Lyme Disease, Now With Bonus Babesiosis

Two weeks of doxycycline should kill off all the Borrelia bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, but a blood test shows the antibodies:

Lyme test - 2021-11-10
Lyme test – 2021-11-10

Those antibodies will gradually disappear during the next few months and, unfortunately, a past Lyme infection does not prevent future infections.

The tick also injected Babesia parasites which do not respond to antibiotic treatment:

Babesia test - 2021-11-10
Babesia test – 2021-11-10

The “titer” refers to the dilution required to produce a negative test result, with the 1:64 reference titer representing six successive 50% dilutions. My blood required ten 50% dilutions to produce a negative result for the IgG antibodies and (presumably) six 50% dilutions from a 20% base for the IgM antibodies.

As I understand the situation, IgM antibodies appear promptly upon infection and IgG antibodies follow along later, so my reaction to the Babesia infestation was ramping up after two weeks.

In the Bad Old Days™, quinine was the go-to treatment for parasitic infections, but it has a host of horrific side effects at the dosage required for traction against actual diseases; tonic water ain’t gonna get you where you need to go.

The new hotness is atovaquone, arriving as 100 ml of a yellow liquid with the consistency of latex paint, (allegedly) the taste of “tutti fruitti“, and a price (modulo your drug plan) making inkjet printer ink look downright affordable. You might expect to get a 5 ml measuring spoon along the the bottle, but suffice it to say it’s an exceedingly good thing I’m well stocked for printer cartridge refilling.

All of the diseases and drugs list “fatigue” / “drowsiness” / “malaise” as symptoms / side effects and I’m here to tell you knocking off a couple of hours in the recliner during the day does nothing at all to disturb another nine hours in the sack overnight.

A few weeks of low productivity in the Basement Shop™ will definitely count as a successful outcome.

Protip: We need permethrin spray. Lots permethrin spray.

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!

Small Spider vs. Marmorated Stink Bug

Spiders know how to handle much larger prey:

Spider draining Marmorated Stinkbug
Spider draining Marmorated Stinkbug

Apparently the stink bug’s armor doesn’t count for much when the spider has the luxury of attacking through a weak spot in the underbelly after the critter stops struggling.

Stink bugs cause considerable damage to crops (notably apples) in the Hudson Valley, but they haven’t been the existential catastrophe we all expected when they first arrived.

Hooray for spiders!

Another Snapper

An approaching cyclist warned to watch out for the snapping turtle:

Snapping Turtle - DCRT near Page Park - front - 2021-09-24
Snapping Turtle – DCRT near Page Park – front – 2021-09-24

This one claims the pond near Page Industrial Park along the Dutchess Rail Trail:

Snapping Turtle - DCRT near Page Park - rear - 2021-09-24
Snapping Turtle – DCRT near Page Park – rear – 2021-09-24

We’ll not dispute any snapper’s territory!

I’m hauling PYO apples from Prospect Hill Orchards in the hills on the west side of the Hudson; it was a lovely fall day for a 25 mile ride!

Why LED Lamps Fail

Spotted over a fast food emporium’s parking lot:

Disemboweled parking lot light
Disemboweled parking lot light

It’s hard to be sure, but I think there’s a paper wasp nest around the bundle of wires just above the transformer / ballast / whatever. Perhaps the repair tech departed with the job unfinished?

As with traffic signals, flashlights, and automotive lighting, the LEDs surely work long after the driver circuitry has given up.

Too Many Deer: Another One Bites the Dust

I passed another dead deer on New Hackensack Rd while hauling groceries home:

Deer Collision - roadkill - New Hackensack Rd - 2021-09-08
Deer Collision – roadkill – New Hackensack Rd – 2021-09-08

The next day I walked past the other side of the collision at the corner gas station’s dead car collection:

Deer Collision - front end damage
Deer Collision – front end damage

A closer look at that nice rounded dent links the two contestants:

Deer Collision - front end damage - deer hair detail
Deer Collision – front end damage – deer hair detail

The impact didn’t blow the airbags, so maybe the car isn’t a total loss, despite extensive front end damage and some scrap metal inside the engine compartment.

As far as I can tell, Vassar College has been holding a deer cull every January, but taking out a few dozen deer definitely hasn’t eliminated the road hazard. If the folks objecting to the cull set up a fund to help drivers damaged by the objects of their affection, it’d demonstrate their understanding of the problem.