In my mother's case, it started with a cluster migraine. She was treated for the migraine however it didn't go away and got worse eventually shifting from one side of her head to the other. At this point it was so bad, she said it was like stabbing pains in her head, she ended up going to the emergency room. The Doctors immediately suspected Meningitis and gave her antibiotics. Upon an inspection of her skin they found the telltale bullseye rash indicative of being bitten by a tick carrying Lyme Disease. IV therapy of antibiotics were started, she stayed in the hospital for four days before she was ready to go home with a PICC in her arm to allow her to continue the IV antibiotics at home for the next 4 weeks. A PICC line is an intravenous catheter that is inserted in a vein in the arm going into the heart that is used for long term IV therapy.
Things to know about Lyme Meningitis-
- Unlike Meningitis, it's not contagious, you need to be bitten from a tick carrying this specific strain of Lyme that affects the nervous system.
- Lyme Meningitis is treated by IV antibiotics for a course of 4 weeks. Regular Lyme Disease is usually treated for 2 weeks. I will maintain that each person is an individual who may present differently, so treatment times and protocols are best determined by your Doctor.
- The incidence of Lyme Meningitis is lower than the incidence of Lyme Disease.
Deer ticks are much smaller than regular ticks. Some websites that have good pictures of ticks are:
For more information on Lyme Disease check out these websites: