Friday, August 12, 2011

Tick-y Situation

So...back in mid-July I got what felt like the flu, with a temp of 103, extreme fatigue, chills, headache and muscle aches from neck to knee. In 48 hours I started to feel better. Temp went down, only my neck and head ached any more, so I figured I was on the mend. Oddly, my appetite disappeared just as I was starting to feel better that Friday.

But that Saturday I woke up and knew that I wasn't better, and wouldn't be for a while. See, I had a rash on my belly. And it had a faint bullseye for a few hours. Then it spread and swallowed the bulleye up. Mostly it was pink and purple, like my back was the time I woke up to go to the bathroom as a teenager and fell down the stairs.

It sure didn't look like all the pictures on the internet, but I had every single other symptom for lyme disease, so I forced myself to go to the doctor since I know that early treatment has the highest cure rate. The doctor looked at me for about thirty seconds, and said, yup, there's no point in even doing a blood test because that's what the non-bullseye rash looks like. Or rashes by that point - I got a dozen of them in varying sizes by the time the meds kicked in.

The doctor also said nine people came in in one day the week before, so apparently there's an epidemic of it in my town given there's all of 8,000 people here. NH has been between the #1 and #3 highest infection rate the last five years, so it's probably not too surprising...but in a way it is. I always spend a lot of time outside, and I didn't even see the tick that bit me.

I'm through with the antibiotics by now, and the only lingering ill effects are that I'm still more tired than usual (six and a half to seven hours sleep is no longer enough) and I'm still losing weight because my appetite isn't back to normal yet either. It's okay, I could probably lose 20 pounds before anyone got upset about me being too thin.

The moral of the story is this Boys and Girls: if you get "the flu" and then a rash, have it checked out for lyme disease. Only 40% of people get a rash that looks like the ones we're warned about. Apparently a lot of people never get a rash at all. Who knew?

"Lay me up, then heave-ho. You're sick and beautiful. Peel my bandage slowly, it's psychological. You're napalm with novocaine, A kite in a hurricane..." - Artificial Joy Club, Sick and Beautiful

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