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I haven't been diagnosed with Lyme disease, but I did find this rash on my leg on the 10th August. I've already put it up on here but I am writing this to mention possible Lyme symptoms. I went to The New Forest on the 26th and 27th July. I didn't know about ticks in the area at the time, even though now I know it's one of the places where they are most likely to be. I definetly didn't know about Lyme disease. It was hot so I walked around in shorts both days, for hours. On the Sunday I actually saw some deer in a woodland area and there weren't many paths, just trees and high bushes/grass. This in itself tells me I most likely got bit by a tick as these things must have put me at high risk and I did have bites on my legs but thought nothing of it. So 2 weeks later I found this rash on the bottom of my leg, but at first it felt swollen and it wasn't read, it then got bigger and felt more swollen and hard. Within hours it went red and became more noticable. Then in the next few days the swelling went down so it did get smaller but then it formed this pattern. It was always changing, so it went from all red, to a red circle in the middle and a red ring around it. Then faded within a week. Clearly it was from a bite as there was the bite right in the middle of it. It wasn't from that day as I hadn't gone outside and I have never gotten any reaction from any kind of bite before. Even before it had formed this pattern, I looked up what the rash could have been and the results did come up with Lyme disease but I thought it couldn't be that as it didn't look like it. Then when it formed the pattern I thought it could look like it only the ring wasn't far from the centre, so it wasn't the classic rash but what else could it be? I looked Lyme disease up and found out that even after you get bit the rash might not appear until 30 days later, if ever. Also that it was from a tick bite and ticks are in New Forest. It was too much of a coincidence for me so I did get it checked out by a nurse, she said it didn't look anything like it and the tick wasn't still there and it was probably just a horsefly bite. Well to me it looks like it, just not the typical one, it's the same apart from the fact the centre and the outter ring isn't that far apart. Also I doubt the tick would have stayed there for 2 weeks. So then I went to see my doctor, but by the time I did the rash had almost faded. I showed him this picture and he said it didn't look like the classic rash but it was still possible. I managed to convince him to give me a blood test. Even at the time I had already looked up enough about Lyme disease to know the test was likely to come back negative, which it did. Before my test results even came back I was feeling more tired than usual, had a foot cramp and 2 leg cramps, soreness under my ribs, sometimes felt off balance when walking or standing, severe abdominal cramps followed by diarrhea, started feeling really weak, at some points couldn't concentrate or think clearly, sometimes forgot things even less than a minute after they had happened, misused some words in conversation, and felt really irritable and stressed. At the time I put it down to me just being worried about the results. Since the results things seemed to get even worse, I've had aching muscles and joints (Neck, Shoulders, back, arms, hands, fingers and legs), tinnitus, muscle spasms in my leg and hand, feeling lightheaded but body felt heavy, shooting pains in my chest, headaches, and a weird feeling of pressure in my head. I did go swimming twice before I got my blood test results but I doubt I did enough to make myself feel weak and achey. I also work outside which sometimes requires heavy lifting but I can usually do it just fine without feeling achey afterwards. I did take a day off work at a time I felt really achey and I stopped going swimming after 2 times just because I felt too weak to do it anymore. The symptoms are on and off, at the moment I feel fine but I know they haven't completely gone away, some days its worse than others. I really don't know whether to put all these things down to coincidence, stress and general everyday aches and pains from work and walking etc. If I hadn't got the rash I really would have. I can still move, the symptoms are only mild, it's things that everyone gets at some point in their lives anyway. Then again, even if I did have Lyme disease I might not get the symptoms for months or years. I did email Lyme disease action who also said it didn't look like the typical rash but because of my symptoms I should go and talk to my doctor again. They also gave me a leaflet to give to my doctor (like a lot of gps he didn't seem to know much about Lyme disease, he didn't know the rash could appear weeks after the bite, so he said I must have gotten bitten when I saw the rash and that it was impossible to get Lyme disease in my area.) I made an appointment with him last week and couldn't see him until this Thursday. I keep thinking he's just going to say the test was negative and that I don't have it, I just want to get it over with because even if I don't have it, I don't want to take the risk. I know they say it's rare to develop neurological damage and for it to actually be life threatening but that doesn't make it impossible. Also I obviously don't want a life of pain and arthritis, even if that's as worse as it gets. I'm 21 so it has plenty of time to develop if I don't get it treated and I end up finding out I do have it. Is it likely I can persuade my doctor to prescribe me Doxycyline as a preventive measure? If not I was wondering if I can buy it from a pharmacy as treatment to prevent Malaria, isn't it the exact same thing? I don't really want to wait to get tested again just for it to come back negative again. I've heard that the antibiotics become less effective the more time you wait to use them, Is that true? If I did get bitten by a tick I'm pretty sure It would have been on the 27th July, so that means i'd have had it 2 months already? So I really want to get the antibiotics as soon as possible for it to be as effective as it can be, whether I have Lyme disease or not. I haven't stopped thinking and worrying about it and I want to put my mind at rest. I don't want to wait any longer, everything just seems like wasted time because the test isn't accurate and not many people are aware of it. I really don't know what to do if my doctor still doesn't understand what I'm on about and won't give me antibiotics, apart from to buy them. (That's if it's the same tablets as the Malaria ones.) I still really don't know what else the rash could be apart from Lyme, even though people have said it doesn't look like it, i've found examples of the rash that look similar enough. Can anyone help?
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