Animal studies have shown that B. burgdorferi has a predilection for cardiac connective tissue, especially near the aorta (Am J Trop Med Hyg, 1992; 47: 249-58).
Carditis is seen in 4-10 per cent of all cases of Lyme disease. Its symptoms usually include various types of atrioventricular block, or abnormalities in the electrical conduction tissue between the chambers of the heart, leading to disturbances in heart rhythm if left untreated (Ugeskr Laeger, 1993; 155: 2147-50).
In some cases, a pacemaker may be necessary (J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, 1997; 8: 323-4). According to the researchers of one study, when serious arrhythmias are present and a cause can’t be found, Lyme disease should be one of the first possibilities considered, particularly among young people (Ugeskr Laeger, 1993; 155: 2147-50).
Although Lyme disease is often difficult to diagnose and treat, aggressive treatment with a strong antibiotic like ceftriaxone can often do the job. In six patients with Lyme carditis treated with antibiotics, echocardiograms and exercise tests showed that symptoms resolved up to seven years after the acute disease (Scand J Infect Dis, 1997; 29: 153-7). There is controversy over whether a short- or long-term course of antibiotics will truly kill this intractable bug (see WDDTY, vol 12 no 3) and also whether it can be completely eradicated after being in the system for so long - in your case, 12 years.
There is increasing evidence that colloidal silver is effective against B. burgdorferi. You may also wish to augment any type of antimicrobial treatment with vitamins and minerals that counter heart disease and stroke; this includes consuming a wholegrain diet rich in fruits and vegetables, supplementing with magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and antioxidants, and taking regular exercise. Just taking regular supplements of vitamin E, for instance, can decrease blood platelet stickiness by 80 per cent (Blood, 1989; 73; 141-9).