Spring is taking hold here in the northeastern U. S., and our weather is slowly growing more temperate. In the springtime, I begin to see my neighbors again as people come out of their homes to enjoy the warm weather and bask in the sun’s bright rays.
However, spring also brings unwanted pests in the form of insects of all types, most notably, ticks. In these parts (as in most), ticks carry Lyme disease, as well as a whole host of other illness-inducing bacteria that most people have never even heard of.
I take some (albeit minimal) comfort in the fact that my cat is not currently going outside since his fall from the position of king of the food-chain (written here in my F-blog). His temporary status as an indoor cat will reduce the risk of ticks in the house. Before, I felt a need to vacuum him obsessively when he came indoors. With the frequency with which cats go in and out and in and out (and in and out…), my vacuum was in constant use. Keeping him in once the windows are open and the screen door is all that separates him from the outdoors will be increasingly difficult.
I have Lyme disease, a diagnosis that came after more than one bout with a “virus” that confined me to the couch for several days at a time—a roundabout way to say I was not immediately diagnosed. In fact, no one really knows how long I had the disease before I was diagnosed. That’s a funny thing about Lyme
The symptoms of Lyme mimic so many other diseases, it is important for everyone to know and recognize the signs and symptoms; if you are armed with knowledge, you will be prepared to advocate for yourself or for your loved ones. Lyme is a growing concern that is now found in 80+ countries around the world. Your ability to help yourself begins with awareness.
I was not in the woods. I don’t remember being bitten by a tick. In fact, I never saw a tick. I never had the telltale “bulls-eye” rash. The standard CDC recommended 28-day course of antibiotics did not make me better. Getting in to see a Lyme literate practitioner was a months-long process. Sadly, Lyme disease is a politically charged disease for which it is difficult to obtain proper, aggressive treatment. Below are some resources for education. If you know of other helpful resources, please share them in the comments.
Today’s Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by the letter L.