Sometimes, it seems I’m just the most accident-prone fellow I know. I reckon I’ve had more than my share of broken bones, stitches, sprains, and snake envenomation. But then again, I spend more time in the wild places than most and have quite a talent for finding the hazards. This time, despite my best precautions, I’ve done went and contracted Lyme Disease.
Now, for any of y’all that don’t already know, I’ll quote the CDC on what it is. “Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks.”
Typically, the symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash shaped like a bullseye. I’ve experienced all of those symptoms as well as sleeplessness and extreme joint pain with numbness in my hands, which my doctor assures me are also symptoms. Now, If you leave it untreated, the infection can spread permanent damage to your joints, heart, and nervous system.
Now, this ain’t any attempt at gaining sorrow or anything quite so narcissistic, but rather just hoping to make folks more thoughtful when enjoying the outdoors. Steps to prevent Lyme disease? Well, that includes using insect repellent such as Permethrin and removing ticks promptly before they get a chance to dig in and feed. I do those things, but it’s also advisable to tuck in your pants legs, tuck in your shirt, button up the cuffs of your sleeves or even secure those openings with duct tape. But, it gets hot out there and nobody wants to dress for Winter weather in June, so as soon as you arrive home, strip down and check yourself over very thoroughly. Maybe get your partner involved, which can be fun, or else use a full-length mirror to examine the hard-to-see spots. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tick borne diseases as well, so do a good job removing any you find. According to the CDC, nearly half of a million people are affected by Lyme Disease annually. I’ve long been aware of the illness and how to avoid it, but I reckon I got a little lackadaisical and am paying the price. It was the big rash that tipped me off to what the issue is. All of the other symptoms are easily mistaken for a host of other conditions, like arthritis or influenza.
Doc, tell me not to worry. In my favor, we diagnosed it fairly quickly and she’s confident the souped-up antibiotics she’s prescribed me will clear it up with few, if any, lingering symptoms. I’m getting plenty of rest, eating right, and following all of the doctor’s orders; I’ve survived too many cool dangers to be taken out by a tick!
I surely thank you for reading along with me each week and as always, if you have any feedback, give me a shout at [email protected]. God Bless and good hunting!