Hello everyone! We hope you are surviving winter and enjoying 2023 so far! Again, it has been way too long. We have so much happening right now. We hope you have been following us on Instagram or following our Instagram posts here on our HOME page. The weather is starting to have little glimpses of Spring up here on the mountain. More time to enjoy the outdoors!
One of the nice aspects of social media is the ability to reach out to people. I never want any of our blogs to instill fear. My sole goal is to bring awareness and information. I feel like it is a good time to bring up tick borne diseases again. Lyme is the most recognized disease when talking about ticks. That being said, it is called the "Great Imitator" because it poses as so many other diseases. Therefore, some people do not get a diagnosis of Lyme disease for years after symptoms start.
So, what are the symptoms of Lyme disease? There are 3 stages of Lyme. The first stage of most tick-borne diseases, including Lyme, are flu like symptoms. Fever, malaise, fatigue, and sometimes a rash. The familiar bullseye rash does not occur in all victims, perhaps even as low as 50% do not get the telltale sign. And some people get no symptoms of a disease at all at this stage.
The second stage occurs if Lyme is not treated or inadequately treated. This stage includes joint and muscle pain, numbness in extremities, vision and hearing changes, nervous system issues, cognitive dysfunctions, and cardiac issues. I currently have P.O.T.S. in addition to most of the other symptoms listed above.
The third stage of Lyme is pretty debilitating. Joints become filled with fluid and cognitive issues become severe. Muscle control becomes difficult. This disease can be physically and mentally debilitating and affect the quality of life of an individual and sometimes can lead to death.
The treatment for Lyme is most effective if it is caught early. Unfortunately, tests are highly inaccurate, so many people do not get diagnosed. I was tested and did get a positive result, but it was dismissed unfortunately. I retested years later as doctors recognized many Lyme symptoms. The treatment is usually a course of antibiotics and depending on the strains and what other vector borne illnesses the doctors find will determine the type of antibiotic a person will require. I am on an IV course of Ceftriaxone so I have a PICC line inserted to make the daily IVs easier.
So, let's talk about the ticks. Here are some tick facts for you:
* Ticks start out super small, like the size of a pin top. And yes, you can get diseases even from the little guys.
* Ticks are in all 50 states now and all continents except Antartica along with their transmittable diseases
* Deer, pets, birds, horses, squirrels, raccoons, etc. all carry and spread ticks
*Appx 475,000 people get treated for Lyme disease each year, and scientists estimate that 2 million people could suffer from post treatment Lyme disease as of 2020.
*According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the most common vector borne disease in the United States. And keep in mind the large number of people who are going undiagnosed.
The best way to avoid Lyme disease is to be aware. Wear a protective spray while outdoors. If you prefer a natural method, lemongrass essential oils and oil of lemon eucalyptus work well dissuading ticks from hanging out on you. Try to find the clearest path through brush and tall grass. Wear long sleeves and pants and a cap can be helpful too. But most importantly, do tick checks often. Check EVERYWHERE! They are sneaky and will hide in the hardest places to detect because they do not want their meal interrupted. Remember, most people do not feel their bites.
Please get as much education as you can as Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the country. Here are some links you can check out. If you would like to contact me with questions, please send me an email! And you can also check out a previous blog post that I did on Lyme here!
The last link has important information about the inaccuracy of CDC's 2 tier Lyme tests. You will be shocked. Especially since suspected Lyme patients will not get treatment covered by insurance without a positive CDC test.
Check back soon! There is another ETC Design blog coming so we can update you on everything we have been up to! Blessings! Tesha and Eddie