- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How I Discovered I Had Lyme's Disease
I live in Northern Wisconsin and spend a lot of time outdoors. I live in the woods, in a Jack Pine forest on the river. It is very common to encounter wood ticks in this part of the state. I have five dogs and have tried every product under the sun to protect them and myself from these pesty,little bloodsuckers. No product is perfect and they always have ticks stuck to their muzzles and ears.
As a family, we try to de-tick them in the evening so no unwanted visitors crawl onto beds or onto us.
I also take personal precautions. I wear lighter colored clothing when I am in the woods, so I can see a tick if it is crawling on me. I wear long pants and socks if I am walking in brush while berry picking and when I am fishing. I do tick checks on myself when I return home. But somewhere along the line I dropped the ball. I discovered a tick biting me by the waistline of my pants.The next day a bullseye-like rash appeared where the tick had been. I didn't think anything of it.
The year was 2008. I worked as a teller at a bank. I had increasing difficulty reading the tape to my adding machine. I went to my optometrist and had my eyeglass prescription updated. When my new glasses arrived, I still couldn't read the tape. A week or so later my knees began to ache with an arthritic pain and I was fatigued. I went to the clinic with these vague complaints and, after some lab work, left with a diagnosis of Lyme's.
The clinic ran a number of tests. I had the presence of mind to mention the tick bite. The blood samples were sent out to a laboratory that confirmed I had Lyme's Disease. I was given a prescription for doxycycline I had to take for ten days and then return for another blood draw.
I was fortunate enough to be told that my Lyme's had been cured. However, I am not certain of that. I never recovered the difference in vision that the Lyme's caused. I still have trouble with my knees and sometimes lower back. Even though the physician concluded that the disease had been eradicated ... I wonder ... every time I have to look over my glasses, with my face a quarter inch from the tape.