You're likely to first see your primary care physician or possibly an emergency room doctor, depending on the severity of your signs and symptoms. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.
If you have time before your appointment to prepare, it's helpful to have certain information at hand. Here's what you can do to help get ready for your appointment, and what you can expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any recent travel to areas where ticks might be common.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking, with dose information.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For erhlichiosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Did a tick bite cause these symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- Does this infection have lasting effects?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Can I get this infection again from another tick bite?
- What can I do to prevent this type of infection in the future?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask your doctor any other relevant questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Aug. 29, 2012
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Have you traveled recently?
- Have you been hiking, golfing or participating in other outdoor activities recently?
- Have you found any ticks on you? If yes, when?
- Have you had any problems with antibiotics in the past?
- Ehrlichiosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ehrlichiosis. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Other tick-borne diseases. American Lyme Disease Foundation. http://www.aldf.com/Ehrlichiosis.shtml. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6589902. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9102446. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Graham J, et al. Tick-borne illnesses: CME update. Pediatric Emergency Care. 2011;27:141.
- Ismail N, et al. Human ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Clinical Laboratory Medicine. 2012;30:261.
- Lyme disease. American Lyme Disease Foundation. http://www.aldf.com/lyme.shtml#removal. Accessed May 4, 2012.
- Preventing tick bites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html. Accessed May 4, 2012.