The proper diagnosis of a disease or illness is of the utmost importance to Oregon patients. This ensures treatment can begin as early as possible, and prevents unnecessary patient injuries or death. The majority of Eugene residents have undoubtedly heard of Lyme disease. What may not be known, however, are the serious and painful consequences of the disease should it go misdiagnosed.
These consequences were known all too well by one woman, who suffered for months until she received a proper diagnosis. She originally went to a medical clinic with back pain and a bug bite behind her knee. A physician's assistant saw the woman and diagnosed her with having a spider bite. She was prescribed an antibiotic cream and was told to go to the emergency room if her condition worsened.
Later that day, she was in such severe pain that she went to the emergency room. She was hospitalized for days while she suffered in pain. The woman pointed out the bug bite to her doctor, but it was again discounted as a spider bite.
This routine of being hospitalized and suffering from severe pain went on for months. It was not until a family member and friend - both registered nurses - diagnosed her with having Lyme disease that she insisted her doctor test her for it. The test came back positive. Because of the misdiagnosis and delayed treatment, she had to be treated with prednisone for more than one and a half years. She also had to be on antibiotics for several months.
Although the woman's long-term prognosis is good, she had a long and painful road to recovery. In her opinion, this could have been prevented but for her medical team's failure to properly test her for Lyme disease and treat her with the correct antibiotics.
Source: Princeton Union-Eagle, "Hage: Lyme disease touches many," Jeff Hage, Dec. 19, 2012