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Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease lengthens woman's recovery

Receiving a diagnosis for a serious illness can be very worrisome. However, struggling with painful symptoms without a diagnosis or with the wrong diagnosis may be even more frustrating. Certain illnesses are more challenging to diagnose than others. One woman learned this after struggling with extreme pain and rashes for months this past summer.

After weeks of only partially successful drug treatments, this woman tested positive for Lyme disease. Maryland residents are likely familiar with this disease brought on by ticks as this region is one of several areas of the country with a significant number of Lyme disease diagnoses.

This woman's first symptom was a rash on her back that she noticed in early June. She saw various doctors and received multiple different diagnoses. Her diagnoses included an infection and a herniated disc. She received many different prescriptions throughout her ordeal. Some prescriptions helped temporarily, but other times the medicine only gave her uncomfortable side effects.

Her pain was so intense that she was prescribed various different pain medications until one was found to work. This woman did not discover that what she was actually suffering was Lyme disease until late July. Even a few months later, she was still experiencing lingering effects of the Lyme disease.

This woman's husband questions whether an earlier diagnosis or the lack of a misdiagnosis could have eliminated pain for his wife. She had to leave work while she was ill and her family was likely impacted by this incident. While this woman is no longer experiencing the excruciating pain she felt several months ago, symptoms from Lyme disease could return in the future. A misdiagnosis not only has the potential to impact a person in the short term; it can also affect a person's long-term health.

Source: Princeton Union-Eagle, "Woman recalls ordeal with Lyme disease, with misdiagnosis a problem," Jeff Hage, Dec. 6, 2012

For additional information on medical malpractice and misdiagnosis cases, please visit our Laurel personal injury webpage.

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