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#191287 - 07/08/15 11:54 AM Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda
dylansdad77 Offline
member

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 158
Loc: New Jersey
Allow me a brief moment to jump on top of my soapbox and yell "don't be stupid, like me". I spent 120 straight hours in bed (minus 2 trips to the dr's office) last week for what turned out to be Lyme's Disease. Fevers upwards of 103, teeth-chattering chills and a weakness I never could have imagined.

Once the diagnosis was finalized, I spent the first few days thinking "how could this have happened? I'm always careful when I go outdoors". Well, it was a boneheaded moment that I can look back upon with disdain and mild humor. I was wearing convertible hiking pants on a camping trip with my son a few weeks ago (posted the pic of him with his first fish) and I sprayed both my son and myself with a 20% DEET bug spray. By midday, it got warm out so I zipped off the pant legs and went with shorts - AND FORGOT TO RESPRAY MY LEGS!!!

Well that was all the invitation that little bastard needed. Luckily, we caught it very early and a 3 week course of antibiotics should clear me up just fine. Lesson learned, albeit the hard way.

Just wanted to share my experience in the hopes that someone else will learn from my mistake. Be safe out there...
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Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

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#191288 - 07/08/15 12:15 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: dylansdad77]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Wow, scary! How hard was it to diagnose? We have a friend who went undiagnosed for so long it can't be cured, only controlled, and has taken its toll on what she can do. Very debilitating disease.
_________________________
--Rick

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#191289 - 07/08/15 01:17 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: Rick_D]
dylansdad77 Offline
member

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 158
Loc: New Jersey
Nurse practicioner (sp?) originally called it a viral infection and to just go home and hydrate. Took blood, everything came back fine - even white blood cell count was normal, not elevated like we expected. The next day my wife noticed a large welt on the back of my left calf just behind the knee. It didn't hurt, it didn't itch...I didn't even know it was there to be honest. Thank GOD she saw it because that pointed us towards a skin infection. The next morning we noticed the bullseye around the welt, which had grown in size. The bullseye is classic Lyme's Disease so I went back to the dr.

The crazy thing is, a second round of bloodwork also came back negative for Lyme's but apparently this is common. The bullseye was the key and only visible for a couple days, then it just looked like a huge welt. Because we caught it so early, doc says it didn't have a chance to get into my bloodstream which is why the labwork keeps coming back negative.

The best offense is a good defense. Keep them little buggers away and you'll never have to worry about diagnosing it.

PSA - if you do experience flu-like symptoms, check everywhere for a bite site. It could be Lyme's and you can catch it early and get rid of it.
_________________________
Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

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#191291 - 07/08/15 02:08 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: dylansdad77]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
The bullseye was the key and only visible for a couple days, then it just looked like a huge welt.

The heck of it is that you cannot even count on a bullseye rash appearing with Lyme's. This is one scary disease.

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#191297 - 07/08/15 07:05 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: aimless]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
Sorry to hear it went as far as it did, but glad you got rid of it!!!!! Horrible disease carried by a gross little critter.
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Charlie

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#191298 - 07/08/15 08:34 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: bluefish]
shuddleson Offline
member

Registered: 06/19/14
Posts: 34
Loc: Albuquerque, New Mexico
If someone could explain Lyme Disease's expansion for me. Growing up in the Ozark mountains ticks (and chiggers) were part of life. Never heard of Lyme Disease until a few years ago. Has it spread? Is it new or alays present but seldom diagnosed?

Here in the west it was Rocky Mountain Spotted fever we feared, and now that is seldom mentioned. S' Up?

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#191301 - 07/09/15 09:20 AM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: shuddleson]
dylansdad77 Offline
member

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 158
Loc: New Jersey
Lyme's Disease has been around as long as I have (37 years). I remember my cousin getting it in the early 1980's and her teen years were miserable because there was no cure and very little treatment. She could count on achy joints, muscle pains and random onset of flu-like symptoms with your only recourse being alternating between ibuprofen and acetaminophen to hold down the fever.

Being from the northeast, Lyme's has always been one of the most talked about "outdoor" maladies and preventive measures were ingrained in our heads from childhood. Primarily, the most reported cases are in the mid-Atlantic and northeast from Virginia to Maine. Minnesota and Wisconsin also have their fair share of reported infections. I don't believe Lyme's is particularly prevalent as far south as the Ozarks. However, the preventive measures for ticks are universal no matter where you are.
_________________________
Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

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#191308 - 07/09/15 01:03 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: dylansdad77]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
" I don't believe Lyme's is particularly prevalent as far south as the Ozarks."

It's not, but it is here. The best way to avoid lyme is getting the ticks off fast, but you cannot avoid getting bit here if you're outside much. The shear number of them probably increases the odds a bit here, but the number of ticks carrying the disease is pretty low by percent here.

Sure glad to hear you caught it, and that you diagnosed it and looked for it. That's been the real problem in the past. It is hard to detect, and it's only been the past few years that doctors and patients looked for it as a cause of the symptoms.

I would love to find an safe organic pesticide for those little buggers. There has to be something...
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"You want to go where?"



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#191322 - 07/10/15 08:43 AM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: dylansdad77]
dzierzak Offline
member

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 43
Loc: WV
CDC 2012 Reported Cases of Lyme

Caveat: Cases are shown with the person's county of residence, not where they may have been infected.

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#191342 - 07/13/15 12:47 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: dylansdad77]
northeastern Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/14
Posts: 20
good thing you caught it early, I caught it when I was 16 or so. The antibiotics made me sick as a dog and lost 35 pounds but it beats having the disease.

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#191352 - 07/15/15 08:37 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: dylansdad77]
bobito9 Offline
member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 385
Dang! That's nasty! I'm way too blase about ticks, I must admit. Lyme's is not as common out here as back east, but still...
The best prevention to my mind is permethrin spray used on your clothes and boots (never your skin). I got my clearest introduction to its effectiveness some years ago on a backpack with my dog. Prior I bought a permethrin spray meant for use on dogs but not people. I sprayed her and at the end of the day found no ticks on her while I picked over 100 off myself! It will last on your clothes through several washings (supposedly). But again, NOT on your skin!

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#191358 - 07/15/15 11:12 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: bobito9]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Do remember that permethrin can be carcinogenic in liquid form. Spray your clothes before your trip (outdoors or in a very well-ventilated area) and let them dry thoroughly before wearing. Spray your hat, too.

Use Deet on your exposed skin. At least a line around your wrists at the cuff line, around your neck at the collar line, around your hairline.

Also, wearing shortie gaiters (sprayed beforehand) means the ticks won't crawl up your legs underneath your pants! Tucking pants into socks helps, but isn't as effective (I find they keep pulling out).

The permethrin sprayed clothes will also zap any mosquitoes that come after you. However, it doesn't work against biting flies.

Since permethrin can kill a lot of helpful insects (like butterflies, bees and other pollinators essential to agriculture), don't spray it around indiscriminately, please.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#191359 - 07/15/15 11:59 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: OregonMouse]
AdventureMyk Offline
member

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Keep in mind that permathin is also VERY bad for cats so if you happen to have any make sure the sprays are no where they can be gotten to, and that freshly treated material is hung to dry somewhere that the cat's can't get to them. It's around a 50-60% fatality rate once they are poisoned and apparently there is something, much like dogs and anti-freeze, that attract cats to it.

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#191360 - 07/16/15 02:07 PM Re: Proper Precautions...shoulda, coulda, woulda [Re: OregonMouse]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I have a pair of bib overalls, a pair of socks, and a T-shirt I've sprayed with permethrin that I wear here while working outside. The stuff works great, but I take those clothes off as soon as I'm inside.

There are natural plant based repellants that work just as good as deet to use on your skin. I much prefer those. When I was in Destin Fl a few months ago we went canoeing and the sand bars were infested with mosquitos. I used the plant based "Repel" spray while I was in a cloud of mosquitos and was amazed at how fast they took off after just a few squirts on my arm.

They keep ticks from biting too, but I sprayed some on my arms before going out to pick blackberries a couple days ago and still got chigger bit. Only on my arms though. The rest of me was covered with the permethrin treated outfit.

I don't like it, but I sure see a huge difference in our yard when we treat our dogs with Frontline. We almost have to. They all run in the forest and bring ticks back here by the equivalent of bus loads. They hate it when we apply it, but you can sure see how much better they feel in just a couple days, and for several weeks after.
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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