This powerful public service ad comes from the Netherlands. This English version was just released for World Lyme Day 2016. (View the Dutch version here.)It’s going viral.
The last bit may surprise you. Or…may not, if you are living with this illness.
May is Lyme Awareness Month. Please promote understanding of Lyme Disease: Please share.
And protect yourself from this hell. Read these top ten prevention tips from ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society).
This graph from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a clear picture of what’s ahead for summer: plenty of potential for tick bites transmitting Lyme (and other nasties).
You cannot be too careful; there’s no such thing. A friend told me the other day that his mom’s hairdresser found a tick in her hair. Thankfully it had not bitten her yet.
She has an indoor cat and doesn’t generally spend much time off sidewalks, so you can see that this health threat can be tough to avoid.
I’ve heard that 50% of ticks around here are infected. The odds are not good. We’ve got to be vigilant all year long, even in winter, but never more than in May thru August.
Because I’m not merely “tired” when Lyme gets me in it’s grip, I’m far beyond that. Tired is what happens to well people who overdo. It’s what happens to heroines in Victorian novels who faint on chaises.
Isn’t there a better pronouncement for what happens to people with chronic illness—sometimes even when we do nothing at all?
In my opinion, “chronic fatigue” is so overused it has no meaning. Continue reading
by Kathy Meyer
Virginia Governor’s Task Force on Lyme Disease 2010-13 and
Co-leader, Parents of Children with Lyme Support Network, DC Metro Area
“…The physician cannot rely on a laboratory test or clinical finding at the time of the bite to definitely rule in or rule out Lyme Disease infection, so must use clinical judgment as to whether to use antibiotic prophylaxis. Testing the tick itself for the presence of the spirochete, even with PCR technology, is helpful but not 100% reliable.
An established infection by B. burgdorferi [the bacteria that causes Lyme] can have serious, long-standing, or permanent, and painful medical consequences, and be expensive to treat. Since the likelihood of harm arising from prophylactically applied anti-spirochetal antibiotics [taking antibiotics to kill potential infection] is low, and since treatment is inexpensive and painless, it follows that the risk benefit ratio favors tick bite prophylaxis.”
-Dr. Joseph Burrascano, the longest-treating physician for Lyme in the U.S.
As the weather warms, there is justifiable panic in the question, “I just found a TICK on me, so what do I DO?!” Continue reading
I’ve been thinking about the day I went hiking in a gorgeous old chestnut forest in Southern Maryland that is protected by a local land trust. Volunteers keep the trails beautifully manicured, with small limbs trimmed back and mulch on the paths.
I felt I was relatively safe from ticks there, keeping out of underbrush, not brushing up agains branches. My boots and clothes were treated with bug-killing permethrin. I really looked forward to rambling about for an hour or so of fresh air, soaring trees, and bird song. Judging from the way he pranced along, my dog Mo was pretty excited, too.
When I got home I did all the necessary things: Stripped, threw everything in the dryer on hot for 20 minutes to kill any ticks, took a shower, washed and dried my hair, checked my body.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I found a tick sucking on my leg. Who knows where it came from. Perhaps from Mo; my vet tells me no tick-killing products are 100% effective.
It’s a myth that it takes at least 48 hours to become infected. So I knew enough to call my doctor, who immediately increased my antibiotics (I was recovering from a tick bite more than two years before and still on meds). But it was already too late. Continue reading
And when are these attacks going to stop? I know of a local doctor in court right now fighting to protect herself—and going bankrupt in the process.
We must all speak up against this unspeakable problem in so many countries!