Thursday, August 30, 2012

A bit about Lyme

Early in the Summer, my family visited some friends with a lovely cabin on a river not too far away. We had a great time but I got bitten like mad by deer flies- no one else got bit.  My bites were not the deer fly bites I was used to but got very large and red and grew everyday. On the third day I started to feel very ill and thought that it might be allergies as I was tired and achey with a sore throat and neck. I took an allergy tablet that did nothing to help my symptoms and the following day I felt much worse with what felt like flu.  We went home and that evening I went into emergency as my bites kept growing larger in circumference and were raised, bright red and very hot to the touch.  My flu feelings had escalated to chills, complete body pain and laboured breathing.  They took me in right away and put me on antibiotics for possibly Lyme disease, Tularemia and definitely Cellutitis.  I knew that the bites were infected and they kept growing larger and were very red and sore but never itchy like I was familiar with for deer fly bites.  I felt like hell for a few weeks and did a bit of research into zoonotics.  I found out that a family friend is a Lyme specialist and we discussed the problems of treating a disease that often does not show itself on blood tests.  In Canada, this is a very serious issue as our testing shows mostly false negatives and many people end up getting tests done in the US where they are very aware of the problems associated with misdiagnosing Lyme disease. Click here for a link to the Sage Clinic's info page on preventing Lyme.  There is alot of information out there if you need to find it, unfortunately you have to know to look for it and there are not too many people who know what to do if you have it.  With our shorter warmer Winters here now and the fact that deer ticks are known to travel on migratory birds, we should be very aware and cautious about ticks.  I never saw a tick on myself, but was told that my symptoms were the same as Lyme and best treated as such.  Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed and can be on the back of your neck or someplace you might not notice.  Not a good idea to go crashing through the underbrush with out all the precautions.  I am much better now and have learned to crochet :).  My son was insistent that I write about my experience here for others to read and know to use caution in the woods. Here are a few important links, Elizabeth May's private members bill and an informative show on CBC radio.


  1. So sorry to hear that you experienced this Tammy. I hope you are back to being 100% healthy again. Really glad that you shared, because I will now be ever more careful of doing the tick checks after a walk in the woods.

  2. Thanks Bunny. Feeling very healthy now, I think because I had lots of help and support . Yes, be safe in the woods!