Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kathleen Hanna and about half of the people I care about have or have had Lyme disease

We've each picked up ticks from the garden and even the lawn.

All I can say is, "That stinks."

Here's a disease that affects those who love the outdoors, and even some that don't. It hardly seems fair. 

The fears and reality of allergies, poison ivy and mud keeps many people inside. Then there's Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the very first tickborne disease I ever heard of, and Lyme. Nine more tickborne diseases are listed on CDC's website. The message: Going outside can maim or kill you. So can allowing your pets to go outside and then come back in. 

The nursery also has ticks. Interestingly, we often find them by the half dozen on the white soil bags. Are they attracted to the white color or is it that they are easier to see? They really do seem to like other white items we leave outside.

Jared, Beren, and I have all been bitten by ticks. Jared and I, many times. Many times. We do several things about ticks, the primary is we check for ticks every day, even on warm winter days because we've seen ticks in January. 

It's a drag and hardly sexy to examine each others nooks under the glare of three bathroom lights. Half the time we notice the shiny black pinpoint-sized tick, the other half we notice the eraser-sized red spot on the skin that says, "This flesh is irritated." 

We'll say, "Oh sh*t. Again?" And then we get the tweezers and various remedies. I try to clear my mind before extracting a tick, and most of the time, we get them out.

Knock on wood - hardwood, soft wood, ironwood, bass wood, shelter wood, sap wood, heart wood, plywood, Kingwood, Ringwood - we've never gotten ill from a tick bite. 

Here's a list of people who come to mind that have had Lyme. Some of them continue to suffer. Two artists, one woodworker, one forester, one hunter, one scholar, one knitter, one engineer, one garden club member, two land trust employees (at least), one health care provider, one dog... Probably more, I just can't think of everyone. I hope you all are feeling better.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Lyme disease is a really devastating disease, and the most difficult part about having it is that there is no "steady upward trajectory" for your improvement. you're on a roller coaster in terms of your energy levels and fatigue. it comes and goes, rises and falls, and this is one of the things that makes living with Lyme so difficult, and what makes it so difficult for doctors, family, friends and relatives to understand. i frequently get the "you're STILL sick?" question, as well as the "will you be like this FOREVER?"

    the answer is yes to both. there is no cure for the variety of Lyme disease i have, chronic, late stage, the symptoms can be managed but never fully cured, at least that is what i've been told.

    you're smart to check yourselves for ticks. and if anyone out there even SUSPECTS they have the disease, get the proper tests and save yourself going through the maze of illness that i've been! also, there are a lot of misconceptions about this illness and the rash, so READ UP.

    i'm still hanging in there!