As someone who both lives in Massachusetts and has had Lyme, I can provide some context. When I had the classic bullseye rash pattern associated with Lyme, I called my doctor and asked about treatment. The doctor raised the possibility of getting a Lyme test, but told me that the Lyme test had a high enough false negative rate that even if I tested negative, she would still recommend I be treated for Lyme, and said that on that basis I didn’t really need to do the test. I have not independently researched the accuracy of the Lyme test, but here’s my understanding of the considerations based on what she said:
-The cost, both monetary and otherwise, of being treated for suspected Lyme is low
-The likelihood of a false negative is relatively high
-Untreated Lyme can be quite serious and can cause permanent damage if not treated promptly
-The test also takes time and hassle to obtain
Given these considerations, I (quite sensibly IMO) decided not to take the test.
Interestingly my doctor once recommended against getting tested for Lyme for the opposite reason—false positives. He said he felt a false positive often did enough harm that it wasn’t worth the risk. I told him I respected his Hippocratic oath on these matters, and he seemed appreciative.
Did you take antibiotics afterwards/did your doctor recommend them to you?