year old daughter’s Lyme disease history
July 27 to August 1: We were camping in the Kootenay Mountains in British Columbia.
One day, I noticed a bug bite on Mable’s face and at the time, I thought that it was sand that got trapped in her bug bite. I tried to remove it with a towel a few times, but it did not come out. Still thinking it was sand; I believed that it would go away the next morning when we would go swimming. I do not recall seeing the “sand” again.
August 1 to 6: Mable started to complain off an on that she was not feeling good, that she was sick, that she was tired and was asking for a blanket. She was complaining that her legs were hurting too much to go on her bike. She was trying to explain how she felt inside by acting this big cough, because she does not know what the word “flu” is. We did not know what to think because one minute she was fine, having lots of fun, and the next minute, she was complaining. We were thinking that she was just tired because of the trip and because she was getting to bed late and was not eating at regular hour.
August 7: We returned home to Nova Scotia.
August 15: Mable woke up with a red spot big like a dime on her face, the same spot where I have seen the bug bite with the “sand”.
I took her to see a doctor at a walk in clinic. The doctor who saw her asked me if we have been in an area were there were ticks. I told him that I did not know but if we would have been in an area were there were ticks, it would have been during our camping trip in the Kootenay Mountains in British Columbia. He checked the inside of her mouth (without washing his hands or using gloves) to see if a tick was still inside and said that it was not and he send us home with a prescription of Fucidin H Cream 30g. I purchased the cream at the pharmacy and we went home.
That evening, I looked in my baby book What to Expect the Toddlers Years about tick bites, and this is when I discovered what exactly ticks were, and about Lyme disease. The book described signs of the disease, that in early stage, that a blood test would not be efficient and that the person infected needed antibiotics. It also recommended verifying if the child was in an area where deer ticks were present (anywhere in Canada may have these ticks as I found out).
I began to remember the bug bite and “sand” incident and realized that the “sand” must have been a tick. They are only the size of a sesame seed.
I called a health info line in Vancouver. I spoke with a nurse who told me that in fact, deer ticks were present in BC and that several cases of Lyme disease have been reported. I was asking her to clarify about what a bull’s eye looked like.
Soon after, the red spot on Mable’s face started to change in appearance. The center of the red circle was becoming white. I took pictures of the bull’s eye on her face.
I immediately called the clinic were I usually go because they have after hours phone services. I spoke to a doctor and she was convinced that Mable had Lyme disease.
This doctor, give me the option of having Mable tested for Lyme disease and wait for the result, but she was not confident that the result would have been positive because of the early stage or to start immediately with the treatment, letting me know about possible side effects of taking penicillin.
My husband and I decided to go with the immediate treatment. The doctor called our pharmacy for lining up a prescription of antibiotics and asked to take Mable to her office first thing the next morning.
The prescription was Amoxillin: 125 ML 3 times a day for 10 days.
August 16: We saw the doctor, and she was still convinced that Mable had Lyme disease and we were sent home with no more information. During that week, Mable’s dad and I started to remember all the times when Mable had complained about not feeling well while we were on vacation.
August 25: The ten-day antibiotic treatment was over.
Around the time that Mable was finishing her treatment, her body became covered with small red spots, a couple had a tint of yellow. I believed that Mable’s eczema was acting up because she used a new soap (Little spot have appeared a few years ago after having a shower and her day care thought that she had chickenpox but a doctor confirmed that it was what I thought it was, eczema).
September 2: To be on the safe side, as we were about to meet five 1.5 year olds toddlers, in one of the parents’ house, I decided to take Mable at a walk in clinic. I told the nurse and doctor about the Lyme disease and the treatment. The doctor did not know what the little red spots were but reported that Mable was having a fever.
Since the beginning of September: On some occasion, Mable is still complaining about having headaches, back and knees pains, and that she is hurting everywhere in her body. She is having a cold that is not going away. Lately, I have notice that her mood is worst that it have been in the past.
I became aware that the treatment should be between 14 to 30 days.
I have spoke with a family doctor about the situation and she was recommending a test before correcting the situation with the medication.
A Public Health nurse who spoke with someone in department of infectious diseases in Nova Scotia, told me that if the test result was to be negative, that they would recommend no more treatment because they would have considered that the 10 day treatment would have worked. This was in contradiction with every thing I have read.
With the help of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, I found a doctor in Nova Scotia (four hours drive from our house) that could treat my daughter. I decided to go for the blood test at the IWK Children Hospital. With the permission of this doctor’s secretary, I added his name and fax number to the blood test requisition, along with a copy of a three pages history, similar to what you have read above.
That same day, I received a call from a doctor from the Infectious Disease’s department. He wanted to make arrangements for my daughter to see the duty infectious doctor at the emergency of the children hospital. I called someone from Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation about the proposal as someone had been warned me about potential types of intrusive tests that doctors from that hospital could ask my daughter to have. When I received a call from the duty doctor to set a time to meet her at the hospital, I was very cautious and let her know how I felt. She explained me that she was new at the hospital and that she was from another province.
I took my daughter to the IWK Children Hospital and we first saw an intern. He was very nice. He asked me questions about how was Mable’s health and completed a physical exam. He told me that him and the duty doctor from the infectious disease’s department had already discussed my daughter’s case and that a three-week antibiotic treatment was probably going to be given. The duty doctor from the infectious disease’s department re-examined my daughter and decided that she would need a four-week treatment. They did not have the result of the test yet but they suspected that it would be negative since she had already completed a 10-day treatment of antibiotic. We are to see her again 3.5 weeks into the treatment to see if she is responding well.
Mable started her treatment six days ago.