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Nurse warns against Lyme disease symptom


A mother has warned other parents to be on the lookout for a Lyme disease symptom that stumped doctors for hours while her daughter screamed in pain and became paralyzed.

Natalie Walsh, 35, of Wheeling, West Virginia, shared an alarming post on Facebook earlier this month, recounting how her seven-year-old daughter Natasha woke up one morning with a headache and 104-degree fever.

The little girl also had a quarter-size lump on the right side of her head, which should have alerted doctors—but at first they thought nothing of it.

Sign: A mother has warned other parents to be on the lookout for a Lyme disease symptom that stumped doctors for hours—a lump on the right side of her daughter’s head (pictured)

Would you have spotted it? The lump looked a lot like a bruise or a spider bite

By the afternoon, the lump had grown into the ‘ugliest-looking wound’ the mom had ever seen, even in 13 years of nursing. 

‘I was told at first it was a spider bite,’ Walsh wrote in her post. ‘She was treated and sent home. Within hours, the wound looked even worse. [It] had a white and red ring around it. The fever was unstoppable.’

Natasha, at that point, was screaming in pain nonstop and had lost the ability to move her head and neck. The little girl was also unable to walk, felt dizzy and confused, and had swollen and painful knees.

At this point, the mother, who said she was ‘scared to death’ because she had never seen anything like this throughout her nursing career, took her daughter to another children’s hospital, this time in Pittsburgh.

‘She’s my youngest of three, plus I’m a nurse so I’ve see a lot of things,’ Walsh told WPXI. ‘I’ve never seen a child get that sick that fast.’

Scare: Natalie Walsh (pictured), of West Virginia, shared an alarming post on Facebook, recounting how her daughter Natasha woke up with a headache and 104-degree fever

The mom said hospital employees told her they would do everything they could to diagnose and treat her daughter.

‘I was hopeful we were in the right place, then every team from neurologists, infectious disease, dermatology and who knows what else saw her,’ she recounted.

‘Everyone scratched their heads just like me. Everyone wanted a picture of the bite because it was definitely not something they had seen before.’

Meanwhile, her daughter was getting worse, despite being given antibiotics, fluids, and other medication.

It took several hours of tests for doctors to diagnose the little girl with Lyme disease. Her symptoms, according to the mom, were ‘a little off’, and she lacked the ‘bull’s eye’ rash that is characteristic of the condition.

The disease had attacked Natasha’s nervous system, Walsh said. But after being given her first dose of treatment, she started walking again. Soon, Natasha was eating, drinking, and talking to her mom as usual. 

‘I am so thankful we came to the right place,’ the mom added. She now wants other parents to be on the lookout for ticks and potential signs of Lyme disease.

Better: After doctors diagnosed the little girl with Lyme disease, she received adequate treatment and is now on the road to recovery. The lump on her head has almost healed

While some sufferers get the tell-tale ‘bull’s eye’ rash, others can have plain red, blue-red, disseminated or blistering lesions, as illustrated by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.

‘I just ask to please take precautions to prevent ticks with your children and yourself,’ Walsh added. ‘I never saw a tick on Natasha so even if you don’t see one, check their skin for bites.’

The little girl, who has now gone home, still has some knee pain, headaches and fatigue due to the disease. She is also sensitive to light.

But Natasha’s lump has almost completely healed, and her mom—who doesn’t leave the house without bug spray—is hopeful she will make a full recovery for the summer.


Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks.

The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash called erythema migrans.

The disease can typically be treated by several weeks of oral antibiotics.

But if left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart and nervous symptoms and be deadly.

Lyme disease is diagnosed through the symptoms, physical findings – such as rash – and the likelihood of exposure to infected ticks.

To prevent Lyme disease, it is recommended that people use insect repellent, remove ticks promptly, apply pesticides and reduce tick habitat.


During the first three to 30 days of infection, these symptoms may occur:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Erythema migrans (EM) rash

The rash occurs in approximately 80 per cent of infected people.

It can expand to up to 12 inches (30 cm), eventually clearing and giving off the appearance of a target or a ‘bull’s-eye’.

Later symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes
  • Arthritis with joint pain and swelling
  • Facial or Bell’s Palsy
  • Heart palpitations
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Nerve pain

Source: CDC

Article source: http://healthmedicinet.com/i2/nurse-warns-against-lyme-disease-symptom/