Posts Tagged ‘tick bites’

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An old friend called.  It has been years since we talked and odd that we were both complaining about the aches and pains that have beseiged us.  And that led my friend to share some of her remedies for success.

She started by recommending a book called “Quench,” a treatise on the value of staying hydrated for optimum health.  I never heard of it of course and I was intensely interested so immediately purchased that book.  It all made perfect sense and I began to implement the suggestions.

Quench, by Dana Cohen:

“Based on breakthrough new science in the field of hydration, Quench debunks many popular myths about “getting enough water” and offers a revolutionary five-day jump start plan that shows how better hydration can reduce or eliminate ailments like chronic headaches, weight gain, gut pain, and even autoimmune conditions.”

Another area my friend spoke of was a concept called “earthing” or “grounding”, both of which advocate so many minutes of the day going barefoot outside in the grass or on the ground such as at the beach.  That also made perfect sense.  I grew up going barefoot in Florida.

However, being older now and living in a mountain paradise instead of seaside:

  1. Earthing would expose one to tick bites and onward to Lyme Disease, which is a prevalent problem now in Virginia.
  2. We sometimes get serious snow and ice here too and going barefoot might result in frozen toes, gangrene, and possible amputation.
  3. Of course there is always an alternative and they do sell mats and things that can be plugged in to electrical outlets that would give you the grounding benefits and allow you to stay inside.
  4. On the other hand, being a worrier, I would fear electrocution!
  5. Or in the worst case, the only thing I would have to fear is fear itself, which would ground me so that I would be afraid to even leave the house (shades of Elsa-the-Dog).

As for Quenching:

  1. I think the hydration idea is good.  I actually tried it, but it did not work since I was i up all night with runs to the bathroom.  In the end I suppose the need for sleep became more important than the need for hydration.
  2. In reality, I still believe hydration is terribly important for good health, so I would not discount quenching as a positive therapy.  You can find the book, “Quench” on Amazon.

In my case, however, it became choices between Lyme Disease, amputation, and sleepless nights.

To be sure, I do not wish to make fun of my friend’s remedies.  They are really working for her and she is so excited about her discoveries, she wished to share.  And I love her for that.

Earthing is a concept that is still floating (forgive the pun) around in my head anyway and if I could get by the electrocution part, I might invest in one of those mats.

“… Throughout history, human beings have walked barefoot on the ground, releasing electrical tension naturally and preventing its accumulation. When the human being is in contact with the earth, either because he is barefoot or through any conductive object, whether it is a metal bar, a wire, a tree or a plant, this silent energy from the earth is transferred naturally…”   Author unknown.



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Doe and Fawn 1

Ticks are not my favorite topic.  Ewwwww!   But some things simply must be told.

On April 29th I noticed a funny little thing clinging to my arm,  about the size and color of a grain of wild rice.

Once the mysterious bug was removed, I still didn’t think much of it, except the bite area immediately began to itch and swell!  “Hmmm,” I thought, “Probably nothing to worry about.  It’s in a tender spot.”

Lyme Disease has been increasing around Virginia.  My own niece has been suffering from its devastating effects now for four long years, so I suppose this has made me acutely “bug aware.”

And even though the bug that bit me didn’t look much like a tick, I saved it on a damp white napkin in an airless plastic bag, in a hidden part of the refrigerator.  I also labeled it with the date and took a picture of the bite.


A bit of antihistamine gel happily stopped the itch, and the swelling went away.

Phew!  Gone and literally forgotten.

But guess what?  In about a week the swelling and itch returned in the same spot!

Then in another week or so, it happened again.

And the same ugly spot and itch returned 4 or 5 times between April 29th and June 18th.

“What’s going on here anyway?”

I was due for my yearly dermatology check-up on June 18th.   “I’ll just ask the doctor what she thinks about this recurring bug bite.”

After hearing my story and viewing the evidence, the good doctor said,

  “I would like to treat you for Lyme Disease with a course of antibiotics!  It may not be Lyme, but this could definitely be a tick, and because the bite is returning so often, it would be better to be safe than sorry.”

So, even though it is questionable whether the tick was a carrier of the Lyme Disease infection, I am now on antibiotics as a preventative measure and I am grateful to my dermatologist for being cautious.

I have also learned a few things:

  • Don’t count on finding the “Bull’s Eye” rash everybody talks about.  It doesn’t always appear and if it does, it could be weeks after the bite.  Mine was not a Bull’s Eye rash.
  • Don’t wait.  Get a medical opinion if you think something is odd.
  • Don’t count on a blood test for Lyme either.  According to my dermatologist, “blood tests are notoriously unreliable.”
  • All ticks are not alike, and a tick does not always look like you expect it to.  I have learned the tiny little deer tick (the size of a poppy seed) elongates and enlarges somewhat when it has had a full meal (me).
  • Not every tick carries Lyme Disease.  Deer ticks are not the same as dog ticks.  Dog ticks ordinarily do not carry the disease.  Deer ticks can and sometimes do.
  • Ticks live in the grass.  If you plan to be gardening or walking, wear long pants tucked into boots and spray around that area of your lower legs with a bug repellant.
  • If you are bitten like I was, don’t be embarrassed to record the date, save the bug, or take a picture.  The dermatologist thanked me for keeping those records because it helped her decide on a course of action.

And, Moral of the Story:  Don’t ignore strange bug bites.  “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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