Been awhile since I have written actively of my Lyme Disease here on Bohica Lyme. Sort of out of character and out of place. The truth is that save for working on my Lyme book I have not been thinking about Lyme a lot lately since I am currently in a remissive phase.
That changed today when I found a tick on Miss Endolyn (the kitty) and what may be a tick bite on my fiancee’s head.
Today I was back at my bookshelves and in the forums re-reading my basics so that I could offer intelligent and accurate (not neuroLyme addled) thoughts and advice to my fiancee.
Item one, remove the tick. The whole tick. You do not want to leave the ticks head in the bite. Dr. Ernie Murakami of the Canadian based Murakami Center for Lyme Disease has a whole page on how to properly remove a tick at his site. I personally use a tick key.
These are cheap and sturdy tools that everyone should have and which can be purchased with ease through Amazon.com or other retailers.
The next step is KEEP THE TICK. The tick itself can be tested for Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lone Star Fever, Erlichdia, Babesia and Bartonella, all of which are carried by ticks.
The next item is to remember that less than 60% of people develop the bull’s eye rash that typifies Lyme Disease. Others get it in places where they can’t see it – top of the head, groin area, buttocks, or back, so it is always wise to have a relative or partner check these places for you or to check them with a mirror if that is not possible.
If you do find a tick on you, go to your doctor as soon as possible and REQUEST two weeks of doxycycline as aprophylactic. Early stage Lyme is easily treatable and should be dealt with. The antibiotic will also prevent most of the coinfections.
After two weeks or if you develop strong flu like symptoms, get tested for Lyme. Be advised that the commercial and common grade ELISA and Western Bot tests are not reliable and are infamous for false positive test results. But get them anyway.
If you want a blood test that is guaranteed to be accurate try IGeneX, the West Coast group considered to have the best genetically based blood test.
You should also remember that chronic Lyme is a clinical diagnosis and that a positive test is not actually required if 70% of the symptoms are present. You can see a good symptom checklist here or here.
There are also various ways to keep the ticks off of you.
Some chemicals – which I don’t advise but will mention like Off! tick spray and permethrin, a chemical that is large non-toxic to humans as long as it is not sprayed onto your skin – can help those in a hurry and with high tolerance levels. I am very allergic to it as are man other people but if you are not, then go for it.
Rose Geranium oil works very well indeed as does essential mint oil or even just crushed mint in your shoes. Almond oil and lemon oil also work very well.
Once you are diagnosed with Lyme things get tough…but there are some quick things you can do that will start to help right away.
- Go gluten free.
- Give up sugars, alcohols, and caffeine.
- Exercise regularly.
After that you will have to make other decisions like oral antibiotics or IV, diet or herbs or both, Rife machine or electroaccuscope and so on, but those are topics for another day.
Please feel free to comment here with questions or thoughts and I will gladly get back to you.
Finally, May is Lyme Awareness Month…and lots of sites offer free handouts and help. Google Lyme Disease for more info on that.
You can also read several of my earlier blogs here, join Facebook groups, or catch me at Facebook and will link you directly to the best groups or services as I am a member of some three hundred odd of these.
If you want to know how to find a Lyme Literate Doctor in your area, try ILADS, the largest American Lyme association page.