Lyme Disease

For reasons that made sense at the time, two weeks ago I ventured outside the house. A few days later, this appeared:

Lyme Disease - arm rash
Lyme Disease – arm rash

The pallid skin over on the left comes from a bike glove. The central bump is one of those annoying sebaceous hyperplasias appearing after a Certain Age and not relevant here.

Having been around this particular block a few times, Mary recognized the diffuse red rash, sleeping 30 of 36 consecutive hours, and a day-long 103 °F fever as Lyme disease. I’m currently taking 100 mg of doxycycline twice a day and (after a week) feeling better, while sleeping a lot more than usual at random intervals during the day.

We’re both highly aware of Lyme disease: Mary routinely dresses in a complete overlayer of permethrin-sprayed clothing and I generally strip-and-shower immediately after any yard work in similarly sprayed, albeit less enclosing, attire. In this case, we think a tiny Deer Tick nymph affixed itself to the outboard side of my wrist, where I could neither see nor feel it, and (because I didn’t take a shower after being outside for only a few minutes) remained attached long enough to infect me.

Caught and treated early, Lyme disease generally does not progress into “post-treatment Lyme disease”, an ailment rife with what can charitably be described as serious woo, despite some evidence of actual disease.

Some of Mary’s Master Gardener cronies have endured co-infections of Babesia microti and we’ll be watching for those symptoms after doxycycline tamps down the obvious problem.

I’ll be puttering very carefully around heavy machinery and posting irregularly for a few weeks …

Memo to Self: the Basement Shop has a lot to recommend it!

8 thoughts on “Lyme Disease

  1. I still remember many years ago when asked if you wanted to go camping with the guys, you responded, “God invented indoors for a reason.” 😉

  2. Get well soon.
    -And for your reading pleasure (or basement adventures) some links:
    *
    A while ago I saw some ads for “tick tubes”. It’s basically empty toilet paper rolls filled with permethrin treated nesting material for mice and chipmunks. Removing them as hosts, supposedly lowers the tick population in your yard without having to spray and harming other insects.
    (“Thermacell Tick Control Tubes.” or make your own: https://growitbuildit.com/homemade-diy-tick-tubes-an-illustrated-guide/) The tubes should be placed during nesting times.
    *
    The more high tech solution is a line-following robot that creates a barrier around your yard. Can’t find the original article anymore. Just a couple links:
    https://www.cnet.com/news/military-robot-deploys-co2-to-lure-ticks-to-their-doom/
    https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/06/19/robot-kill-ticks-yard/28875879/
    – An older version (from someone else?) just drove the robot around a backyard perimeter to prevent migration from wooded sites to the lawn (no CO2 involved).

    Have fun recovering and plotting your revenge.

    1. Word has it that turkeys munch on ticks as they cross the yard, but the supply definitely exceeds demand, particularly when the deer herd wanders through.

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