Monday, July 3, 2017

A gardener's tragedy, part 2

Resource: Center for Disease Control
Since I was diagnosed with Lyme disease I have been doing some research on it, of course. I'd like to share with you what I learned because I want my fellow gardeners to be aware and to be safe!

I look out over my yard and I'm gripped with fear and a nagging notion that something I love turned on me. (Sorry for the drama.) How can I have ticks in my yard?. But then I read a few facts and now I know how they are in my yard. My back yard is about 100 feet deep. Then there's a six foot solid fence, fencing off the neighbor behind the fence. Then there is a woods. I love all these things. But its only a couple hundred feet from my yard to the woods.

I love looking out on my back yard early in the morning to see wild critters in it - the rabbits, the possums, the assortment of birds. The deer in the woods fortunately haven't figured out the salad buffet that awaits them over the fence, thankfully. But the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says all of these animals are little tick-carrying critters. Yes, even the birds. And, mice are tick-carriers. So there is no deficit of four-legged transportation bringing the nasty things into my lawn and garden.

Like you, probably, I've heard many horror stories about Lyme.  I learned that there are four levels of Lyme. Mine was diagnosed at Level 1, and this is the level at which one can take the doxycycline antibiotic and be cured. However, you never know if you are cured because you will always test positive because our bodies produce antibodies, so we'll test positive even tough the bugs are gone.

The commonly-known bulls-eye from a tick bite is not accurate. Some say it only happens 30% of the time. CDC says up to 80%.

The horror stories come from the poor people who have Lyme and didn't know it, yet their health spiraled downward with horribly serious problems. People have been misdiagnosed with other illnesses and the real culprit was missed. Lyme affects every organ system and wreaks havoc when left untreated. There are a lot of conjectures floating around, such as is Alzheimers really undiagnosed Lyme disease? Then there's the Conspiracy Theory - honest - look up Plum Island.

Go here to the CDC website to learn more facts.

So, I bought myself a can of Off Deep Woods insect repellent with 25% DEET to kill the little buggers - or bugs, I should say. Wearing long pants, sleeves, and socks will help, but not practical when it is almost 90 around here.

Go here for an article to prevent ticks in your back yard.

Let me know what you think of this Lyme disease problem.

Now I have to figure out how to get rid of the poison ivy in my backyard. Do you have any ideas?

Be safe, gardeners,


A gardener's tragedy....

My Yucca bloomed. This was a gift from my neighbor Rita. I didn't care for them, but this bloom stalk is gorgeous, so now I'm hooked!
If you love gardening like I do, then you'll understand when you hear my sad story of what has happened over the past few weeks, and why I consider it a tragedy.

That is, what happened to this gardener, not her garden...

I wasn't feeling well at all....I had a headache, a stiff neck, and a few other things. I went to my doctor who said I had a virus. No medicine was required.

A week later I felt worse. I went to the ER. When I went to put on the hospital gown, I had a gigantic rash on my right shoulder.  They took blood and everything came back normal. The doc agreed I had a virus. He gave me an antibiotic and I went home.

A week later I had an ear infection. I went to MedExpress. I told the nurse practitioner about the rash, and I said I was surprised it was still there. She looked at it and asked if I was tested for Lyme disease. I said the hospital talked about sending it out. She called over there and they never did. She took my blood and a week later I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, Level 1. She prescribed doxycycline - she said this is the drug you take for Lyme. It'll cure your ear infection, and if you do have Lyme, you'll get a total of 21 days' worth of the drug.

~and that same week~

I was almost done with my "floating" perennial garden. My grandson Max hauled twenty five bags of brown mulch from the store and down the hill to my back yard. I had been saving a ton of newspapers to spread out among the plants, and my friend came and spread the mulch around the plants. I helped. It was 90 degrees out.

I had asked my friend to weed whack the back of my yard where there was tall brush. I thought I should get rid of it to cut down on the ticks. We got everything done and I was pleased with my floating garden.

I can't even remember when it started, but I got the worse case of poison ivy I've ever had in my life. It just seems to keep going on and on. I believe I inhaled the vapors and it got in my blood stream, if possible.

I've done a lot of research on Lyme disease and it's not pretty. I'm going to write another post on it.

Have any of you gotten Lyme disease? Please share your story so we can all learn from each other.

Be safe my gardening friends,