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