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Identify Lyme Disease and Find Resources

| 7/7/2017 12:29:00 AM


We have been clearing and hauling brush to our community burn site as a result of the brutally hard winter we had earlier this year. Hurricane-strength wind gusts and very heavy snow broke or blew over about 100 trees on our land, so we wanted to get the debris hauled to the burn site to be disposed of. We mulched about 5-7 cubic yards of mulch, and hauled off four utility trailers full of branches so far. We have another two loads to remove. We live at 9,800 feet of elevation in our small cabin with our four German shepherd dogs. Life at this elevation can be pretty rough sometimes.

Bull's Eye Bite Mark. We started clearing brush in mid June and have been clearing branches off and on since then. These debris piles harbor various insects and even though I wear long sleeve shirts and gloves I still get bitten. About a week ago I noticed a strange bite on my arm that I thought I should recognize but I was unable to remember why that particular bite was so important. (see photo). Then a couple days ago I had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments that told me it was a tick bite with a distinctive bull's eye appearance.

Not All Web Sites are Accurate. I did an online search to see if we had Lyme disease in Colorado. When we lived in Pennsylvania, it was more prevalent. Often in my case, it is knowing the proper words to put into my search engine, and "do we have lyme disease in Colorado" is probably not the best question. The answer was "there is no lyme disease in Colorado". Still, that strange bite mark had me concerned. I went to Google images and entered ‘Lyme tick bite’ and up came endless photos of bites identical to the one I had.

Head in the Sand Approach. Why would any web site say we didn’t have Lyme disease in Colorado when it appeared we did have same — or was I just a random victim to a nasty rogue tick? Then I remembered when we first moved here and we looked out the back storm door and right there within a couple feet was a grey wolf. Yellow eyes, long legs, huge feet and every bit as big as any wolf I had seen before. It seemed curious as to who we were and in the blink of an eye it disappeared. I thought I should call local animal authorities to see if they could confirm the species. I was told no, Colorado did not have any wolves. But wait, I had just seen one clearly!

Early Treatment for Lyme Disease. I thought that was a strange response but I let it pass. Later, I found out if it was admitted we had any wolves the Department of Wildlife would have to develop programs for their protection and accounting which they have now subsequently done. Maybe it is the same tactic with Lyme disease. When I went to the clinic to have that bite checked, I was told they had two cases last year and my bite had all the earmarks of a Lyme disease tick bite but fortunately I had come in early and with appropriate treatment 80% of those bitten make full recovery with little or no effects from the disease.

7/12/2017 6:42:30 PM

Thank you Lou for your testimony that reinforces what I wrote above. I hope you are able to kick the disease. While I was waiting in line to get my antibiotics a man said his neighbor had Lyme disease and it has progressed to the point she is unable to walk now. I never paid much attention but the bulls eye bite was so unusual that I kept at it until I knew what it was. The more I read about it the more I came to realize that it was something very serious as your testimony reveals from personal experience. Today I called for an appointment for a follow up test to see if it got into my bloodstream or not. I was appalled that some sites said it was not in our state and was nothing to worry about. That can get people in serious trouble if they rely on false reports put forth as actual data.

7/10/2017 12:50:37 PM

I had the same experience but unfortunately took the wrong advice. I've been living with debilitating symptoms for many years and may never recover or worse. Luckily I now have the best doctor in the country (US) when it comes to Lyme and she told me that 40% of people infectected with Lyme never saw a bulls eye mark at all, so if you suspect that you've been bitten by a tick, tell your doctor and get a full round of antibiotics right away and if you see the tick.... KEEP IT and have it tested! The longer you go without treatment the harder it is to treat it effectively. Good luck everyone, Lou from Ontario, Canada

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