MARIE'S STORY; OVERCOMING LYME DISEASE
Marie had just spent a relaxing three weeks at her family’s cottage in Harrison Hot Springs, BC, so she didn’t understand why just a few days after returning home she felt so drained. She thought she caught the flu from a co-worker because she felt a bit headache-y and had muscle aches. After another few days of feeling unwell, and having a slight fever, she went to her doctor. She didn’t want to give the virus to her young son.
After she told her family physician where she’d been vacationing, he asked, “Did you get any odd bug bites?” Marie couldn’t remember anything out of the ordinary; she was susceptible to mosquito bites. When her doctor mentioned Lyme disease, an inflammatory infection that spreads to humans through ticks, she said she often checks her son for ticks while at the cottage, but had never noticed one on herself. He told her to get a diagnosis for the disease, just in case. Marie’s blood sample came back positive. She had Lyme disease.
She panicked. How long ago had she been bitten? Researching it on the internet, Marie saw the list of symptoms included headache, fever and muscle aches. She learned that Lyme disease is most treatable in the first stage, within days after getting bitten, but she had no idea how long it had been. Two weeks later, although she was taking the prescribed Macrolide antibiotics, she felt even more fatigue and headaches.
Marie calmed herself after hearing that there are many strains of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, and some are more poisonous than others. She made the decision to trust that she had a less virulent type, and that it would heal without causing worse symptoms (if it spreads to other areas of the body) or become chronic. After two more weeks had passed, she had finished the first round of antibiotics and was prescribed a second round. She got time off work to take care of herself, and also started using natural antibacterial oils. She read, for example, that vetiver essential oil had been studied to be effective to stop the spread of Lyme disease in the body.
It took another few weeks for Marie to feel completely back to her healthy, energetic self again, but she knew she had caught it in time. Two years later, no symptoms have returned. However, while at the cottage, she now definitely takes steps to avoid another bite! Tick & Lyme Tips
- Lyme disease has become far more common in BC.
- It is caused by borrelia bacteria that ticks get after biting infected mice, squirrels and deer, and then passing it to humans.
- Marie had probably been bitten by a “black-legged” ixodes tick (also called a deer tick), the most common Lyme-carrier.
- Prepare & educate: When walking in the woods or grassy meadow, cover your legs, head and arms and use insect repellent. Afterward, check yourself for ticks and bites — educate yourself to know what you’re looking for.
- Lyme disease can remain dormant for weeks, months or even years if the tick bite is not noticed so be sure to catch it early.
When symptoms develop later on, they can be severe and may need aggressive treatment: intravenous antibiotics, pulse therapy, anti-inflammatories