Hidden in the Leaves Journal - Page 2
Disclaimer: I am not an expert, specialist or doctor of medicine trained in Lyme disease, but I have conducted a vast amount of research on the disease.
May 26, 2016
I got word on Tuesday that the Infectious Disease doctor wants to remove my PICC line and stop treatment. Blood was drawn on Wednesday, and the blood work came back from the lab showing I am perfectly healthy. However, they did NOT do another Lyme test!!! Why is that every story I have read about this issue, doctors do NOT listen to their patients! I have conducted mounds of scientific research on this ordeal and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt when proof is in the pudding, then proof is in the pudding.
I am not one to sit around and do absolutely nothing! I am not forgetful. I do my best to never complain, but I'm drained just walking up the stairs or walking to the bathroom. I suddenly give out of breath and that is not normal. There is something tormenting every single cells in my body and the doctor is not seeing any of that because the RIGHT tests are NOT being ordered. The symptoms are not being looked at, and she is only looking at normal labs and NOT my 47 out of 71 symptoms!
I have already given my nurses a heads-up and told them I know my rights as a patient and I am refusing to allow them to take this PICC line out until they take more blood and send it to the Igenex lab in Palto Alto, California, and until I get in to see an LLMD.
Later in the day, by the sheer grace of God, I was actually sitting in the lobby of a Lyme Literate Medical Doctors office. It normally takes 2 months to get an appointment for an LLMD; however, I was here today! Finally, I will have some answers. My paperwork was apparently lost at the first office I tried desperately to get into.
According to the LLMD, all the tests that have been conducted, the results, and the vast symptoms I still have - I undoubtedly, 100% still have Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, yet I still have to get more tests done.
I always knew I had Lyme and no one on this planet could convince me otherwise. As I mentioned above, I have read numerous scientific studies on this disease. The scientist who have conducted studies on this disease obviously know what they are talking about when their findings are pretty much the same for all other patients who struggle with this disease, but I am going to beat it.
Yet, I'm so happy I listened to my instincts and I'm so blessed that God led me down the right path at every turn. I put all of this at His feet and in His hands for Him to guide me and that's exactly what He did. I praise you, Father!!
Why hasn't the infectious disease doctor listened to me? If you find out, please let me know. I am incredibly grateful to her that she got me this far.
Please always question your doctor, specifically if you doubt anything they are telling you and always get a second opinion if you feel it is necessary. Do not take for granted just because they are a doctor with a doctoral degree that they know everything about everything known to man.
I have no idea how in the world we are going to pay for all of this. God will provide though.
May 27, 2016
Yes, I sometimes have joint swelling in one finger on my right hand and no there is not a great deal of pain unless you touch it or I accidentally hit it. Yes, I have joint pain in both knees still to this day. This happens about every 4-6 weeks and yet an Infectious Disease Doctor is telling me there's nothing wrong with me. That's the same story I hear from every person I run into who has Lyme disease.
The Borrellia burgdorferi bacterium that causes Lyme disease is among the many bacteria and viruses transmitted through the bite of deer ticks, which find their way to humans through deer and mice carrying these tiny little Dracula like blood suckers.
Not everyone infected gets the tell-tale bull's-eye rash, or any rash, which helps doctors diagnose the disease. That can mean Lyme goes unrecognized and untreated for months, particularly if no one sees a tick.
Even after a course of antibiotics, some people continue to have symptoms. That's why patients and some advocates began referring to it as chronic Lyme disease. But in patients who are given antibiotics, the bacteria are often no longer detectable.
When patients complain, doctors may give them more antibiotics pain relievers or other drugs to treat symptoms, while some turn to diets and exercises.
John Hopkins Center is going to now start focusing on Lyme disease. There is a team who are going to conduct studies and look to determine if the infection is hiding or is developing into a new disorder, possibly an autoimmune or one like rheumatoid arthritis.
The genetic components are also going to be studied, as an underlying condition or other bacteria or virus is involved.
Complications in sufferers can vary, and can flare and wane. Symptoms can include incapacitating fatigue, joint and musculoskeletal pain and neurological and cardiac symptoms.
Please continue to pray with me and for me. There are thousands upon thousands of sufferers out there who are hugely and astronomically more affected than I am.
Later in the day I became overwhelmingly heartbroken. I have expressed my sincere concern and refusal to have this PICC line taken out and keep it until I can get an appt with a different specialist and until I can get order to have more blood work sent to Igenex .
Yet, the current Infectious Disease Doctor who has been overseeing all of this, is forcing me to do something I am totally against. She refuses to write an order to have my PICC line flushed once daily. So I have 2 choices - if I keep it, I have to come to the E.R. daily to have it flushed or I just have to have it removed.
Apparently, I have no rights at all as a patient who wishes to advocate for my own care.
I am heartbroken. I have expressed my sincere concern and refusal to have this PICC line taken out and keep it until I can get an appt with a different specialist.
Yet, a current Infectious Disease Doctor who has been overseeing all of this, is forcing me to do something I am totally against. She refuses to write an order to have my PICC line flushed once daily. So I have 2 choices - if I keep it, I have to come to the E.R. daily to have it flushed or I just have to have it removed.
After a great deal of refusing to allow the nurses to pull my PICC line, I still have it. Let's just say one of my sweet nurses pulled a string for me after I pitched a royal fit! Sometimes you have to pitch a fit for the greater good of yourself and loved ones.
Thank you, God for this opportunity and thank you for pushing me in this direction. Your miracles never stop amazing me!
May 30, 2016
I sure miss our church family, but I'm so afraid to go to church for fear of needing to leave because the music will be too loud. My right ear is so sensitive and I have to cover my ears when noises are too loud.
I'm a little concerned though because only one person has called me from the church - nobody from my Sunday School Class has called to check on me even while I was in the hospital. I had several visitors; my pastor from North Campus and the pastor from FBC and the minister of music from our home church.
One lady from our Sunday School class sent a text message last week and a few while I was in the hospital, but I truly think text messages are so impersonal. Jeffrey and I have no family here in Georgia and it's just he and I. I am so incredibly hurt that nobody has offered to help us by bringing us a meal so Jeffrey can focus on helping to care for me. I suppose I should not allow this to bother me. I just need to focus on healing and eating a proper diet which I started the AIP Paleo Diet today - that the Autoimmune Protocol Paleo diet - this diet is almost like the Paleo diet, but stricter.
We spent the better half of the day with Shane after I had my PICC line flushed. I truly enjoy being with him and watching his face light up when I come into the room.
May 31, 2016
My PICC line was removed by my sweet nurse, Nina. I also started on Doxycycline for the next 3 weeks that was called in by my Lyme Literate Medical Doctor. Wish me luck!
It was a great deal of trouble going to the hospital each day to have a PICC line flushed. I wanted to stay on the antibiotics because all my research from journals for advanced studies stated there needed to be prolonged antibiotics provided to fight this disease. So, I was scared for them to remove it and scared for them not to remove it. I prayed about this situation and it finally came to me that I should have it removed since my skin around the bandage areas was breaking down and that would have caused me so much pain.
June 5, 2016
The next 3 weeks are going to be challenging. Three doctor appointments; one for my sweet son, two for me, along with educational training, educational training and more educational training.
I have been yearning for the day when I can say, "Today, I feel well," but many I have read about and spoken to who have chronic Lyme disease all say that may never happen again since I have this chronic rubbish too. I will never give up hope, nor faithfulness in trusting God to heal me.
So here goes an update: I have ok days and not-so-ok-days. Yesterday was a not-so-ok-day. Trimmers returned with somewhat of a vengeance and scared both Jeffrey and I.
Heart palpitations have somewhat subsided and yet most days I feel I could faint from the heat. I can walk 20 feet now without feeling the need to sit down as opposed to 10 feet from the previous weeks. The shortness of breath is still here, and hasn't subsided much.
My hearing is so vastly abundant that it is amazing the conversations I can hear.
I am taking two different supplements that are actually rather tasty, mounds of vitamins, and drinking massive amounts of water because I'm always so incredibly thirsty.
New for the food intake list is bone broth which Jeffrey is preparing for me of course.
I am so grateful for every single prayer each of you have sent to God on my behalf, and grateful for all the 'Get Well' cards and letters. Each are so incredibly beautiful and I thank each of you for taking the time out of your day to send them to me.
Turn your eyes to the Lord and He will never forsake you.
June 7, 2016
Results concluded another blood test conducted 2 weeks ago confirmed 'active' Lyme. The same bands were showing up in the blood work taken in early May when I was in the hospital, and yet the Infectious Disease Doctor said I was negative then.
The CDC needs to change the number of bands showing true positives for the IgG and the IgM immunoblot tests.
June 30, 2016
The 2+ hour to my LLMD was quite the journey. We are praying the new med intake will help. I now take 2 pills twice/day of the Doxycycline and a newly added antibiotic is the Metronidazole at 1 pill 3 time/day for only 3 days out of the week.
July 5, 2016
I push myself through the pain every single day my eyes open, but some days I just want to lay in the bed all day. Still, I will muster up the energy to put on a smile just for you, just as I did for the past (almost) 2 years while I suffered and you thought nothing was wrong with me. When you see me today, you will not see what is wrong with me because I have become a master of hiding the obvious.
My body sometimes feels bruised and some days my bones feel and sound like glass breaking when I bend down. I must be the Tin Man. Maybe all I need is a little oil? I have to use the restroom again and again...not again...(I have to drink a ton of water because water is the only thing that quenches my thirst, so no wonder. Today has been rough. Most days, I can barely walk up our stairs without finally making it to the top of the stairs then leaning over the love seat to support me because I am starving for oxygen.
Standing up feels like falling down. It has been difficult to drive my car, but I do it very slowly. I have to. Jeffrey is working 4 jobs and I have no family here to take me anywhere, so I have to do it. That's just the way it is... I would never drive if I could not do it, so please do not worry if you see me driving.
I am not as sick as some I have read about and spoken to. Thank you, Jesus! Yet, I pray for them - the sick who are worse than I - the sick who have no family at all and their wife or husband has walked out on them. I pray for them to find peace in this adventure. I pray for them to be able to cope with this.
Over 2 years ago, it was nothing for me to hike the mountains of north Georgia and complete a 10 mile hike in just a few hours - hiking through the mountains was and still is my passion even if I cannot do it today. I will find a way to do it soon though - even if I hurt the entire way up that next mountain.
I may never be able to hike a mile, much less hike 10 miles in one day. Raising a family; a son with special needs, four dogs, a cat and helping my sweet husband at every corner - that 'was' me. Yes, I use to be superwoman. I struggle just to do laundry, clean bathrooms, vacuum, mop and dust our house most days. When I am able to do any of the cleaning, I am down for the count for the next 2 days. My energy level is so low and this is not me or is it the new me?
My heart use to race and pound out of my chest and panic attacks still do ensue without warning ... at times ... and nobody understands them. My friends do not understand how this once active, vibrant and go, go, go like the energizer bunny is feeling bad. You look great they say, and I hear them say this and I graciously thank them, but if they only felt what I felt. Nevertheless, please do not tell me I have the devil in me and that is why I have anxiety. That is certainly not the case! I have good days and I have bad days and when the good days are here, I tend to overdo it because when the bad days are here, I do nothing. I can't. My body will not allow me to just snap out of it, so just when I think I have beat this disease, a minuscule reminder hits me on the head like a ton of bricks.
How could I have ever known that tick, or maybe the 10 ticks of the 30 that bit me was my kryptonite? I can no longer walk barefoot in the grass. Besides, most days I'm scared to take my dogs in our own backyard even though our yard has been sprayed and yet I'm also scared to death a tick is going to start crawling on me and I will never feel it. If I never feel it and another tick bites me, I could get co-infected....again!
Sometimes, I wake up in the morning with a blanket of fog that has settled in my brain. It may take hours before it clears, though it may not clear for days. Memory loss is the pits and this entire ordeal is the pits. I'm frustrated! I'm mad! I'm hurt! I question everything about this adventure! I'm exhausted with reading one scientific study after another, but I must because I want answers, and I will not stop until I find them. And, yes some days I want to scream!! But I won't since I have been told I have the scream of a drill sergeant.
I think ... I have a right to be mad and at first I was not mad, I just denied I even had it, but then over time I slowly began to accept the disease. Because the bad days overcome the good days and I am sick now, I...AM...M-A-D!!!
I am mad for not going to the neighbors and asking them to spray their yard. I am mad for continually taking my dogs to the backyard knowing there was a tick infestation from the trees our former neighbor cut down. I am mad, just plain mad about this whole ordeal! I'm mad and I'm hurt! I'm mad I can never eat ice cream again. Wait. I can eat ice cream, but I will suffer the consequences of severe pain if I do. I'm mad I cannot drink milk, have cheese on grits, and oh yeah, I can't eat cheese or grits anymore either. I love grits and use to love being able to go to IHOP to have grits with bacon and cheese, coffee - tons of creamer and toast. I can't have any of that anymore. There are so many things I can no longer eat, so I'm mad about that too!
I'm not a brat! I'm just finally being realistic in that this is my new life and I am not happy about it at all. Yes, I'm grateful and blessed to be here and to be able to enjoy my new life ,and yet that does not mean I cannot be mad about not being able to eat the items I once loved. Yes, after that rant above, I think about all the wonderful foods I can have and do my best not to focus on the ones I can no longer have, but this new life of mine is still hard.
The doctors at the hospital told me there was nothing wrong with me in May 2016. Of course, I empathize but how can you understand that's how I've felt for almost two years now!!!? There is nothing wrong with me? Are you kidding? How in the world can any doctor tell someone who has already been diagnosed with Lyme disease that there is nothing wrong with them? Why is it that every time I turn around and read a post on a Lyme board where I am a member, I read about someone else whose doctor told them there was nothing with them, and they too can barely breathe, walk or get out of bed because of massive joint pain in your knees?? WHY!!!!?
My doctor thinks I'm just anxious. Really? Perhaps I'm just stressed. Really? Maybe even a tad depressed. Really? But physically ill? Not a chance. "It must be in your head because all of your tests are clear."
I suppose I'll have to take matters into my own hands. Have you tried the latest _____________.? (Insert protocol here).
I'm utterly and profoundly exhausted and yes I am not happy about any of this, but I am learning to cope with it all.
Sometimes these aches in the back of my neck will last for days. Some days, I can't even bend my neck. The pain from my neck is so incredibly excruciating that I have to turn my entire body to be able to look in a different direction because turning my head would send lightning bolts through my head, up and over my skull and down my spine!
My hands finally work the way they should. I am a 50-year-old who is trapped in the body of someone who is 103 - at least that is how I feel some days. But, do not feel sorry for me. Just pray for me and all the others who suffer from this disease where there is no cure!
And, I will still smile and tell you I am fine. Because that is what I want more than anything in the world - for this Bell's Palsy to be gone, for me to be able to smile - the way I use to and for me to be me...I want my life back! The life where I got more done in 2 hours than most get done all day. The life I loved! The life where accomplishments were meant to transpire. And now for two years, I fooled everyone, including myself.
Tomorrow is a new day. I thanked God today that I woke up and was able to be here with my husband and son.
July 13, 2016
I spoke with a lady I graduated high school with and her daughter was bitten by either a tick or a spider. She sent me the photo of the spot where she was bitten and it looks like a tick bite to me. She has the classic bulls-eye and now a rash. The daughter went to 2 different doctors and both said it was a spider bite, so they are not treating her. Later in the day, she obtained a rash. I begged her mother to get her to insist on having a Lyme test done. I do not think the daughter is going to have the Lyme test because she believes what the doctors are telling her. Thankfully, she got a second opinion; however, so many still go undiagnosed every single day!
July 14, 2016
I spoke with a young lady who went to the same high school as I did and she was bitten by a tick over 8 years ago. She has the classic chronic symptoms. I encouraged her to change her diet to the AIP diet, take Epson Salt Clay baths, take the supplements that are doing my body good, and contact my LLMD. I pray she does this for the betterment of her health and I pray the advice I suggested will help do her body well also.
July 15, 2016
Please watch, Mark Bittman's video on You Tube, "What's Wrong With What We Eat?" Also, on You Tube, please watch, "Coke and Pork," and one more on You Tube is, "Discovery Channel The Miracle Tree."
What I have seen some put in their body is just plain crazy and what I have put in my own body is just ridiculous after the vast amount of reading I just concluded on the health benefits of keeping as many toxins out of our body as we can.
We, as a nation, have full control over what goes into our mouth and yes I know food is to the body as the gasoline is to a car, yet the 'type' of food we put into our body is what matters. Food is needed to make a car run and food is needed to make our bodies run at the optimal level. If we continue to put high sugar, boxed, greasy foods in our body, then we are going to be huge in comparison to other nations and this is why most people are huge in comparison to other countries. Green, leafy veggies are what we should put in our bodies.
I just saw where someone posted on Facebook that they were at Waffle House having breakfast. Meals from there have been fairly tasty to me in the past, but I never eat there anymore. They use mounds of butter to cook their food in. YUK! And, I do not eat fried foods at all. I never eat at fast food restaurants and when I when I have in the past, I did not feel well the next day. I listen to my body today so much more than I ever have. I have to. I want to get well. I am determined to get well.
What sort of Lyme Disease Testing should you have done?
If you suspect you may have Lyme disease or you have been bitten by a tick and do not get the classic bull's eye - you should still get tested since only 40-80% of folks get that bull's eye. So, even with that said, the most current and approved Lyme disease testing is an initial screening with an ELISA blood test, but even then according to a lady at the CDC I spoke with in May 2016, you MUST have ELISA conducted within the first 30 days of being bitten by a tick and even that is conflicting information from the CDC because one lady I interviewed said her doctor ordered the ELISA and she tested positive 3 years after being bitten. Regardless, if the ELISA test results are positive, then the CDC recommends following up with a Western Blot blood test.
There is a problem though...and it is this: The ELISA test misses at least 55% (though some research indicates up to 70%) of individuals who are actually positive for Lyme disease. There are many doctors who believe this is good enough so they therefore in turn rule out a Lyme disease diagnosis and stop dead in their tracks. No antibiotics are given, no referral to a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor - nothing!!
However, only if you have a positive ELISA test will the CDC recommend a Western Blot. The Western Blot tests approved by insurance companies have some problems of their own. When you receive a Western Blot from an insurance approved lab like Quest or LabCorp vital information has been removed from the test.
While the Western Blot seems to be a better test than the ELISA, most commercial labs don’t test for two of the bands that are most indicative of Lyme disease which are bands 31 and 34. These bands were removed years ago when a vaccine for Lyme disease was being developed—if a person received the vaccine, they would test positive on this test. But there isn’t a Lyme vaccine available. So why are these bands still missing from most labs? These tests are not sensitive enough to determine whether someone has Lyme disease or not. Doctors are not educated enough and most people never bother to question their doctor because the person believes this, "Well if the doctor said it and believes it, then it must be true," but everyone should stop and question their doctor because doctors do not know everything there is to know about every disease on the planet.
As I mentioned in another blog post on this subject, doctors are not educated!
Most labs in your home state if that is where the blood samples are sent seemingly are not looking for actual organism in the blood, yet they are looking for antibodies to the organism. Even with some of the more accurate tests, this can be problematic.
Consider the below information regarding testing:
1. If testing is done too soon after a person is bitten or an infection begins to set in, then antibodies will not show up. A person's body simply has not had time to develop antibodies to the infection yet.
2. If the testing is done late, then the antibodies 'might' not show up. With chronic infections, antibodies often decline over time and are not even detectable.
3. An individual who may have a compromised immune system may not; however, often more times than not will they create enough antibodies to even show up on the blood tests.
Labs which are known for finding Lyme:
The below labs are not 100% accurate, but they are seemingly better than any of the CDC approved alternatives.
1. Igenex is the lab that is most commonly cited as being the gold standard of testing in the Lyme community. Igenex offers a Western Blot test that still includes bands 31 and 34.
2. Fry Labs uses microscopy to look at the blood. I’ve read a number of positive things regarding this lab, particularly in diagnosing co-infections which can often complicate treatment if not appropriate addressed.
3. Advanced Laboratory Services isn’t dependent on antibodies at all, but cultures the actual Lyme organism: borrellia. This is a novel approach, considering the problematic nature of testing for antibodies.
In the end, most well-known Lyme experts agree that Lyme is a "clinical diagnosis." This means, if all of the tests are coming back negative, but a person clearly exhibits the signs and symptoms of Lyme they can be 'clinically diagnosed' as having Lyme disease and treated. The tests, as you can see, are greatly limited.
With 300,000+ new Lyme cases each year, we won’t be going away anytime soon.
Here are some ideas to eat healthy and how to take care of me for me because I do love me:
1. Go to the Autoimmune Protocol Paleo Diet and cut out the dairy, sugar, and caffeine.
Yes I realize this may be hard for some because of the protein contained in foods; however, the bacteria that carry Lyme, spirochetes, does feed off of sugar. Without excess sugar and toxic chemicals, the spirochetes will not have fuel and of course will die off more easily. As a result, I will need to forget desserts exist and minimize my intake of fruits. I have never been a huge proponent of red meat anyway so it will not be challenging to stop eating red meat. Instead of drinking pasteurized supermarket milk, I will need to switch to raw milk from local dairy farms or drink soy milk. I have completely cut coffee from my diet and I constantly drink more water and herbal healing teas.
2. I reduced foods that cause inflammation.
Since I'm just starting out with this change of eating habits, this is includes the depletion of gluten and dairy products. I'm so sad because I love milk, cheese, and ice cream. A major symptom of Lyme disease is achy limbs and joints, which trace back to inflammation. These foods can cause inflammation.
3. I have always taken vitamins, but I upped the anti on taking them.
When fighting an autoimmune disease, it is important to arm your body with the necessary tools so your system is ready for battle. I take Lysine for the Bell's Palsy, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin B 12, and Vitamin B 6. I also drink a chocolate/orange concoction that my LLMD had me purchase the powder to. I love it. It's called IntraInflammaX. Get it! It's pricey, but if you have Lyme, this will help.
I do not take the following, but plan to: Cat’s claw, Vitamins C, Venus flytrap, and many others. Both cat’s claw and Venus flytrap, specifically, do wonders for chronic diseases and if that is the case, then I am on top of it.
If you have difficult falling asleep like I do some nights, then its quite possible your Melatonin levels might be low. Take a melatonin supplement so that your body can get all the rest it needs at night. (Of course, always check with your doctor or natural health practitioner before taking anything new).
Speaking of rest… This is not the time for taking up a new spin class or PTA responsibility. Take things slowly and if you feel drained, deplete some of your activities.
4. I am compassionate towards my body.
The body can only handle so much and healing will take a huge chunk of time. Your body may lack energy if it is too “busy.” Instead of a vigorous running practice, switch out a few morning routines with yoga. Do your best to hit the sack at least an hour earlier than normal. When it comes to detoxing, soak in a clay/energizer or lavender-infused bath filled with cool to luke warm water for at least 20 minutes. Your body is all you have, so treat it well, nourish it and love it, and it will return the favor.
Lyme disease is an illness. Chronic Lyme disease is much worse than the title of illness. Chronic Lyme disease can be absolutely debilitating.
There is an incessant battle between the Infectious Disease Society of America and Lyme patients who still have the disease after 20 years (making it chronic, which the IDSA says is impossible and for the record, I believe some of what a doctor tells me, but after this vast experience, there is no way I will ever believe every word from an Infectious Disease Doctor again. Infectious Disease Doctors (IDD) are not God and should really stop pretending to be). And, yes most, if not all medical doctors are still using the same test that were created over 40-years-ago. Why is this? See I question everything...!
As a result, more and more patients are finding relief through the natural route. If you have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, or suspect that you have Lyme (the tests are ‘reliably inaccurate’ specifically if you have gone past the 30 day mark), then you should make an informed decision for your own health.
Before you take an herbal or medicinal supplement, or drastically alter your lifestyle, consult with a doctor or natural health practitioner. Find what method works for you and do not be afraid to try it (even if this means taking antibiotics while following the steps outlined above).
Stay positive and focused on healing, and the healing will come. In the meantime, arm your body with the fuel it needs to rebuild.
PLEASE take every precaution to keep ticks off of you when you go into the woods. I was bitten over 30 times from a tick infestation in our own backyard! Read above for full story.
Tick bites are usually painless, the ticks are tiny, and thus many people are unaware that they have even been bitten. Ticks do not survive in hot, sun exposed, dry areas as it causes their bodies to dry. They can be active when temperatures are above 40F even in the winter.
GOOD SENSE TIPS WHEN VENTURING INTO THE WOODS:
Wear light colored clothing, long sleeves and pants, tuck pants into socks. If you have long loose hair, remember to cover, braid or tie when venturing into areas where ticks are apt to be.
Spray your clothing with Permethrin. Permethrin 0.5% based sprays (spray on clothing only, not on skin, and always follow manufacturers directions) for clothing, especially for shoes, socks, pants cuffs or on other fabrics such as mosquito netting, tents. This is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide rather than a true repellant, and works primarily by killing ticks on contact with treated clothes. It lasts up to 2 weeks and provides high levels of protection against ticks and mosquitos. Be sure to wash your clothes thoroughly that you spray this on.
DEET products can be used for exposed skin. Several controlled release DEET formulations have been developed which decrease skin absorption and increase protection time. Extended duration products include 3M Ultrathon, Skedaddle, and Sawyer's Controlled Release. Concentrations of DEET effective for mosquitoes, especially for children may not be effective against ticks, so tick checks are vital. US EPA information on DEET can be located at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/citizens/deet.html
When coming in from outside activities where ticks may be present, throw clothing into the dryer and set it on high heat. This will ensure no ticks survive on your clothing. Remember to always do a tick check, take a shower and wash your hair.
Keep pets that have outside exposure off furniture especially bedding.
Make certain that you have very fine pointed tweezers available.
Thorough tick checks should be done, daily or when coming in after outside activities when temperatures are warm and you have been in areas that you may have encountered ticks (ticks can be active even on warm winter days). Check dark, moist areas such as hair, cracks behind ears, knees, elbows, underarms, crotch etc.
Always check your pets for ticks when they come into the house.
Ticks should be removed promptly. The longer it is attached the higher the chance of disease transmission. Remove it carefully to prevent disease transmission:
Using fine pointed tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible without squeezing the tick's body.
Firmly pull it straight out (expect to feel some resistance). Save the tick for future testing by placing it in a plastic bag or in a small jar of alcohol. If a tick is to tested for Lyme or spirochetes place it in a small jar or vial with a blade of grass to keep it alive. Be sure to note the date and site of the bite for future reference.
NEVER: squeeze the tick, burn it, or cover it with Vaseline or any other substance.
Remember to disinfect the site of the bite, wash your hands and disinfect your tweezers.
Contact your doctor, but remember your doctor is a human being and they make mistakes. If you feel in your heart that you have Lyme disease and they refuse to test you within the first 30 days of being bitten, then beg them to test you anyway. This is your life and you must be your own advocate! I was my own advocate and now I am getting treated!