Tick tock, tick tock, ticked off

I get a lot of questions from friends, acquaintances and generally anyone around me if a tick is involved or someone is considering if Lyme disease could be part of an issue. (None of that ticks me off at all! I love to help if I can!)

What ticks me off is how hard it is to answer some of the questions. Such as:

How long will you be in treatment?

How long have you had Lyme?

How can you find out if you are rid of it, totally cured?

tick ID chart

Do all ticks carry Lyme, or just the black legged ones? (Many sources say only black-legged, but some sources disagree)

How long does it take to transmit the infection?

Can Lyme be transmitted sexually? (We know it can be transmitted across the placenta, and will thrive in blood given to a blood bank)

Why isn’t there more accurate and accessible testing? -that all doctors can trust and get? (And, if you ask me, the Red Cross should be able to use at every blood drive!!!) A Dr. Judy Stone just published an article in Forbes magazine about her learning having Lyme. Some good information there, with a few areas I’d like to tell her about my story.

What I do know is that the best treatment for Lyme disease is to prevent it.

I was going to mix up some tick repellent and sell it as “Lyme Away” or better yet “Ticked Off” but think it’s much better to just tell everyone how to repel ticks. I wrote about plants in your yard that will do it for you in my first post.

Great repellents are heat –clothes in the dryer will kill the ticks you bring in on your clothes. Fire will get them off of you, and kill them. Eucalyptus and Peppermint and Clove oil they hate, and will avoid. They also hate vinegar. (So my homemade tick repellent is 2 cups water, 1 cup vinegar, 20 drops eucalyptus oil and 5 drops peppermint oil -could add citronella instead of peppermint to repel mosquitoes too). To remove a tick, use a tick-keyimage like the pictured one I got in Maryland, or heat, or one of those substances. If you have to use tweezers, do NOT squeeze the head! and make sure ALL of the tick comes out completely!!

We can’t live in a bubble, in fear of the bacteria. But boy would it be nice to avoid it! I hope this helps you do just that. Check out the ILADS website for more info.

Now if you suspect you’ve been infected, the question of how or where to get testing you can rely on….

I have been tested via the FDA approved Mayo Clinic Western Blot, the Stoneybrook Elisa in New York (NY state has some precise standards that all other tests will note whether they meet criteria of NY or not) –both of those tests came back with mixed or “indeterminate” results in my case, and Advanced Research Laboratories in PA which does a culture test –it takes 8-16 weeks normally. Mine came back positive in less than 4 weeks. My husband and kids were tested at Igenex Labs in CA, which runs an IFA and IgM and IgG panel. If you suspect chronic infection, which would be longer than a couple of months, a low score on a CD-57 test will reflect chronic infection. Now, the Infectious Disease doctors will tell you only trust FDA approved labs because the others “get way too many positive results and therefore cannot be trusted” but I say to you, pray about it! The CDC listed over 36,000 cases diagnosed and acknowledged (in the top 15 states alone -which by the way does NOT include Michigan, which is now considered “endemic”) in 2013, but last I heard, they also relented that probably the real numbers are upwards of 300,000 in the US alone. Find out more at http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php and please see the MayDay Project video and theMayDayProject.org for lots more about those of us who living with it.

The “Lyme disease” definition does not even bring up the idea of co-infections, like I have several of, and which often (usually!) come along in some grouping with the borellia spirochetes, who conveniently cork-screw into the cells of our bodies, and let the other infections and parasites in and then wreak havoc on our systems causing us to fight our own bodies. Oh and they do NOT acknowledge “chronic Lyme” at all, but call it “post Lyme treatment syndrome” saying that if symptoms persist after a month or two of antibiotics, they are caused by something else (permanent damage?) …and in that case, I’ve never had Lyme..my chronic issues which have persisted all along treatment are something else…. OK. You believe that if it helps you sleep at night. It doesn’t help me sleep!!!

So. Sorry. Go. be tick-free. be Lyme free. Live. Rejoice in the day that the Lord has made (and spray the daylights out of yourself and your clothes and look for ticks when you come inside, and pray for truth and true testing to become easily accessible to everyone and treatment be successful…or Jesus come bring heaven to earth NOW!)

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