Lyme Disease Awareness

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/26/2010 11:48 AM   :  51 comments   :  14,196 Views

Now that school is out for most kids across the country, families are making the trek to the great outdoors to soak up some fun and sun. Camping and hiking top may family's lists for their summer vacations. However, with these activities comes the risk of being exposed to insects that can make us sick. One such illness is Lyme disease.

If you think you are immune from this disease, think again. Bart Yasso,Chief Running Officer for Runnerís World Magazine and a renowned long distance runner, describes in great detail in his book My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon of his own battle with this disease that nearly ended his running career.

So what exactly is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial illness spread to humans from the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick. They generally feed off the blood of small animals such as squirrels and mice, but they can feed off cats, dogs and even humans. The ticks are found in wooded and grassy areas, but because they are so small, about the size of a pin head, they can be quite difficult to see.

The northeast region of the country appears to have the highest incidence of Lyme disease when compared to other areas of the country. Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have some of the highest reported cases. But do not let your guard down should you experience any of the following symptoms after spending time outdoors. Like I mentioned earlier, because the ticks are so small, you may not even be aware of a recent bite.

Symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Red bullís-eye rash
  • Joint pain
Treatment

This is not an illness that can be treated with over-the-counter medications. If you experienced a recent tick bite and/or suspect you may have this disease, please see your doctor. Usually a course of antibiotics is required to treat this disease. The longer the infected tick remains embedded in the skin, the more susceptible you are in developing the disease. Although only a small majority of deer ticks actually carry the bacteria.

Prevention
  • Use precaution in grassy and wooded areas especially in the months of May, June and July when ticks are most active.
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and pants with socks when hiking in wooded and grassy areas. Some experts even suggest wearing light colored clothing so that you can spot the ticks more easily.
  • Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET (20% - 30%) on exposed skin and clothing to help repel ticks.
  • Take off clothing before heading indoors, then be sure to wash the clothing in hot water to kill off any ticks may still be present on the clothing.
  • Examine your skin for ticks for several days after a hike or camping trip just to make certain you did not miss any on your initial exam.
  • Keep your yard clear of high grass which can become a breeding ground for ticks.
Lyme disease is a serious illness that should not be ignored. Since 2002, there is no longer a vaccine available to protect us against this disease. If you happened to have received the vaccine prior to this date, the vaccineís effectiveness will diminish over time, therefore you may not longer have the protection. Keep in mind too, that even if you had the misfortune to be diagnosed with Lyme disease in the past, you can contract it again. Should you experience any symptoms after a day in the woods or tall grass, make sure you head back to your health-care provider for a follow-up.

Have you ever been diagnosed with Lyme disease? If so, what were some of the symptoms that gave you a clue you may have it? Do you take precautions when hiking or camping to avoid tick bites?


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Comments

  • 51
    Lyme disease has ruined my life!!!!!!!! I use to be a medical assistant I can no longer work as I was complaining for 3 -4 yrs of some slight hair loss, gaining weight, exhaustion, feeling like I'd been hit by a 2x4, extreme pain and tunnel vision with severe headaches and trouble remembering.
    I had no bullseye no rash.
    The Lyme also brought on Fibromyalgia which the two together are a disaster!!!!!!!
    I might have one decent day a week and by decent I mean a level 6/7 pain instead of my usual 10 +. Lyme is to be taken seriously I've seen people go blind from it, I've seen where it just attacks the heart and I've seen kids not be able to go to school because they have real bad congnitive problems. - 6/7/2013   2:28:25 PM
  • 50
    If you suspect Lyme Disease, BE PERSISTENT!! If your dr. won't treat you, find someone who will!! In the emergency room, in Tualatin, OR, the dr. told my mom it couldn't be Lyme Disease because it's only on the east coast...THIS IS A MYTH, you can can get Lyme Disease anywhere and I did end up with Lyme disease. Unable to move on my own for almost a week, my drs couldn't figure out what it was but all refused to check for Lyme Disease...SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF, YOUR DR. DOESN'T ALWAYS KNOW BEST! - 7/16/2011   9:43:51 PM
  • 49
    I live in PA and do some hiking and backpacking every year...It is important to know there are 2 types of ticks, primarily. The bigger ticks that most dogs and cats get do not carry Lyme. It is the very tiny deer ticks that do. If you are worried about the ones that are the size of a watermelon seed (and look kind of like a grey bean when full of blood), don't. it is the tiny ones that CAN carry the disease. I've been hiking in spots where I have had to pull them off of myself and have never been diagnosed with the disease. Do not panic, but be sure to wear insect repellent, especially on your legs, and do check yourself after hiking. - 10/13/2010   8:07:29 AM
  • USHAAA
    48
    For 21 years, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia which I have never had. I have lyme disease and I am in Eastern Canada and it is almost impossible to get treated here in Canada. I know of friends who have had to travel to the States for treatment.

    As my disease is chronic, I have no idea how much better I will get. I have had a severe headache for all of these years as well as very sore muscles and more ....

    Ushaaa - 9/28/2010   5:56:01 PM
  • 47
    Lyme...The LAND of Lyme, after where it was named is in my back yard. Lyme, CT. I remember when this condition was first found in the late 80's. I was doing daycare at the time and I had a dog and 2 cats. All of us spent lots of time outside and my yard was on the fringes of "The Woods"! We lived in the woods as kids! My son's pediatritian gave a manditory workshop on the new disease and all daycare providers were in attendance. We were given piles of papers on the subject, and told to read them top to bottom and to report anything that looked as though it could be Lyme. Here in CT, they were trying to get a census of where the disease was concentrating and to what degree. It was Scary!!! I just remember being very aware at the time of all the ticks that I would find on the animals and now it was cause for alarm more than just they needed Front-Line!! All three animals were tick magnets. I was pulling ticks off them everyday 6-7 per animal. But none of them were the Deer Ticks,...yet. Then a couple years later, I started to see the really, little tiny black spots on one of my long-haired orange tigers. I took her and the ticks to the vets and sure enough, they were the deer ticks. The vets office was sending the ticks to be analized and most of them on the cat had the Lyme. Cats don't get Lyme very easily for some strange reason that I still don't understand. Now that was 20 years ago! I now live in town, not the woods still in the same town and I don't have any woods near my property at all. Guess what?? Not only did my new dog get Lyme, but so did I. I was diagnosed in 2005. I had the chills, high fever, muscle aches, severe pains in my joints. I couldn't eat and I just wanted to die!! I had a big, huge bullseye spot on the back of my left knee, that kept getting uglier and more hurtful every hour! I was HOPING it was a spider bite!! But it wasn't. I now had Lyme and I didn't even see the tick that bit me. I don't do daycare anymore and I will always remember how this disease scared even the Dr.s. All I know is that my life has never been pain free since. I have arthritis in my left knee so bad that I can barely use it anymore. The orthopedic says that I am too young for a knee replacement and won't do one and has now started me on cortesone shots. I've had one and the pain did go away, but I do NOT want anymore of them. I'll have to live on them til I'm old enough to have the surgery. I have gained so much weight from not being able to do aerobics anymore like I used to and I can barely do a pushing cardio walk for 3-5 miles like I used to! I can't go to Curves anymore for the weight bearing machines make my knee unbearable to use after I'm done. I can hardly go up and down my cellar stairs to do the laundry anymore. I've been like this now for 4 1/2 yrs. and for the last 2, it has been the worst. All because of a tick!!! I am 50 lbs. heavier now than I was before the Lyme, and I can't just starve myself to lose the weight. Without being able to exercise, I am losing most of the fun, active things in my life. I have been depressed since I was diagnosed and I want to get up and move more but it is very hard with this knee like this. I'm in pain at night to go to bed, if I have done "TOO MUCH" the day before! I refuse to live on any pain medicine. That will just tare down my liver, kidneys, and other organs for more severe problems in the future. Lyme is life altering and the Drs don't agree on how to treat the effects after the initial bout is over. - 7/19/2010   9:58:25 AM
  • 46
    A question! What kind of tick causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? We had a friend who was picking blueberries on Long Island, got a tick in her ear, and died of that disease. - 7/10/2010   5:00:25 PM
  • 45
    My husband works in the yard (in NC) and he can't stand to wear much clothing in hot weather. The ticks head for a warm part of your body. Every year, in early summer, we remove 3 or 4 ticks from his body, but they are not the real tiny ones. They are black and flat. Just a few weeks ago we found a good way to get them to come out of the flesh. Take a cotton ball and saturate it with liquid soap - like Dawn. Hold it over the tick and then you can just pick it out. Guess the soap kills them and/or makes it so slippery they can't crawl out. - 7/10/2010   4:56:57 PM
  • NIKDIVER
    44
    My mom HAS lyme disease - for over 8 years now. so when a Doctor - or anyone tells you that it can be treated with a couple weeks of antibiotics - THEY ARE WRONG! We are from Canada -and the doctors and government WILL NOT recognize this disease. My mom drives 6 hours to Seattle WA for treatment. In Canada -we're told that there are no ticks. For those of you saying that only a small % of deer carry the ticks - you too, are wrong. Birds - They land on deer, the tick attaches itself to the bird - easy transport accross the boarder if you ask me.
    PLEASE - do yourself a favour! Do NOT take this lightly! Ticks can be smaller than a poppy seed - VERY difficult to see. Lyme Disease is wiping out the % of people diagnosed with AIDS -and that my SPARK friends is a HUGE HUGE percentage!
    I also have a friend who was telling me about his friend that has had "multiple sclerosis" for over 15 years. He's been in a wheel chair for half that time. I told him about LYME - cause the doctors never even brought it up as an option. he was tested positive - and will probably walk again in the near future.
    Lyme is misdiagnosed. If you are getting tested for something- always keep LYME on the back of your mind - and find someone that will test you!
    If anyone has any questions- I'm open for email conversation.
    Just thought I'd add in my 2 bits!
    Thanxs
    May the sun shine upon you, the ocean drive you wild, and the sand tickle your toes :) - 7/4/2010   6:31:03 PM
  • 43
    I am pretty much freaking out about ticks-I've found 4 on my dog,& I've had 2 get on me
    (I didn't get bitten). I;ve always had a dog-but never had this problem-what is the deal?
    I've been using herbal flea & tick stuff that you squeeze on,but I guess it's time to get
    chemical... - 6/30/2010   6:18:51 PM
  • HOKIESIS
    42
    I had lyme disease, but never got the bulls eye rash. My doctor said up to 50% of people with lyme disease don't get it.

    My main symptom was nausea. I ended up hospitalized because I couldn't keep anything down and after a zillion tests and a neurology consult, they finally figured out it was lyme disease. A dose of antibiotics later and I haven't had a problem since.

    Keep in mind that deer ticks are TINY. The kind that usually gives you lyme disease is the size of a poppy seed. Growing up I pulled dozens and dozens of ticks off of myself; it wasn't until I was 16 that I got lyme disease and I never even knew I was bitten. If you see a tick on you, don't freak out and think getting lyme disease is a certainty. If you can see it, you probably won't get lyme disease. - 6/28/2010   11:57:15 AM
  • 41
    How timely. My grandson is in Colorado at a Boy Scout camp. I warned him about this before he left TX on Saturday.
    Pris - 6/28/2010   11:49:20 AM
  • 40
    Thanks for the reminder! - 6/28/2010   8:50:24 AM
  • FISHINGLADY66
    39
    I camp every weekend during the nice weather. Thanks for the reminder. - 6/28/2010   7:29:19 AM
  • 38
    We live in the timber and remain mindful of ticks. Back in the late 1980's I found the bull's eye rash on my leg. I did not go to the doctor at the time. Now, I have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and have ongoing joint problems. I was never officially diagnosed with Lyme's but I am positive that that is the basis for my joint pain. - 6/27/2010   10:45:00 PM
  • 37
    I've never had lime disease (knock wood), but a colleague of mine had it several years ago and it was bad. We now are experiencing a disease similar to Rocky Mountain spotted Fever carried and transmitted by ticks, but I can't remember the exact name.... It is Southern Tick something something and has an acronym like STARS. My friend had it last year after getting bit by several ticks in her yard. She was very sick for quite awhile. She had a big lump on the side of her neck that looked like a goiter, but was swollen lymph nodes. We keep our grass cut and our dog protected and are careful when we are in places near woods, tall grass or trees. - 6/27/2010   10:11:46 PM
  • 36
    I had lyme disease. I didn't get treated right after the tick bite. About 4 months later, I was waking up with sore muscles. I still didn't make a connection. Eventually, I was waking up feeling like I was 100 yrs old. My body was hunched over from being so stiff. Especially my hands. So I finally got treated. The first antibiotic didn't work so then I got Penicillin shots which saved me. If you have this be persistent also be careful b/c there is a lot of snake oil. - 6/27/2010   7:15:49 PM
  • 35
    Avoid it. - 6/27/2010   6:59:40 PM
  • 34
    Yes, I always take precautions against ticks. Ticks have always frightened me. I did not want them crawling on me. The fact that they carry diseases is all the more reason to be vigilant against them. I avoid most spring hiking and I spray my clothing. - 6/27/2010   6:18:40 PM
  • 33
    have never had it (knock on wood) and grateful for the tips-just in case! thanks! - 6/27/2010   6:03:26 PM
  • 32
    Here in MI we check ourselves each time we come inside. - 6/27/2010   2:05:12 PM
  • 31
    I have learned so much about such varying topics. Thank you for taking such good care of us. My cousin had Lyme's and it took quite a long time to recoup. Thank you again for teaching us. - 6/27/2010   1:56:27 PM
  • 30
    A friend of mine is on her 3rd bout of Lyme. She has been hiking the Appalachian Trail since April and started feeling the symptoms of Lyme while she was in Virginia. She now had to curtail her hike for a few weeks while she gets a regimen of antibiotics. She is also a fair skinned redhead so is very sensitive to sunlight while on antibiotics. She has her good and bad days but is in a lot of pain on the worst days. She did have the characteristic bulls eye rash. - 6/27/2010   1:40:31 PM
  • 29
    Just one more addition to my post about Lyme - I still don't know when I got bitten. I don't know if it was 1 day, 1 week 1 month or more before I first started getting the symptoms. My post just lists the order and timeline of the symptoms.
    Be careful this summer.

    Also, please read Bestbigbrother's comment below. it is very insightful. - 6/27/2010   11:38:01 AM
  • DENI_ZEN
    28
    Thank you, Nancy, for what is undoubtedly the most important public-health message we'll hear all summer long! I am paranoid about getting a tick bite, especially after hearing what others with this terrible - and unpredictable - disease have suffered. Stay safe! - 6/27/2010   11:16:38 AM
  • 27
    I've had it twice and believe me, TAKE PRECAUTIONS when going outside. I'm a very healthy person so after two days of not feeling well, I knew something was wrong. I thought I had a bad flu.
    First and foremost, please know that many people DO NOT get the bull's eye rash. This in itself can make detection of the disease more difficult. Fortunately for me, I did get the bull's eye.
    My symptoms were as follows:
    Several days before the onset of more severe symptoms my leg muscles felt sore. My legs sore and tired going up stairs, which I thought was odd but I thought I was just running too much.
    Day 1. Itchiness behind my knee. I saw a rash and thought perhaps I had scratched my leg on brush then irritated it by scratching it.
    Day 1 - that evening. Severe chills, particularly in my spine. My spine felt as though it was frozen.
    Day 2. Extreme fatigue, severe chills, inability to concentrate.
    Day 3. Went to the doctor, was diagnosed with Lyme. Also, on day 3 I had an absolute pounding headache, which only got worse when I went from a lying position to a sitting position.

    Just to reiterate what is written in the article, if you have symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

    Also, I believe there is a Spark people group for people with Lyme disease. Please check it out to find a lot of support. - 6/27/2010   10:18:41 AM
  • 26
    We were just talking about this yesterday. My husband's Aunt has the tick bite, and the classic 'bulls-eye' mark. She was gardening and had long pants on, but it must have crawled up under her clothes. The bite is at the back of her knee. So far, no other symptoms but I've cautioned her what to watch for. She also made a trip to her doctor, who did not prescribe cautionary antibiotics.

    We usually don't have to worry about ticks this far North. But there is getting to be more and more incidents , so the ticks have definitely moved into the area.

    Thanks for the information and the reminders to do the body check. - 6/27/2010   10:16:19 AM
  • 45ANDFIT1
    25
    Thank you for this information. I have a sister who went undiagnosed for many years with Lyme and nearly died because her doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong so the disease went untreated. - 6/27/2010   9:49:12 AM
  • 24
    thanks you for posting this information. i knew that dogs could get it but I was not aware of people. i live in northeast OH and we love spending time in the woods so this information has come in very handy. thanks again - 6/27/2010   9:36:16 AM
  • 23
    Thank-you for the reminder, Spark, of ticks once again. Funny how we forget! I,ve never hadv a tick bite but I know they arec all around us here in the bush. - 6/27/2010   8:27:03 AM
  • 22
    I thankfully never had lyme disease but a friend of mine who lived in New York did and she was pregnant at the time. That was several years ago and her child is still tested regularly to make sure no complications set in for him. She still has health issues from the lyme disease even though she went through extensive treatment. So far her son is doing good. Don't take lyme disease lightly, and women if you are planning on starting a family be extra vigilant the doctors told my friend you can pass it on to your unborn child. - 6/27/2010   8:23:58 AM
  • 21
    Thank-you Spark for the reminder of Ticks. We live in the bush and must stop and put the Deet on--- - 6/27/2010   8:23:10 AM
  • 20
    It is amazing how you can find any topic on Sparkpeople and get valuable information to help you through what ever condition you might be facing. We have camped for years and been in areas where there are ticks. We have been very lucky. We went to our grandparents resort in Bemiji Minnesota every summer for two weeks vacation, from Oregon. We met cousins and other family there. Every night we would check for ticks and all of us had them several times. This was in the 70's and we knew nothing of Lyme Desease. Unfortunately you know at least one of us would end up with it eventually. It was our cousin who lived back there, but she wasn't diagnosed for years, after she had it and had health issues diagnosed as other things. She was very ill for a long time, fortunately she is better but still lives with some chronic conditions from it and will for the rest of her life. So do take this seriously and if you are in an area where there are ticks it needs to be on the top of your list of things to take every precaution and be aware of the signs and symptoms. - 6/27/2010   4:39:33 AM
  • 19
    Lyme disease often goes undiagnosed because it's not very common in Canada. However, a lot more cases are identified in the U.S. But the ticks certainly don't stop at the border to have their "passports" checked. ;) - 6/27/2010   3:11:42 AM
  • SUNSET09
    18
    I have never had Lyme disease and education and precaution is always the key. We used to have sessions before going camping about ticks but never to this extent. We were also taught to check each other out for chiggers and ticks as well. Keep up the good work, thanx! - 6/27/2010   1:29:29 AM
  • JBURD09
    17
    I have always taken extra care to avoid ticks/tick bites due to a fear of Lyme disease. My great grandfather contracted it a total of 3 times in his life and one of those times was severe enough to cause some brain damage. Unfortunately ticks seem to be extra thick here in rural Kentucky this year so we're having to be even more careful than we normally are! - 6/27/2010   12:12:24 AM
  • FIVEFAMILY
    16
    Thank goodness my doctor had just read an article about Lyme disease when he diagnosed me a few years ago. I just had joint pain with not tell tale redness. A quick course of antibiotics and thankfully I have had no problems since. - 6/27/2010   12:02:15 AM
  • 15
    Personally, I have not had the misfortune to have the disease. (yet) However, my brother was finally diagnosed with it several years ago, and it made him extremely ill. - 6/26/2010   10:53:27 PM
  • 14
    I have not had Lyme disease but I almost died from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in 2005. I always remind people to check themselves, their children, and their pets for tics. The CDC also recommends that if you find a tic that you save it in the freezer in a zip lock bag. If you become ill, they can test the tic for the illness. - 6/26/2010   9:48:12 PM
  • 13
    thank you. i nearly died from Lyme disease. I was in the ER and then intensive care last night and all day today with a heart problem from complications of Lyme. I will never be cured due to docs that didnt know how to diagnose and treat. but most days are good now! - 6/26/2010   8:49:25 PM
  • 12
    I like to hike in the Eastern Townships of Southern Quebec. I was recently talking with my hiking buddy about the danger of Lyme disease. Thank you for this informative blog. - 6/26/2010   7:36:50 PM
  • 11
    My daughter contracted Lymes disease while visiting her grandmother in Phoenix. She got sick with what we thought was initially the flu. It took her passing out several times before I took her to the Dr. She was treated for an upper respritory infection and it was not until the antibiodics did not make a difference 10 days later that we started looking. It took a third trip to the Dr's office and me insisting that the Dr do the test that it was finally verified. My Daughters school nurse, who had had it the summer before had spotted the rash and symptoms. She was a big help in helping me convence the Dr to do the test. It took almost 4 months for her to start feeling better- she wasn't hospitalized, but she had a tough case. It took her out of High School sports for a year- and she has had the lingering affects of Asthma. that is gradually getting better, but as her Dr said- it affects everyone differently. During the first few months of her treatment he lost 2 patients who had lymes disease because it caused swelling of their brains (and they were older folks). He told me that he will always listen to his patient because of this instance with my Daughter. She always wears long sleeve shirts, pants, socks and bug spray whenever she is outdoors. I was a little shocked to see that she can get it again.. . . There is not enough known about this disease! - 6/26/2010   5:48:37 PM
  • 10
    What happened to the vaccine that was eliminated in 2002? Was the cure more dangerous than the cause? - 6/26/2010   5:25:51 PM
  • 9
    I grew up on a farm in Illinois and long before anyone talked about "Lyme" disease, we were concerned with "Tick Fever." We were very careful to check our dog daily as he went down into the woods. I remember my father lighting a match and blowing it out and putting it on the tick so it would "release" rather than pulling it off the dog and having the pinchers stay in. We never got sick, but we certainly took precautions. - 6/26/2010   4:54:50 PM
  • 8
    I got bit by a tick last month and got sick - went in the hospital and that little booger was a small thing, but made a big impact on my life. I am good now and more careful. - 6/26/2010   4:53:43 PM
  • BESTBIGBROTHER
    7
    Lyme is rampant here in 2 counties of NH and sadly it's on the rise, not decline. We live on 4 acres of wooded land in one of these counties, making avoidance of the great outdoors an impossibility unless we remain indoors all the time. After my husband, our grandson, and one of our sons dogs got Lyme disease, we knew we had to do something, as our vigilence with proper clothing, deet spray, nightly tick checks and the dog tick & mosquito preventative medications were just not enough. These ticks are very tiny! We thought we'd get them all during our nightly checks, but evidently we weren't. We have a dug well for drinking water and a small pond that lots of wildlife feed at, so overall outdoor spraying by even professionals was not an option. After some research, we found that Guinea Hens were the way to go for us. They do NOT eat any of our garden greens or flowers, rather they feed on insects, primarily ticks and Japanese Beetles! What a plus fo us! The first year we had them and they roamed our property, and some of our neighbors as well, not one of us had a tick and our next door neighbors only found one all season on their dog. They can be noisy when someone comes up the driveway, but they do wonders at controlling the tick population.

    Believe what you read and take Lyme seriously folks. Many of the medical people are still not learned about it and you may have to be assertive should you suspect it. My husband contracted it about 7 years ago when it wasn't such a popular diagnosis and I had him back and forth to the doctors three times in a week. He had flu symptoms of all over weakness and aches and pains, accompanied with crushing headache pain and 104 degree temps for 6 days, BEFORE the bulls eye rashes ever started to appear. After returning from his last dr. appt listless, confused, and unable to get himself out of his truck and into the house I knew we needed more of a diagnosis than flu. I was worried about his obvious weight loss and dehydration and called back to insist on them authorizing an ER admission. It was at the hospital when the bulls eye rashes started to come all over his body.....not just one place. A couple would come and as they'd be fading 20 hours or so later a couple more popped up in different places. IV's rehydrated him and administered antibiotics. He was a very sick man. He had a different strain of Lyme than seen around here, said the doc, which is why the rash presented itself as it did. He had a long recovery with lots of residual intense shoulder pain, which some medical personel still preferred to label as arthritis...........funny, arthritis that responded to antibiotics each time it flared up over the course of four or five years!

    I couldn't believe it when our four year old grandson presented with the same appearing rash, intensifying for hours and then fading only to pop up somewhere else on him. When he had five bullseyes going at one time on his little body and he started asking his mother to carry him because his legs hurt, they decided to take him to the pediatrician, who proclaimed it couldn't be Lyme because, "It doesn't come in multiple bullseyes like that!" But she tested him for it and treated him with antibiotics on their insistence.

    When the chihuahua got it, he was mellow one day and the next he was paralyzed from his lower ribcage down, necessitating his hospitalizion for 2 days, also with IV antibiotics and fluids. The vet told us that it would live on in the dog and may reoccur, not something anything our doctors were telling us.

    Education has come a long way as far as identifying Lyme is concerned, but so much more research needs to be done. Glad to see such a posting on SparkPeople. Thank you Nancy Howard. The more we know the better equipped we are to handle things when they pop up. - 6/26/2010   3:59:31 PM
  • 6
    My 10 year old nephew was diagnosed with Lyme's last fall and was on antibiotics. My dh had a tick on the back of his arm last year. Found one on my oldest son's neck this spring. We are in Western PA and the ticks seem to be worse than ever the past few years. Deer that get shot seem to be covered with them, too. Just be sure to check or have someone check where you can't see. - 6/26/2010   3:25:15 PM
  • BUSIBODI
    5
    My husband was diagnosed last fall. We aren't sure exactly when he contracted the disease. He never had a rach that is charecteristic of Lyme. He finally went to the doctors because he was sick of the sudden dizzy spells and overall tiredness. He also had tingling in his extremities and little scratche seemed to heal really slowly. We thought it was the onset of Diabetes which runs in his family. The disease is dispersed throughout his blood stream which indicates that he has had Lyme for quite some time. His doctor believe it has been at least 5 years. The tingling sensation is due to permanent nerve damage from long term exposure to the Lyme in his system. Since being on antibiotics his dizzy spells are less frequent and he has a lot more energy. Because we didn't catch it early, he will need to be on antibiotics throughout his life. But hopefully his symptoms won't get any worse.

    It is frustrating to know that my dogs can get a vaccine to protect them from this horrible disease, but we can't. So I douse myself and my children with bugspray that contains DEET and stay vigilent with Tick checks at bathtime all summer long. - 6/26/2010   1:42:27 PM
  • JEANNETTE59
    4
    I'm one of the lucky ones I know when, March of this year, and where, the wooded section of our property in NJ, I was bitten. I developed the red raised bullseye rash and tested positive on 2 different blood tests. I was treated with short term mega dose antibiotics and a strong antibacterial cream for the rash, because I have other medical conditions. I developed all of the listed symptoms. And yes, I was wearing long pants and along sleeve sweater, but I tripped over a tree root and fell. I was more concerned about broken bones and bleeding, as I was taking blood thinners for a blood clot behind my knee. I took off my clothes because they were dirty and showered immediately. I didn't see the tick. I have had to repeat the antibiotic treatment. This is a serious disease, which often goes undiagnosed because the symptoms are attributed to other conditions. - 6/26/2010   1:20:48 PM
  • BIENEGOLD
    3
    If you were better after a week, it wasn't Lyme disease. - 6/26/2010   12:30:03 PM
  • LOVELYLANA9
    2
    My son is currently on an antibiotic for lyme. While camping he was riding his dirt bike in tall grass. Two days later he found a tick on the back of his knee while in the shower. After that he felt "funny" in his head, was hot/cold. I took him to the doctor who immediately put him on Amoxicillin for 21 days. I will say that while they say most deer ticks don't carry Lyme, I know two other people whose lives are nothing like they used to be because of the disease. So please be careful when in the woods and use the spray with DEET. I sent it along with them, but being men, they did not use it. I live in PA which is a high tick area. - 6/26/2010   12:29:15 PM

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