Thursday, July 24, 2008

I tested positive for Lyme Disease! So that means 28 days of Doxycycline. Yuck. I am so nauseous from my morning dose as I write this. But I certainly don't want to get any other symptoms of Lyme, so take it I will. What is scary about my diagnosis is that everything I have read about Lyme says that it takes ~3 days for an attached tick to transmit it, and that there is no evidence that it can be transmitted by other insects. Yet I was standing on my deck and felt the bite. Checked it within five minutes and saw the reaction, and no attached tick.

So to me this means, with my n=1, that I got it either from a flying insect (such as a black fly) that bit me through my jeans (which is what I suspect), or that a tick crawled into my pants, bit me, immediately dropped off, yet gave me Lyme Disease. I know a lot of people who have tested postive without ever finding a tick. The assumption is that they had one attached, didn't see it, and it fell off eventually. Now I say, maybe not. Maybe they were bit by a black fly and didn't think anything of it. Didn't get a rash or major reaction, but then developed Lyme symptoms weeks later.

I did find these websites, here, and here, of people writing about their Lyme experiences. Both mention black flies as the vector. So I make three! I say, why not? In Samsonville, there are lots of deer. Also lots of deer ticks and black flies. A tick can pass Lyme from a deer to a human. Why can't a black fly do the same? I am remembering the Brown Recluse bite in 1984 again, that at that time almost no one had heard of poison spider bites and the trouble I had with a diagnosis. So I am always Case #1, it seems.

Also in my research, although my rash was not the classic bull's eye, I can see that it resembles a Lyme rash. In darker skinned people it can look almost like a bruise, and that is how I would describe my rash in some places.

What a summer!


Catrin said...

I totally agree with you. I am living in CT, I do have Lyme but I cannot remember a tick. What we do have had in spring/ early summer were lots of blackflies and mosquitos. They definitely bite me but never ever a tick.

howzerdo said...

I know most doctors and medical organizations think we just don't remember the tick bite. But I believe it is important for people to know that they should be careful about fly bites as well. I wrote black fly in this post, but I should have written deer fly - I am sure that is how I got it.