She got bit by a tick earlier this year in southern Oregon and after so much annoyance...my sister finally got some answers! Just being involved in her process of going to multiple doctors and multiple doctors being COMPLETE IDIOTS- I was reminded of how little this world knows about Lyme.
As much as I HATE this disease and everything that goes with it...I'm so grateful for the knowledge I've gained. If anything, I'm glad I've gone through this so that little Scarlet doesn't go through life with Lyme and get sicker and sicker until it's too late, or she has YEARS of treatment. Thank goodness though, I have been through what I've been through, my family knows so much now, and my sister knew to not brush it off, and trust doctors who said, "We don't have Lyme in this area", or a bunch of other COMPLETE moronicness. Because of what Clay and I have gone through...Scarlet can get treated, get better, and live a wonderful life!
It does makes me sad that she has it though, and that she has to be treated at all. It makes me so mad that there are tiny bugs that can give you diseases that can just change your life in an instant. It makes me LIVID that there are big headed doctors that think they know everything and don't listen or care...and that there isn't more publicity or knowledge on this topic. The whole thing exhausts me really. It's exhausting to tell people, "GET TESTED" or "GET ON ANTIBIOTICS" or, "I don't eat Gluten or sugar because I have Lyme"...and everytime I say these things people give me questioning stares...like, ehhh...maybe. It kills me. Clay and I have both decided so many times if we ever came upon a lot of money, we would try so hard to increase lyme awareness and research. It's a freaking epidemic, ALL around us. People need to be aware. It can be prevented. It can be fixed! And unfortunately there are only a small handful of doctors who know how to properly treat this...meaning it's super hard to get appointments, travel, etc.
All this being said though, I feel like maybe that's the reason I got this disease. Among so many lessons I've learned of patience, perspective, judging, perseverance, and a lot of other stuff...I feel like I'm just one of those people that isn't embarrassed to say I have a disease...and talk about it and be open about it. Even though sometimes it IS hard...I just can't bear the thought of me NOT doing this, and letting people get sick...when I could've helped give them knowledge. I hope that's not coming off as big headed or something, like I think I have this big calling or anything. I don't. I just feel like I'm capable, so I need to. I honestly feel like I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't make people more aware. Since I have such issues with the fact that people aren't!
Anyway, I sure hope I can help SOME people in this small way of sharing on my blog. Be smart when camping! The bugs are plentiful this year. I got this from my doctor's website:
Any tick that is attached to the skin should be removed carefully and quickly using the following guidelines:
- Using small tweezers, grasp the head of the tick at the skin and hold firmly without squishing it, and pull STRAIGHT OUT without twisting or turning it. There may be some resistance as ticks secrete a cement- like substance that allows them a tight hold on the skin site of attachment.
- Place the tick in a small jar and save to send to Igenex, Inc. for PCR/DNA testing of the tick for Lyme Disease.
- NEVER squeeze or burn a tick.
- NEVER use any ointments at the site of the tick bite.
- Clean the tick bite site thoroughly with alcohol.
- Phone your physician and make an appointment immediately.
- Monitor the site of the tick bite and note any strange rashes.
- Take a magic marker and draw an outline around the edge of the rash so the Lyme Literate physician can see the extent of the rash. The marker won't wear off in a shower if you have to wait to see the physician.
- Take a picture of the rash with your camera, and bring the camera with you to the doctor's office so that if the rash fades, the physician can still assess it.
- Rashes can also occur on the body other than at the site of the tick bite so make note of these as well.
- Fleas, mosquitoes, sand flies, and probably any biting insect may also transmit Lyme Disease, so if you have suspicious swelling after an insect bite, take a picture of it and bring that picture to a Lyme Literate doctor's office.
I know I've said this before, but symptoms of Lyme include a fever/flu within a couple weeks of getting bit, achey joints, and fatigue. I'd say those are the main ones to watch for.
Have a nice day!