I live in Northern Wisconsin and spend my free time outdoors. I live in the woods, in a Jackpine forest on the Wisconsin River. It is very common to encounter wood ticks in this part of the state. I have four dogs and have tried every product under the sun to protect them and myself from the pesty, little bloodsuckers. No product is perfect and the dogs would still 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 or 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 near the waistline of my pants. The next day a bulls eye rash appeared where the tick had been. I didn’t think anything of it.
The year was 2008. I worked as a teller in 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 the new glasses came in I still couldn’t read the tape. A week or so later and my knees began to ache with an arthritic pain and I was fatigued. I made a trip to the clinic with these vague complaints and left with a diagnosis of Lyme’s Disease.
The clinic ran a number of tests. I also had the presence of mind to mention the tick bite. The blood sample was sent out to a laboratory that confirmed I had Lyme’s. I was given a prescription for doxycycline and had to take it for ten days and return for another blood draw.
I was fortunate enough to be told that my Lyme’s had been cured. However, I am not so certain of that. I never recovered the difference in vision that the Lyme’s caused And I still have trouble with my knees and sometimes lower back. Even though the physicians stated 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.