Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lyme disease!

My Jenn has Lyme Disease! I am shocked. I knew she was tired and seemed a little off. She wasn't able to keep up with my blogging as she usually does. But Lyme Disease! Yikes. This is just crazy talk.

Unfortunately Lyme Disease has nothing to do with limes, although Jenn says that she only wishes she just turned green. It is a bacterial infection caused by the Borrelia spirochete and is the most common tick related disease that can be debilitating if not treated early.

Lyme disease is spread by western black-legged ticks and black-legged ticks (Deer ticks) like this one...
Some people get a rash after an infectious tick bite or a fever, headache or something like the flu. The rash can look like this:Jenn didn't have any of that, as only about half of people infected with Lyme disease get a rash. So she had no idea there was anything wrong. Until months or possibly years after being bitten by a tick that transmitted the disease to her, then she started being tired all the time, forgetting things, and not being able to concentrate. She thought maybe she just needed a vacation. It was actually the spirochetes in her brain.

But then the joint pain started, with tingling in her hands and feet making it hard to type. So she decided to get it all checked out. The doctor gave her two different blood test which showed the Borrelia bacteria spirochete in both. The doctor started Jenn on antibiotics, which she will probably be taking for a good long while. She's going to be taking some time off after presenting at the APDT conference so she can rest and get better.

You can learn more about Lyme disease and recognizing the symptoms here.

There's an eye opening documentary all about Lyme Disease that Jenn got called "Under Our Skin". You can watch the trailer and see excerpts here.

Be sure the check your puppy and your self every day for ticks. They can be so small. And if you find one, be sure to remove it properly. Check this article for instructions on tick removal.


Unknown said...

Jenn, I'm so sorry. Hope your feeling yourself soon.

Niamh said...

Those ticks are evil. I am so sorry that Jenn has been feeling poorly from her bite. Give her lots of cuddles and kisses to make her feel better.

Your friend,