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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  September 19, 2004
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Lyme Disease: A Hidden Disease
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Also on the Web
DOH Website on Lyme Disease
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS)

Marilyn DeMarco has always loved being outdoors, whether it's in the woods, or just her backyard. But over the years she found she had little energy to do much more than water her garden, "Over the course of 15 years, I had just about everything in my body treated that you could think of. They found everything wrong with me."

She had pain in her hips, legs and arms.  She suffered from panic attacks, dizzy spells and extreme fatigue. Lyme disease never crossed Marilyn's mind or those of her many doctors, until she went to an endocrinologist a year and a half ago. "I walked in with two sheets of paper with a list of symptoms down two pages and I said to her, 'this dosn't make any sense. But this is what I'm living with." 

That doctor suggested it might be Lyme disease and referred Marilyn to Dr. Debra Solomon, a psychiatrist in North Kingstown who has experience diagnosing lyme disease. "I've seen people coming in with many, many symptoms you'd expect people to see a psychiatrist with."

Dr. Solomon realized many of her patients would be presenting with unexplainable psychiatric symptoms as well as a slew of physical problems. "Over the years, I really began to suspect that there was something more going on."

Dr. Solomon says, often times, many people never see the tick or even the bulls-eye type rash so commonly associated with Lyme disease. "I think that in this area, where it is so common, I think we need to be thinking about Lyme. I think doctors in any field need to be thinking about Lyme." 

Marilyn is now fighting to get her life back on track. She can't work and has limited amounts of energy.  She has been on antibiotics for almost two years now as well as dozens of other medications. But she says she's feeling better and is relieved that she finally has a reason for her pain.  "I'm sort of able now to sit back and say well, what happens is what happens and we'll deal with it." 

The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society has recently released new guidelines regarding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.  To read a summary of those guidelines Click Here.


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