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Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Lack of Character

This is now the journal of tick bites. I should learn to bear misery more silently. I need some character. However, maybe somebody else out in the world also got the same diagnoses yesterday and wonders if it's "normal" that her skin is full of pricks of burning like little jabs of something tiny and hot or the scurrying of little heated legs like the wiggling legs of the tick before I dropped it to die in the drain. Like little bursts of 4th of July sparklers.

Yes, it is.

I called Sarah Dotie to ask if this was cause for alarm. She called around and wrote email back to say that what I feel is spyrothetes dying. These are the little creatures that invaded my blood stream. Lyme disease is a parasite. As each of them dies, I feel a burning stab of it's death, in my arms, in my legs, in my scalp.

I find that keeping things from touching my skin seems to help. And the tylenol that the doctor prescribed turns down the amplitude a bit. Keeping my skin bare is not always an option, for reasons of modesty and because my antibiotics cause extreme sunburn sensitivity.

If you are in America and you find a tick, you pull it out with tweezers or your fingers, making sure that there are no visible bits of tick left behind. Wash your hands and the bite afterwards and use antiseptic on the bite. If you are in Germany, you go to a doctor and ask her to pick the tick out for you, for which she will use some sort of pointy device. If you are in France, you go to the pharmacy and ask for some stuff which you put on the tick, the tick goes limp and lets go.

I am going to be sporting long pants and sleeves next time I'm in the woods, but ankles, neck, scalp, etc may still be uncovered and will be checked for ticks. Check for them right after you hike. Then check again at night and in the morning. Apparently, there are no documented cases of Lyme when the tick was attached for less than 12 hours. Yeah, it's treatable and I'll feel fine soon, but the meantime is disconcerting and alarming.

I didn't celebrate the American Holiday, alas (unless you count exploding parasites). I left the house once only and it was overly exhausting.

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