I was worried at one point I had Lyme Disease and started researching the disease. I discovered how bad it can be and how it can elude doctors and resist treatment. I greatly enjoy the outdoors but have become fearful of Lyme Disease to the point I have avoided activities such as our yearly camping trip as a family, I found every excuse I could for our family not to go this year. I annoy my wife with constant tick checks when we do go outside. I live in Maryland and have seen what Lyme can do first hand to a neighbor of mine that had an IV for weeks and still complains of joint pain, but compared to other stories she has recovered well.
I feel that if the fear of the disease makes me this way I have lost my freedom, but I can't help it. I was wondering if others have dealt with the same thing and how do people that have had Lyme Disease deal with going into situations that are high risk such as camping?
My situation is different: I am not an outdoors person by any measure, and I have no idea when I was bit. It likely happened while I was living in an urban setting.
I figure if I can get it, then just about anyone can. And since we can't live with that level of fear, it's best to try and keep such fears under control.
I think I got it while in the Philadephia area, but I lived for several years after that in Maryland, so I know what you mean about Lyme being prolific there. I did get somewhat scared, for example I would not cut across the grass in my apartment complex or around the parking in other places, because I was nervous about getting re-infected.
I do think it makes sense to be extra cautious when you are not protected, but if you know you are going to be at risk, you can dress appropriately and wear repellent, which may help to reduce some of your stress and worry.
If you do go camping, stick with the tick checks. Also, wearing long pants and tucking pant legs into socks is a good way to keep ticks off of you, as well as a repellent containing DEET. I've heard that light clothes make it easier to spot dark ticks, too. Stuff you probably already know.
If you get bitten again, I'd go straight away to a physician to get antibiotics. I'd even go so far as to lie and say I'd seen a bull's eye rash, as that rash is characteristic of Lyme and should be enough evidence to warrant a course of antibiotics. If your doctor won't do it, find one that will.
It seems that most cases that are caught early and treated early have far greater chances of full recovery than if the diagnosis is late.
I've moved again to a region not very affected by Lyme, yet I still cringe when I see a dear. Not sure I'll ever be over such feelings!
Ticks are gonna get you in the oddest of circumstances, and being proactive about watching for and removing them and then if need be get treated is the way to go. We live in an urban area and got bitten in the part across the street. Not a deer within miles, but ticks? Oh yeah.
It's like trying to figure out what do about avoiding the flu ... you can stay inside all winter and never go out, or get out there and be reasonably prudent about avoiding the bug. Then if you do get it, take care of it the best you can. The comparison to Lyme isn't exact, since there are vaccines against flu, and if you get the flu your body can kill it, but the part about going ahead and living your life even tho you might get the flu while doing something you enjoy is to the point.
I'd read up about the things Wonko mentions: clothing, repellant, tick checks in hair and on the body, and getting to a doc fast if you get symptoms despite the precautions.
You're trying to do the right thing by your family, that's clear .... and it's hard to expose them to risk. I'd suggest: live life and be vigilant, but definitely live life.
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