At that time, I had a red bump on my inner thigh that looked infected. I popped it and applied neosporin to it. I was really sick when I went to Las Vegas for our 30th anniversary in Dec. '07. That was when I took pain meds, including oxycodone, because I could get no relief with other treatments. From then on I dealt with chronic pain, had lots of tests (except for Lyme!), cortisone injections, epidurals, pain management treatments, physical therapy, etc. I even went to the doctor and had an MRSA swab done...thinking perhaps I might have contracted that-but no MRSA.
This spring I had another 'bump' but this time on my neck. I knew it was an infected tick bite because I pulled the tick out myself. I went to the doctor because it was getting worse, even with my own treatment...and that's when the Lyme test came back positive. Usually, after a tick bite, a Lyme test will only be positive after several weeks have gone by. Since mine was positive within a few days of the bite, it was concluded that I'd had it for quite some time. Now, I believe I'm living with chronic Lyme and it's going to be difficult to eradicate. Even if I 'had' had a Lyme test, months after my last tick bite, it may have been negative, because just as it takes weeks to show up as positive, it also 'stops' showing up positive after a few months have passed! Had the doctor done a Lyme test after my first infected bite (which I didn't know was a bite), I might not have gone through, and am now living with, all of these problems!
I think my son may have it as well. He has been exhibiting all of the symptoms and even though his blood tests negative for Lyme, after doing research I've concluded he may have it. I have taken ticks off of him this summer. We live in an area that is very 'woodsy' and I'm always outside in my garden. Plus, we have 2 dogs that might bring them in, even though they are on a tick/flea preventative. This summer, not only did I have an 'infected' bite on my neck, but I also took off 2 pin-head sized ticks from my groin area, and 1 from behind my knee! I might not have seen them had I not 'specifically' been looking for them, because they are so small they aren't visible unless you check extremely closely.
Lyme also is known to be the source of cognitive and emotional changes, memory and concentration, and so many other problems! No wonder I thought I was losing my mind and becoming senile! My son had 'sudden' onset of these changes this spring. His grades went from A's and B's to D's and F's! He's in the gifted program and suddenly couldn't think straight, concentrate or remember things! He developed knee pain for no apparent reason! He exhibited sudden mood swings and bouts of anger, depression. It's easy to diagnose these kinds of issues as bipolar or ADD or other psychological disorders. But he's also been running a fever between 100 and 101 on and off since that time, has frequent headaches, ongoing rashes, and many other symptoms that doctors cannot explain (!) -- all of which lead me to conclude that the cause of it all may beLyme disease! In June he was treated for a sinus infection with antibiotics and he started to feel good again! Not long after he was off the meds, he had recurring symptoms! He tested negative for Lyme after I had him checked at the time I was diagnosed. But it's not unusual to test negative after a period of time goes by. I wish that my son could at least be on an antibiotic, but doctors hesitate to do that unless they believe there is a bacterial illness. They think my son has something 'viral'!
I have found some Lyme-literate doctors and have appointments for us in September. It can be a long road trying to eradicate chronic Lyme. I am most concerned about my son, who is only 12. Many doctors don't believe it even exists. Yet, I don't think our medical system is up to par on many illnesses and treatments. Just like insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, I think our medical community is screwed up. A lot of it is financially driven as well as politically.
We're off to Maine for about 10 days...in the woods, no less! I don't know if it even matters whether we get bitten by more ticks, since we already have the illness! But I am pretty vigilant now about applying bug spray and trying to dress appropriately to minimize the possibility of being bitten. Being on doxycyclene, my skin has become extremely sun-sensitive as well...so I have to double up on my sunscreen applications and even wear longer sleeved shirts, and cover my feet because the slightest bit of sun has my toes burning and very painful!
Joanne (Joanne's Cottage Garden) is onto something, folks! Don't take this lightly or with a grain-of-salt! It's very real, goes undetected, messes up lives, and is possibly at the root of many of the illnesses which we mistake as something else. Thanks for letting me vent! Since this is a gardening blog, I believe the topic is actually very relevent and might even signal to many readers the importance of taking your symptoms seriously. Do you know that I started blogging and named my blog Thanks For 2 Day because I was 'trying' to hang on to the belief that I could keep 'hanging on', back in Nov. 2007? I couldn't understand why I suddenly started having so much pain and that it wasn't able to stop! I thought if I'd just focus on living each day and finding something to be thankful for, I could keep going. Of course, that's a good philosophy all of us would be wise to live by, but the actual beginning of my problems were what triggered me to start my blog and name it as I did.
Okay, so what's this post have to do with Hummingbird Moths?
Not a thing! I just wanted to show you a photo of one that I just captured on my phlox! You can click the photo to enlarge it! It's called a Hummingbird Clearwing.
For lots of relevant information on Lyme disease, visit Joanne's blog. She has so many links in her sidebar that you'll be stunned with how much knowledge is out there, but how our medical community doesn't want to recognize it!
Happy gardening; and Lyme-free living!
--I am thankful for people willing to search for answers and not simply stick with the status quo.