View Full Version : lyme disease in the military

06-21-2009, 08:28
I have just been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
How will that affect me in the infantry, or military period? Will I be able to live out my goals or should I start rerouting my life?
I'm on good antibiotics and pain killers..tramadol.. Will I be able to do my usual workouts and runs?

Red Flag 1
06-21-2009, 11:55
if it worth saying, it will be quoted.

06-21-2009, 12:56
Thanks for responding. Well I got bit 3 weeks ago camping here in Germany.
I did not see the tick, but did recieve the center part of the rash the next day.
I thought of it as a spider bite and wasn't too worried, then the ring appeard a week later.. (2 weeks ago) A perfect bullseye. Pain started 3 days ago..
Horrible shoulder pain (where the bite is), and that is when I decided to go to sick call, Immediately the PA knew what it was, and put me on Doxycicline (antibiotic), and tramadol for pain. I have no pain now, only popping bones and no energy, I dont know if the medicine takes away my energy or the disease, or simply the fact that I know this may affect my career. lol.
Bloodwork was done, but I have to wait 2 weeks do to being in europe to get results. Im worried about what they will say. I will keep updated for you, and I hope you get well soon too. We both will be in my prayers... My new PA is a lady lieutenant, (new) So I hope she knows what she is doing.

06-21-2009, 14:47
I am sorry to learn of this for you.

I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease a month or so ago. I know more about the disease now than before, even as a provider, I knew very little about this disease.

The question to ask is where you are in the progression of Lyme Disease? Did you see the tick ( deer tick/blacklegged tick)? Did you notice the typical rash (erythema migrans)? The best outcomes are when the tick is seen and the rash is picked up early. Antibiotics are most effective early on; in my case Amoxicillin for 30 days, with other problems presenting. The farther away from the initial exposure, the more involved the disease is.

I do not know what the Regs. say about active duty with Lyme Disease, I suspect it would be determined based on the severity of symptoms as they present. Early treatment can leave you symptom free. Some ( 15% ) develop symptoms that present for several mnonths and then completely dissapear.

Later ( 2 years or more ) the disease can be a diagnosis "by exclusion", that is to say nothing else fits. Lab studies for blood titers can result in false positives and false negatives, and therefore of questionable value . Symptoms can include flu like symptoms, headache ( brain lining involvement), facial nerve involvement (Horner's Syndrome), joint pain, back pain, cardiac involvement (pericarditis and arrythmias), lymph node ( including spleen) involvement, cysts behind the knee, and overwhelming fatigue.

Again the question is where you in the disease? There are specalists dealing with nothing but Lyme Disease, I know of one in Northern Virginia ( will pm on request). The best way to deal with Lyme Disease is prevention, second is early diagnosis and adequate treatment.

I've been bitten by insects and reptiles on three continents, got Lyme Disease doing lawn work. I wish you well. I know where you're at!

RF 1


Sorry to hear about your disease........I hope your getting better.........

Big Teddy

06-22-2009, 07:59
I had it when I was 17 and am Symptom free. It got treated early so no lasting side effects 39 now and no problems never effected my military goals. Every person is diffrent on how it effects them wish you luck with your treatment.

Red Flag 1
06-22-2009, 08:06
if it worth saying, it will be quoted.

RF 1

09-05-2009, 10:45
EDIT: I confused the date on this post with another I was reading, so I'm waaaay behind in responding. Still, I hope things went well for VanceWine. Sorry for the thread necro-post.

I'm very sorry to hear of your illness, & I'm pleased you had it diagnosed early enough to make a 100% recovery.

Unfortunately for me, I contracted it sometime prior to 1999 & it went undiagnosed until 2004. The doctors in my area were simply unfamiliar with Lyme disease. As stated above, it has created a host of woes that I'm still muddling through.

Best of luck to you with your situation, but it sounds very positive since you have received prompt & aggressive treatment.

EDIT #2 - what caused me to dig through the archives int he first place was this article in Stars & Stripes: Lyme disease a difficult, common diagnosis in Europe (http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=64474)