Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Testing Your Baby for Lyme Pt. 2
I've never done any "DIY" testing, meaning, I've never had blood vials sent directly to my home with the expectation that I'd coordinate the blood draws, so I thought I'd share some updated infant Lyme testing info in case you're like me and you feel out of your comfort zone when you receive your IGeneX test kit in the mail.
Initially, I posted this on cord blood testing for Lyme.
Here's a little more info now that I've seen the kit and talked to my doctor:
This is a picture of the kit as it arrived in the mail. They send you all the packaging you need to send it right back out again via FedEx. There's a Fed Ex form in the package checked for two-day mail. Either the hospital can take care of the whole collection process when they collect the blood, or you can call the Fed Ex number posted on the mailing slip and they will come collect it for you. Just tell them that the contents are blood samples and are time-sensitive. (It says on the IGeneX package that the blood must be tested within four days, so that gives you a bit more time--your partner won't be running around like a lunatic trying to find a Fed Ex facility.)
And here's what it looks like all opened up. Two vials for the cord blood collection. Plain and simple.
The trickiest part is going through the packet of forms they send. There are about seven sheets, but you'll probably only use two of them, as they're mostly info sheets. One lists the different kind of tests and the prices (this doesn't mention test you're doing, #477, $235). It's good to look at, though, in case you and your LLMD decide to test for other things, especially co-infections. My Bartonella has flared up like a mofo lately, so we added that to the mix (at an additional cost of around $250).
Then you have the actual info form. You fill your baby's info (do as much as you can before you deliver, that way all you have to do is enter the birthday when it happens) and select the testing you want done. The infant panel #477 is an option on this form, and that's the one you definitely want to check.
IMPORTANT: I originally mentioned that you didn't need a doctor's order for these tests. That wasn't entirely correct. You don't need an order to request a test. YOU NEED A SIGNATURE FROM YOUR DOCTOR in order for IGeneX to accept the blood samples and have them tested. There's a section for your doctor's info and signature on the sheet you fill out for testing. Your LLMD can sign it or your OBGYN. Doesn't matter who orders it, as long as you can legally call them a doctor.
Finally, just to make sure that your OBGYN knows what's going on, I recommend bringing in the test kit to him/her during one of your prenatal checkups. I did that yesterday, and she greatly appreciated the heads up. She said the testing is super easy, and they do things like this all the time. For some reason, I still felt the need to justify my wanting to test the cord blood. Her response: "Well, you might as well! You could catch a problem early if there is one, and it would be a shame to waste the blood because we just throw it away anyway!"
She signed the form for me beforehand, so on delivery day there's nothing to worry about.
Once you have all of it filled out, put the entire kit in your overnight bag for the hospital so you don't forget it on your delivery day.