Friday, July 29, 2011

Lyme Disease--are you ticked off?


Or offing ticks?

I finally know someone who has this—no walk in the park, although a bushy park is a place you could contract it.

Mostly this is a back-East problem (since I am out-West, I say back-East). Deer ticks. According to the CDC, these critters are causing three times as much of this crippling disorder than 15 yrs ago.

Half of deer ticks may carry it. They can glom on you in the woods or hitch a ride in the house with a pet.

If you notice a tick bite, this could be the start of a mess. Watch for a spreading red bite site with a bulls-eye appearance. This happens usually in a week, but can take a month. Sometimes you never see it. Other symptoms are headache, stiff neck, fatigue, dizziness, joint pain.

Also if you see a tick embedded, don’t burn it off or try to wash it off. Use a fine-point tweezers, grasp as close to the skin as possible and slowly with steady pressure, ease the thing out. Do not squeeze the body—it will get the organisms in you.

If you see a tick crawling, put tape over it and seal (they are slow—we had dog ticks once).

Should you get the tick tested? There are places to do this online—you could ask the doctor’s office maybe.

Getting YOU tested is harder—the tests are not completely reliable.

For more info, visit Time for Lyme, at www.timeforlyme.org. They will send you periodic emails that will make you feel very achy.

Aw, kidding. It’s good to know this stuff.

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