Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I went to see Dr Andrew yesterday.  When I resume treatment properly,  I'll be being treated for Bartonella with Rifampicin.  Unexpectedly, because I thought I was being switched to oral penicillin, I have been asked to continue the Bicillin injections.

Cat scratch
Dr Andrew warned against severe herxes on this new antibiotic so I do not plan to begin treatment for Bartonella until after a holiday with my family.  So what is Bartonella you may ask?  It is a group of gram negative bacteria which are spread by ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies, fleas and lice.  One species is known to cause cat scratch disease.  Another - trench fever.  I don't think we have a test for Bartonella in Australia but I have been diagnosed with Bartonellosis because of my symptoms.

Symptoms include gastritis, lower abdominal pain, sore soles, and tender subcutaneous nodules along the extremities. Lymph nodes may be enlarged and the throat can be sore and there may be neurological symptoms, bone pain presenting as shin pain, back pain and neck pain and eye problems.  Dr Andrew said that kidney pain, stomatitis, headache, outbursts of anger and psychosis were also symptoms.  I would very much like to rid myself of my mouth symptoms and burning feet but unlike Dr Andrew, I don't think my recent problem with agitated depression (which is why I stopped blogging for a while) is part of Bartonellosis or Lyme.  Who knows for sure?  Clarithromycin can cause anxiety.  Whatever the cause, I was very sick and very distressed until the antidepressants and Olanzapine kicked in.

Other symptoms of Bartonella infection include: 

  • subacute endocarditis (infection of the heart valves), which is often culture negative
  • lesions in the skin, subcutaneous tissue, bone, or other organs known as Bacillary angiomatosis (which could be related to the angioectasias I had in my duodenum perhaps???),  ie rash that looks like stretch marks
  • atypical chest pain (reminds me of the time I went to hospital with chest pain which was not heart-related)
  • depression
  • anxiety

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