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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Lies of Lyme

So this is my experience with Lyme (disclaimer: I am not a doctor or any type of expert and I am not trying to be a downer on the Friday on Memorial Day weekend so please consider this more of a public service announcement to save you a trip to Google): 

Both Niko (2 years ago) and now Sophia have been diagnosed with Lyme disease. I feel there are some myths and lies about it so I wanted to let you know from first hand experience what to look for and what to let go of guilt about. Like hourly full body cavity searches. 

Lie #1: Look for a deer tick.

I never found a tick on either one. This has made me feel like THE WORST MOMMA EVER. Because you read these things about the tick needs to hang out on you for 36-48 hours or something insanely ridiculous that you think you would notice but the little bastard tick can be a small as a poppy seed and well I've gone a day not realizing that the milk was sitting out on the table (maybe 2) so I think we need to let go of the guilt of not noticing something so freaking small especially when it is on a clothed child with an endless number of hiding spaces. 

Lie #2: Look for a bulls eye marking.

I only found a bulls eye on Niko, never on Sophia. And the bulls eye can fade. So if you see one take a picture to show your doctor. Niko's was gone within 12 hours. I think I even noticed his because my boys tend to be naked more often then my girls. Bulls eye markings don't even always appear. Guilt lifted. 

Lie #3: The blood test will reveal a positive result.

I just read that up to 50% of of the patients tested for Lyme disease receive false negative results. 50%. Tell your doctor your symptoms and/or your child's symptoms. Fight to be their best advocate. Catching early is key to preventing long term effects (Google that at your own risk; too much information isn't always a good thing; just go to the doctor early and speak up for treatment love). 


Flu-like symptoms, high fevers, headaches, fatigue. And the big one for us was that both of them complained of joint pain in their knees. That was the big sign. Not just my knee hurts. It was an internal, my knees can't bend they are in so much pain to the point of tears and requests to be carried because it was so difficult for them to walk. Lyme can look like a variety of other illnesses and viruses- it is a great imitator so if you or child has any of the above symptoms, please please get checked out. 

Sophia is getting better and has bursts of being her energetic full of fire self but it can go in waves where she just crashes and needs to lay down, especially late in the day. Niko two years after treatment is our fastest runner in the crew. He can play sports all day and night and rarely seems to ever get fatigued. I feel he shows what early treatment can accomplish. 

I don't put long pants and long sleeves on my kids to play outside in the summer like most things you read say to do. That's just mean. I think that would be letting fear win. I want them to love nature and live to not be afraid of it. It is a balance of knowing the risks and rewards.  It is a wild world we live in but it is one worth living out loud in. Just give them a little once over at night (remember that there's a difference between checking them and obsessing over them). You should show them that summer is happy too and embrace it. How many carefree childhood summers does one truly get in life? 

Be barefoot. Run through sprinklers. Climb trees. Roast marshmallows. Drink out of the hose. Throw on a some sunscreen and some insect repellent and let your kids be kids. 

Happy summer everyone...


And if you want to read more about Lyme- here is one of the best articles I have found-  Top Ten Tips to Prevent Chronic Lyme Disease. Cheers. 

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