Treatment Shake Up: Starting Doxy Early

One of the most potent drugs used to fight Lyme is an antibiotic called doxycycline. I’ve known from the moment that I chose antibiotic therapy that I’d eventually be put on “Doxy”. Only, I’d hoped it would be in the cool, dark fall.

You see, Doxy has a unique side effect in that it causes intense sun sensitivity. Any skin exposure to direct sunlight can result in painful, long-lasting chemical burns. And for my oh so pale self, the risk is even higher.

For this very reason, my doctor started me on Doxy’s sister medicine, Minocycline, instead. After all, avoiding bright sunlight in Seattle’s rare warm weather is not only difficult, it’s sacrilegious.

But I’ve had some struggles on Minocycline. Most notably, I’ve experienced terrible pressure on my optic nerves that’s resulting in aching eyes and extremely poor vision. I can’t see clearly in front of me more than a few feet! And because Minocycline is known to cause dangerous levels of intracranial hypertension (which can lead to permanent vision loss), it’s time to get off of it and see if my eyes can recover.

I’m really heartened by this change. My poor eyes have been so damaged by Lyme over the years, the thought of doing even more damage to my eyesight with treatment has been terrifying to me. I am very excited to see how much, if any, visual acuity I regain.

What I am NOT excited about? Dressing like a beekeeper for the rest of our sunny days. Long sleeves, long pants, full coverage sneakers and big hats all seem to be in my future. How do Doxy patients not get heatstroke?! But this lady seems to be enjoying herself:

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Maybe it’ll all be alright. Wish me luck in the coming days as we wait to see how my sight recovers. And hey, feel free to offer me a cold ice water when you see me sweating bullets in my hoodie and jeans on a 90 degree day!

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