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Does Lyme Disease Explain Bush's Erratic Behavior?

The White House has revealed that President Bush received undisclosed treatment for Lyme Disease in August of 2006 as reported by ABC. Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) is a bacterial infection that is typically acquired by the bite of an infected tick. Wikipedia has the gory details of this ugly disease:

The disease varies widely in its presentation, which may include a rash and flu-like symptoms in its initial stage, followed by the possibility of musculoskeletal, arthritic, neurologic, psychiatric and cardiac manifestations. In most cases of Lyme disease, symptoms can be eliminated with antibiotics, especially if treatment is begun early in the course of illness.

A percentage of patients with Lyme disease have symptoms that last months to years after treatment with antibiotics. These symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, arthritis, stiff neck, cognitive defects, neurological complaints or fatigue. The cause of these continuing symptoms is not yet known. There is some evidence that they may result from an autoimmune type of response, in which a person's immune system continues to respond even after the infection has been cleared, as well as evidence of ongoing infection with the spirochete.

The White House says that Bush was treated for "early, localized Lyme disease" after developing the characteristic bullseye rash. They provided a lame excuse for why Bush's disease was not disclosed earlier and then gave us the remarkable news that doctors have decided not to perform blood tests to determine the extent of his illness:

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Bush's treatment was not disclosed earlier because it happened after his last physical, on Aug. 1, 2006. He said doctors decided not to perform blood tests for Lyme disease because the treatment worked for the one area where the president experienced a rash, and he never progressed to other symptoms or saw a recurrence.

I don't know about you but if I was in Bush's situation I certainly would have had the full battery of blood tests to determine the extent of my affliction with the disease. It certainly is bizarre that Bush's doctors would elect not to conduct such tests when there is clearly no downside to doing so. Why wouldn't they want to be absolutely certain about the extent of the disease? Especially, when the patient is the President of the United States?

The only answer I can come up with is that Bush's doctors already know how bad it is because he has had the disease for a number of years. The President's bizarre behavior during press conferences might be explained by the neurological and cognitive damage of the disease.

It certainly is disquieting that the White House thought it necessary to cover up the fact that Bush has been stricken with this serious disease. And for what reason? Actions like these will only create suspicion that the disease is worse than they are letting on.


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Comments (3)

Because Lyme tests are either wildly inaccurage (ELISA and Western blot), or experimental, (Bowen QriBb and Igenex), it's entirely possibly that the president's doctors decided NOT to test to avoid what surely would have been an ambiguous outcome.

Such an inconclusive or debatable result would have thrown the president's diagnosis into the public arena for discussion and debate, leading to:

- public anxiety and panic,

- fear and perhaps outrage,

- calls for impeachment or for the president to step down for health reasons.

I'm not defending the handling of the case - far from it, I think the president should have been immediately forthcoming about the tick bite and his diagnosis of Lyme.

After all, he could have used his sickness to put a spotlight on Lyme and the need for more research, better testing, and in the cases of people who aren't getting well, better treatments.

On the flip side of the coin, I think it's entirely possible that this business about the president manifesting a bullseye rash (and I've read conflicting reports from credible sources on this) might be an "exaggeration" or perhaps even an outright deception.

If I were the president's doctor, and learned that he had been bitten by a tick, I would give him (or any patient for that matter) antibiotics as a prophylactic against getting Lyme.

Good studies strongly suggest that the prophylactic use of antibiotics (and to that I would add potent anti-microbial herbs such as Samento, Banderol, Cumanda, Quina and Carnivora) stops Lyme before it starts.

To avoid upsetting "ordinary people" whose doctors refuse to quickly prescribe antibiotics for a "mere" tick bite, it would make sense for the White House to say the president had a bullseye rash associated with his bite - which, according to the CDC, is the ONLY definitive marker of Lyme disease.

At any rate, and on a high note, the president's diagnosis and treatment (which sources have told National Lyme Report included two antibiotics and quite possible a medicinal herb that he used for approximately six weeks at the behest of first lady Laura Bush) calls attention to Lyme as a national and international epidemic.

And that's a good thing.

kim:

What's the herb?

Larkin wouldn't know lues if it leapt up and lipped him.
===================================

Emily:

Igenix is an accredited lab, which says something since they were scrutinized so heavily following that NY Times article. What is experimental about their tests?

I speculated years ago that Bush had Lyme, long before all of this. I personally feel he probably contracted it a year or so before he took office. His arthritis, balance problems (which he's had for years, not just recently), the choking incidents, slurred speech - I've even noticed several episodes of Bell's Palsy, including once during the debates for his second term election - all point to Lyme. Plus, Bush likes to clear brush on his ranch, and handling wood is the most risky behavior for picking up ticks, even worse than tromping through leaf litter.

Frankly, I've seen footage of Bush in years past, and he was nowhere near the slow thinker or speaker that he is ridiculed for today. People with Lyme disease can be fairly high-functioning while having progressive symptoms. I think Bush still has the disease and was treated inadequately. THAT's what we should all be afraid of, not that he has had Lyme disease.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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