Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Submitted by Jocelyn Melton

Someone with Lyme Disease doesn’t need a dedicated month to be aware . . . there are daily reminders.  I typically write articles related to healthy buildings, but when my husband was doing our regular “tick inspection” after running the dog and found a tick crawling on my belly (under three layers of clothes sprayed with tick repellent), I felt drawn to provide the members of our community with this poster.

READ: Franklin County : Take Precautions Against Ticks

A struggle with Lyme

For those of you who have grown to know me, you are aware that I struggle with Lyme Disease.  Infected in 2011, but not properly diagnosed until late 2012, the journey of life with Lyme has been a roller coaster.  

We were blessed with two two-year occurrences of having the Lyme in remission, the rest of the time my family and I have had to learn how I should pace myself, how to live my life in shorter days, and how to remove myself from environments of overstimulation, and most of all, how to control the monster that lives inside me.  

Prior to Lyme, I was an avid outdoor person . . . hiking, fishing, hunting, boating, biking, and so on.  I loved parties . . . especially the “dancing” part!  Lyme can present many symptoms, but I am fortunate to only have a few: fatigue, exhaustion in my limbs, flu-like pain, and moments of overwhelming anger.

Currently, Chronic Lyme Disease is not recognized in the political world as a “real” disease.  Therefore, the path to finding a treatment that works for an individual and then the application of most of the treatments are not covered by insurance companies.  This is why it is so important to make our communities aware of Lyme Disease and the impact it has on the patients and their families!  With a few preventative measures, this disease can be avoided.

Being Preventative

Preventative measures include tick repellent on your clothes, body, animals, and in your yard.  If a tick has become attached, it can be sent to a lab to be tested for Lyme.  Don’t wait to get sick to be tested for Lyme Disease.  Only 9% of those with Lyme Disease reacted to the tick bite with a bull’s-eye, rash, or swelling.  Also, most labs use insensitive testing procedures that miss accurate results.  Ask your doctor to order a Western blot blood test, which is a much better diagnostic tool.  If one receives treatment quickly, one can avoid a life of Chronic Lyme.

I wish you a beautiful summer full of running, swimming, playing, and laughing.  So check yourself, your family, and your employees often (whether working inside or outside) for ticks.