Exhausted, I trudged off the field. Walking felt like I was 600 pounds and not my lean, mean 135. My baseball coach looked concerned. My usual hustle had turned into pathetic attempts at jogging. As sweat poured down my face, I asked out of a baseball game for the first time in my life. My big appetite for food and competition took a backseat to my incredible fatigue. The culprit could be tracked down in a fun family camping trip in Hancock, Wisconsin, days before the game. A deer tic found a delicious spot on my back for its breakfast, lunch, and dinner and caused me to contract Lyme Disease.
When I finally saw my doctor, he instantly discovered a bull’s eye on my back the size of a baseball, ironically. The tic no longer lived on my back, but I was infected with Lyme Disease. To be completely sure, my doctor gave me a blood test. And it was a positive result for Lyme Disease. Initially, I was scared because I had no idea what Lyme disease was and if it was fatal. It was not fatal since I caught it early. I had avoided early on-set arthritis and heart problems. I was prescribed huge pills about the size of a paper clip to take twice a day with no eating for an hour before or after taking the pill. After taking the pills for two days I felt completely back to normal and was back to my old competitive self.
My advice to avoid Lyme Disease is to check for tics often when camping. I thought because I doused myself in bug spray I wouldn’t have any problems, but I was wrong. I had no idea where I was bit or when I was bit because it does not have a sting or a pain. If you spot the tic right away, you or a friend will be able to pull it off of you. I was told by my doctor Lyme Disease would stay in my blood system for my whole life. So if I ever bitten by a Deer Tic again, I would need to take the same prescription to end the difficult symptoms.
As a former college athlete, I have been through my share of exhausting five AM workouts, but Lyme Disease is five times the exhaustion of any five AM workout. When exploring the woods and having fun on your campout make sure you are double and triple checking for Deer Tics, so this disease does not keep you out of the game.