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Thread: Lyme Disease

  1. #1
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    Default Lyme Disease

    I just thought I would raise this issue on the forum after being recently diagnosed with Lyme disease and to raise all my fellow paddlers awareness to this issue. It may also help some of you out there with some unexplained symptoms or to seek some medical advice/help post tick bite.

    I have spent most of my life in the great outdoors and have on many occasion removed ticks from various parts of my anatomy. Sometimes I have removed up to 10 at a time and never thought about the dangers associated with tick bites.

    I clearly remember nearly two years ago having a tick bite that was different. It was attached to my right leg and it quickly became red and swollen with a strange rash. Over a period of a few days I developed flu like symptoms and became rather unwell with a fever and headaches. I never associated this with the tick bite and after a week or so the swelling in my leg went down and I felt better.

    A few months passed and I started having bouts of sleeplessness, fever, hot joints and had bouts of extreme tiredness. I did see a doctor but he said it was probably a virus and would go away. It did after a few weeks and I felt normal again.

    Another few months passed and I developed muscle spasms, cramps, muscle twitching and felt generally tired and unwell. I did return to the doctor and he said it was probably a virus or I was overdoing it! He advised me to take it easy for a while. Sure enough after a month the symptoms nearly disappeared apart from the muscle twitching. All the voluntary muscles in my body twitched at various stages throughout the day. They were clearly visible and quite alarming so I returned to the doctor who carried out routine blood tests . These all came back negative!

    Over the next few months the symptoms got worse and I also developed sensitivity to temperature and sound and had bouts of tinnitus (ringing in ears). I returned to the doctor who was worried it might be a major neurological disease . I spent 6 weeks waiting on an appointment convinced I had Motor Neurone Disease or Myasthenia Gravis or something similar. Trying to self diagnose yourself on the internet is a really bad idea and not advised for your sanity!!!!

    I eventually seen a neurologist who was concerned with the amount of muscle fasciculation’s (twitching) in my body combined with general fatigue and weakness. He sent me for further tests (nerve conduction) that confirmed I did have severe muscle fasciculation’s and general weakness but there was no muscle wasting that would indicate one of the major neurological diseases. He informed me that it could have been triggered by a virus and would probably go away in time!

    A few months passed and I did start to feel a bit better but one day I became very ill with a headache and high temperature and was rushed to hospital. I was given a lumbar puncture and told that it was viral meningitis. I was discharged feeling better after a few days .

    Over the following months I had bouts of feeling generally unwell and was still concerned enough to return to the doctor and ask for a second neurological opinion. This happened within 6 weeks and his opinion pretty much reflected the first one!!! He gave me a diagnosis of Myokymia (benign muscle twitching) that would go away through time!

    The only thing keeping me sane was my canoeing and I enjoyed every paddle and hoped it would not be my last!.

    Not long after the first Tweed trip that I posted on the forum I experienced breathing difficulties and was rushed into hospital and was screened for the usual illnesses that would cause this symptom. Sure enough after a few days monitoring I was discharged from hospital leaving a few doctors puzzled.

    Another stage of general wellness passed and I spent most weekends paddling away. This was short lived and I became very ill with really bad muscle twitching, disruptive sleep, fatigue, weakness, tightness in the chest, muscle pain, Carprial tunnel syndrome, tinnitus, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, sore neck and joints and a few more to mention. So I returned to the doctor and by luck my normal GP was off so I saw a new doctor who looked at my case notes and history and asked me “have you been tested for Lyme disease” . Thank the gods of paddling I went to the surgery that day!!!

    There are only a few people in the country that specialise in Lyme disease and I have just recently returned from seeing one and started long term treatment.

    Here is a few facts:
    • Most people who develop Lyme disease don’t remember the bite or a rash
    • Most tick bites are harmless but some ticks carry the Lyme Borreliosis which causes Lyme disease.
    • There is one main test carried out in the UK (Western Blot Test) to detect Lyme disease but its not very reliable .
    • There are 2000 new cases diagnosed in the UK every year and Lyme disease is on the increase and there is thought to be twice as many more undetected.
    Here is a very informative link:


    http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/
    Last edited by Mitch; 1st-February-2008 at 11:15 PM.
    Mitch

  2. #2
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    Default Lyme Disease

    That is heavy shit mate.Hope you get sorted soon.

  3. #3

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    Wow thats informative,you sound like you have had quite a rough ride. Is Lyme Disease treatable or curable ? I never considered ticks could carry anything. Hope you get sorted out soon.
    Best regards retro
    Last edited by retro; 1st-February-2008 at 09:18 PM.


  4. #4
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    i wonder is there something you can take before to not contract it it sounds appallling.

  5. #5
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    Prevention is better than cure - wear long trousers in tick areas!

  6. #6
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    Default Rats!

    Leptospirosis (Weils disease) is pretty bad too and best avoided!
    Comes from rats pee (and cattle pee). Worth knowing about when you're camping by the water, don't let the rats pee on your sarnies!

    P.S Thanks for the info and hope you get sorted.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by retro View Post
    Wow thats informative,you sound like you have had quite a rough ride. Is Lyme Disease treatable or curable ? I never considered ticks could carry anything. Hope you get sorted out soon.
    Best regards retro
    Early treatment before the development of neurological symptoms using antibiotics is normally successful. The later the person starts treatment the harder it is to treat. I hope this thread raises peoples awareness to the potential dangers.
    The best prevention is a good insect repellent and to check each other for ticks at the end of the day. If you develop a rash or any of the symptoms post bite get some very simple treatment before it becomes a serious problem.
    Last edited by Mitch; 1st-February-2008 at 09:41 PM.
    Mitch

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch164 View Post
    Early treatment before the development of neurological symptoms using antibiotics is normally successful. The later the person starts treatment the harder it is to treat.
    Mitch,
    I really hope you make a full recovery this sound a horrible state of affairs to find yourself in, from enjoying our persuits
    Gav


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
    Leptospirosis (Weils disease) is pretty bad too and best avoided!
    Comes from rats pee (and cattle pee). Worth knowing about when you're camping by the water, don't let the rats pee on your sarnies!
    And a good reason not to paddle or spectate at Holmpierrepont!!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kharga View Post
    Prevention is better than cure - wear long trousers in tick areas!
    Absolutely, this is standard advice as far as I'm concerned when travelling into any area where ticks might be present.

  11. #11
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    Default Lyme Disease

    Perhaps those of us who enjoy the outdoors should copy the email and pass it on to our own GP,s just in case!

    I recall my son capzizing in our local river and developing cold like symptons - thankfully the GP I saw had spent some time in Borneo and was well aware of Weils disease. Thankfully it turned out in fact to be a cold!

    Bob Andrews

  12. #12

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    Thanks for sharing that Mitch, I Hope you get well soon I got a tick remover from Blutack last year but haven't been packing it when am out and about .Time for a rethink

  13. #13
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    Default

    The BCU uses to print the symptoms of weils Disease on the back of membership cards, along with a statement for GP's about the blood tests required and where to get advice.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob is my idol View Post
    Absolutely, this is standard advice as far as I'm concerned when travelling into any area where ticks might be present.

    Sure, it must help, but if you camp (and crap) out there you cannot help but get got from time to time. Just pitching a tarp saw me with double-figure ticks all over my hands last April. Small ones, no bites that time, but like Mitch I've had dozens of the sods latch onto me over the years.

    Good to highlight this risk. Much worse than paddling Gd4!!
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kharga View Post
    The BCU uses to print the symptoms of weils Disease on the back of membership cards, along with a statement for GP's about the blood tests required and where to get advice.
    Try and put this one on the back of a membership card :

    Tick Borne Disease - Symptom A to Z

    Lyme Disease is systemic, it can affect the whole body. This page lists the possible symptoms.
    Abdominal Pain
    Achiness (Generalised)
    Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophicans/ ACA
    Alcohol - Extreme Effects Of
    Anorexia
    Anxiety Attacks
    Arthritis
    Back Pain
    Balance Problems
    Bell's Palsy
    Bladder Problems
    Blindness
    Blood Pressure - Raised
    Bone Erosion
    Bone Pain
    Bowel Problems
    Bradycardia - Slow Heart Beat
    Brain Fog
    Breast Discharge
    Breast Pain
    Breathlessness - Air Hunger
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    Chest Pain
    Chills
    Cholesterol - Raised
    Choroiditis
    Clicking Joints
    Cold Feet
    Confusion
    Conjunctivitis
    Constipation
    Costochondritis / Ribcage Pain
    Cough (Non-Productive)
    Cramps
    Deafness / Hearing Loss
    Dental Pain
    Depression
    Diarrhoea
    Difficulty Concentrating
    Disorientation
    Diverticulosis / Spastic Colon
    Dizziness
    Dyslexia
    Ear Pains
    Encephalitis/ Encephalopathy
    Erythema Migrans Rash
    Facial Pain
    Facial Palsy
    Fasciculations / Muscle Twitches
    Fatigue
    Fever
    Fibromyalgia
    Floaters
    Flu-Like Symptoms
    Fluctuations of Symptoms
    Foot Pain
    Forgetfulness
    Hair Loss
    Hallucinations
    Headache
    Hearing Loss
    Heart Block
    Heart Problems - ECG Abnormalities
    Heartburn
    Hepatitis
    Herxheimer
    Hoarseness
    Hyper Sensitive Hearing
    Hyperacusis - Sound sensitivity
    Inability to Concentrate
    Inability to Remember Words
    Insomnia
    Involuntary Jerking, Limbs and Trunk
    Iritis
    Irritable Bowel
    Jaw pain/ Temporomandibular joint disord
    Joint Problems
    Joint Swelling
    Knee Joint Pain
    Libido - Loss Of
    Light Sensitivity
    Liver Problems - Raised Enzymes
    Malar (Facial) Rash
    Marked Personality Changes
    Memory Loss
    Meniere's Disease
    Meningitis
    Menstrual Irregularities
    Miosis - Decreased Pupil Size
    Mood Swings
    Motion Sickness
    Muscle Aches
    Muscle Spasm
    Myoclonic (Involuntary) Jerking
    Nausea
    Neck Pain
    Nerve Conduction Defects
    Nightmares
    Numbness
    Optic Neuropathy
    Palpitations
    Panic Attacks
    Paraesthesia / Abnormal Skin Sensations
    Paranoia
    Photophobia
    PMS - Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
    Psychiatric Problems
    Ptosis - Drooping Eyelid
    Rash
    Retinal vasculitis
    Reynauld's Syndrome - Cold Hands & Feet
    Seizure
    Shivering
    Shooting Pains
    Shortness of Breath
    Shoulder Pain
    Skin Sensitivity
    Sleep - Excessive
    Sleep Apnoea
    Sleep Disturbances
    Sleep Inability
    Slurring of Speech
    Smell Sensitivity
    Sore Throats
    Speech - Slurred, Slow
    Speech Errors
    Spinal Disc Problems
    Stiff Joints
    Stiff Neck
    Swallowing Difficulty / Dysphagia
    Sweating (Profuse)
    Swollen Glands
    Symptom Flares - Approx 4 Weekly
    Tachycardia - Fast Heart Beat
    Tendonitis
    Testicular Pain
    Tingling of Extremities
    Tinnitus / Ringing in Ears
    TMJ - Jaw Pain / Stiffness
    Tongue Numbness
    Tongue Pain
    Tooth Pains
    Tremors / Shaking
    Uveitis
    Vasculitis - Circulation Problems
    Vertigo
    Vibration Sensitivity
    Visual Disturbances
    Vomiting
    Weakness or Paralysis
    Weight Gain
    Weight Loss
    Word Block
    Mitch

  16. #16
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    Mitch, that's really bad luck, I hope you recover from it OK and soon. Thanks for sharing though. a good reminder for us all. I've never been bitten but my son came home from school with one embedded in his scalp last year (we live in farm country). Thanks to SOTP I knew what it was and I had the tool to do it with. Also kept an eye on him for later symptoms.

    I've had some heavy health issues myself, and know all about self diagnosis. It is really bad for your sanity, and after I did it I hated myself for it because of the stress and worry it caused. In the end though I really think it saved my life, cause I got it right, so it can be a double edged sword.

    I hope you come out the other side like I did, a little tougher, a little wiser (maybe) and a lot more energised for life. Good luck mate.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  17. #17

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    Sorry thats the diagnosis
    I thought it was the years of the army that had made you mental!!

    Seriously I hope the meds work, and dont let yourself get rundown
    That means feet up on a saturday morning, breakfast in bed, and no stress
    You may print this bit out and stick in on the fridge for the family!!!

    Its weird when you said you were feeling tired etc when we spoke at chrimbo, It was the first thing that came into my head since I have another pal who has Lyme disease

    Anyway a healthy mind means a healthy body so that means Paddling!!!

    See you soon
    Steph

  18. #18
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    Default

    Tick borne diseases are very scary indeed and Mitch's story is a bad one - I hope it clears OK.

    I would add that it is very important to remove the tick correctly, unscrewing it and NOT squeezing, pinching or brushing it so that it disgorges infected material into you. I always carry a set of tick hooks with me (ol Tom), the weigh nothing and make the job very much easier. It is also worth telling kids (and some adults) NOT to try and pull them out themselves but to get help and use the hooks. It is a natural reaction to try and pull them off straight away.

    Most vets sell tick hooks and they are often available on ebay (I think there was a group buy here a while ago too). It is possible to use fine tweezers for the job, but much easier with the proper tool.

    There is lots of information and good photos at the Lyme Disease Action site.

    Graham

  19. #19
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    Default

    Interesting thread glad you are on the journey to recovery. one question Mitch are there long term implications now you have had it.

    barry
    Love lots trust few always paddle your own canoe

  20. #20
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    All the best with your recovery, Mitch. Although I haven't met you, I've read a few bloggs of your adventures and you've obviously had all this going on at the same time. I must say I've never had any ticks on me but have picked a few off my dog so appreciate the heads up and will get some of those tick hooks, too.

    Get well and stay well, sir.

    TF
    Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
    And pensive monitor of fleeting years!


  21. #21
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    Default

    and without prolonged cold spells during the winter months things are only going to get worse.

    I 'm twisting half dozen of the little buggers off the dogs daily for most of the year and will usually get a couple myself in a year. They climb trousers, hide in clothes, fall off the cats and dogs.
    Squelching on a full one, first thing in the morning, whilst bare footedly putting the kettle on - is not the best way to start your day.

  22. #22
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    Default Work-a-day blues!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch164 View Post
    Try and put this one on the back of a membership card :

    Tick Borne Disease - Symptom A to Z

    Lyme Disease is systemic, it can affect the whole body. This page lists the possible symptoms.
    Abdominal Pain
    Achiness (Generalised)
    Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophicans/ ACA
    Alcohol - Extreme Effects Of
    Anorexia
    Anxiety Attacks
    Arthritis
    Back Pain
    Balance Problems
    Bell's Palsy
    Bladder Problems
    Blindness
    Blood Pressure - Raised
    Bone Erosion
    Bone Pain
    Bowel Problems
    Bradycardia - Slow Heart Beat
    Brain Fog
    Breast Discharge
    Breast Pain
    Breathlessness - Air Hunger
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    Chest Pain
    Chills
    Cholesterol - Raised
    Choroiditis
    Clicking Joints
    Cold Feet
    Confusion
    Conjunctivitis
    Constipation
    Costochondritis / Ribcage Pain
    Cough (Non-Productive)
    Cramps
    Deafness / Hearing Loss
    Dental Pain
    Depression
    Diarrhoea
    Difficulty Concentrating
    Disorientation
    Diverticulosis / Spastic Colon
    Dizziness
    Dyslexia
    Ear Pains
    Encephalitis/ Encephalopathy
    Erythema Migrans Rash
    Facial Pain
    Facial Palsy
    Fasciculations / Muscle Twitches
    Fatigue
    Fever
    Fibromyalgia
    Floaters
    Flu-Like Symptoms
    Fluctuations of Symptoms
    Foot Pain
    Forgetfulness
    Hair Loss
    Hallucinations
    Headache
    Hearing Loss
    Heart Block
    Heart Problems - ECG Abnormalities
    Heartburn
    Hepatitis
    Herxheimer
    Hoarseness
    Hyper Sensitive Hearing
    Hyperacusis - Sound sensitivity
    Inability to Concentrate
    Inability to Remember Words
    Insomnia
    Involuntary Jerking, Limbs and Trunk
    Iritis
    Irritable Bowel
    Jaw pain/ Temporomandibular joint disord
    Joint Problems
    Joint Swelling
    Knee Joint Pain
    Libido - Loss Of
    Light Sensitivity
    Liver Problems - Raised Enzymes
    Malar (Facial) Rash
    Marked Personality Changes
    Memory Loss
    Meniere's Disease
    Meningitis
    Menstrual Irregularities
    Miosis - Decreased Pupil Size
    Mood Swings
    Motion Sickness
    Muscle Aches
    Muscle Spasm
    Myoclonic (Involuntary) Jerking
    Nausea
    Neck Pain
    Nerve Conduction Defects
    Nightmares
    Numbness
    Optic Neuropathy
    Palpitations
    Panic Attacks
    Paraesthesia / Abnormal Skin Sensations
    Paranoia
    Photophobia
    PMS - Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
    Psychiatric Problems
    Ptosis - Drooping Eyelid
    Rash
    Retinal vasculitis
    Reynauld's Syndrome - Cold Hands & Feet
    Seizure
    Shivering
    Shooting Pains
    Shortness of Breath
    Shoulder Pain
    Skin Sensitivity
    Sleep - Excessive
    Sleep Apnoea
    Sleep Disturbances
    Sleep Inability
    Slurring of Speech
    Smell Sensitivity
    Sore Throats
    Speech - Slurred, Slow
    Speech Errors
    Spinal Disc Problems
    Stiff Joints
    Stiff Neck
    Swallowing Difficulty / Dysphagia
    Sweating (Profuse)
    Swollen Glands
    Symptom Flares - Approx 4 Weekly
    Tachycardia - Fast Heart Beat
    Tendonitis
    Testicular Pain
    Tingling of Extremities
    Tinnitus / Ringing in Ears
    TMJ - Jaw Pain / Stiffness
    Tongue Numbness
    Tongue Pain
    Tooth Pains
    Tremors / Shaking
    Uveitis
    Vasculitis - Circulation Problems
    Vertigo
    Vibration Sensitivity
    Visual Disturbances
    Vomiting
    Weakness or Paralysis
    Weight Gain
    Weight Loss
    Word Block
    Typical Monday morning feeling!

  23. #23
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    Wow, Mitch, that sounds horrendous. Just goes to show that the learned ones (Drs) do not always know best. Sometimes you just know when something ain't right and a second opinion is called for. Hope things turn out alright inthe end.

    Not having had the dubious pleasure of one of these little blighters, can I ask, on behalf of any other people out there who daren't ask through fear of appearing ignorant, what these ticks look like? Anyone got a photo?

    All the best....

  24. #24
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    An excelled post highlighting a real and growing problem. I will be copying it to the main site shortly with a link to this thread.

    I have noticed over the last few years a lot more ticks than previous and would strongly advise the addition of Tick hooks to all your first aid kits.

    I hope you get well soon Mitch and thanks again for allowing us to be warned by your own experience.

  25. #25
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    It doesn't fill me with confidence in our health service to be honest.

    Hope you don't suffer long term effects Mitch.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch164 View Post

    Tick Borne Disease - Symptom A to Z

    Lyme Disease is systemic, it can affect the whole body. This page lists the possible symptoms.
    Abdominal Pain
    Achiness (Generalised)
    Acrodermatitis Chronica Atrophicans/ ACA
    Alcohol - Extreme Effects Of
    Anorexia
    Anxiety Attacks
    Arthritis
    Back Pain
    Balance Problems
    Bell's Palsy
    Bladder Problems
    Blindness
    Blood Pressure - Raised
    Bone Erosion
    Bone Pain
    Bowel Problems
    Bradycardia - Slow Heart Beat
    Brain Fog
    Breast Discharge
    Breast Pain
    Breathlessness - Air Hunger
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    Chest Pain
    Chills
    Cholesterol - Raised
    Choroiditis
    Clicking Joints
    Cold Feet
    Confusion
    Conjunctivitis
    Constipation
    Costochondritis / Ribcage Pain
    Cough (Non-Productive)
    Cramps
    Deafness / Hearing Loss
    Dental Pain
    Depression
    Diarrhoea
    Difficulty Concentrating
    Disorientation
    Diverticulosis / Spastic Colon
    Dizziness
    Dyslexia
    Ear Pains
    Encephalitis/ Encephalopathy
    Erythema Migrans Rash
    Facial Pain
    Facial Palsy
    Fasciculations / Muscle Twitches
    Fatigue
    Fever
    Fibromyalgia
    Floaters
    Flu-Like Symptoms
    Fluctuations of Symptoms
    Foot Pain
    Forgetfulness
    Hair Loss
    Hallucinations
    Headache
    Hearing Loss
    Heart Block
    Heart Problems - ECG Abnormalities
    Heartburn
    Hepatitis
    Herxheimer
    Hoarseness
    Hyper Sensitive Hearing
    Hyperacusis - Sound sensitivity
    Inability to Concentrate
    Inability to Remember Words
    Insomnia
    Involuntary Jerking, Limbs and Trunk
    Iritis
    Irritable Bowel
    Jaw pain/ Temporomandibular joint disord
    Joint Problems
    Joint Swelling
    Knee Joint Pain
    Libido - Loss Of
    Light Sensitivity
    Liver Problems - Raised Enzymes
    Malar (Facial) Rash
    Marked Personality Changes
    Memory Loss
    Meniere's Disease
    Meningitis
    Menstrual Irregularities
    Miosis - Decreased Pupil Size
    Mood Swings
    Motion Sickness
    Muscle Aches
    Muscle Spasm
    Myoclonic (Involuntary) Jerking
    Nausea
    Neck Pain
    Nerve Conduction Defects
    Nightmares
    Numbness
    Optic Neuropathy
    Palpitations
    Panic Attacks
    Paraesthesia / Abnormal Skin Sensations
    Paranoia
    Photophobia
    PMS - Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
    Psychiatric Problems
    Ptosis - Drooping Eyelid
    Rash
    Retinal vasculitis
    Reynauld's Syndrome - Cold Hands & Feet
    Seizure
    Shivering
    Shooting Pains
    Shortness of Breath
    Shoulder Pain
    Skin Sensitivity
    Sleep - Excessive
    Sleep Apnoea
    Sleep Disturbances
    Sleep Inability
    Slurring of Speech
    Smell Sensitivity
    Sore Throats
    Speech - Slurred, Slow
    Speech Errors
    Spinal Disc Problems
    Stiff Joints
    Stiff Neck
    Swallowing Difficulty / Dysphagia
    Sweating (Profuse)
    Swollen Glands
    Symptom Flares - Approx 4 Weekly
    Tachycardia - Fast Heart Beat
    Tendonitis
    Testicular Pain
    Tingling of Extremities
    Tinnitus / Ringing in Ears
    TMJ - Jaw Pain / Stiffness
    Tongue Numbness
    Tongue Pain
    Tooth Pains
    Tremors / Shaking
    Uveitis
    Vasculitis - Circulation Problems
    Vertigo
    Vibration Sensitivity
    Visual Disturbances
    Vomiting
    Weakness or Paralysis
    Weight Gain
    Weight Loss
    Word Block
    Lucky your such a big hard Batard then eh! but seriously hope your well mate, i'm sure if anyone can pull through it'l be you,

    Best wishes

    Magic
    Wake up in the morning fold my hands and pray for rain,
    I got a head full of ideas and its driving me insane.

  27. #27
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    Default Lyme Disease

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocbait View Post
    Interesting thread glad you are on the journey to recovery. one question Mitch are there long term implications now you have had it.

    barry
    My Lyme disease has reached the neurological stage which has the potential to become quite serious but I hope to respond well to the treatment.

    Most GP’s are not too aware about the detection and treatment of Lyme disease so its important to do your own research . One of the best sites that my specialist recommends is the Lyme Disease Action web site http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/ This site covers everything you need to know about the prevention, detection and treatment of Lyme disease.

    I have recently done much personal research into the subject matter about Lyme disease and there is one thing that is quite frightening that really stands out. People should be aware that a negative blood test does not necessarily mean you do not have Lyme disease. There are many diagnostic blood tests but none of them are absolutely reliable!!!

    My personal advice to anyone who thinks they may have Lyme disease is to ask for some treatment. We all know there are many issues about over use of antibiotics but in my opinion the potential long term implications are far worse than being given a simple course of treatment as a precautionary measure. If it goes on to reach the neurological stage like mine then you need some very specialist treatment.
    Mitch

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    Default Tick Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Duck View Post
    Wow, Mitch, that sounds horrendous. Just goes to show that the learned ones (Drs) do not always know best. Sometimes you just know when something ain't right and a second opinion is called for. Hope things turn out alright inthe end.

    Not having had the dubious pleasure of one of these little blighters, can I ask, on behalf of any other people out there who daren't ask through fear of appearing ignorant, what these ticks look like? Anyone got a photo?

    All the best....
    Here is some pictures I found on the Lyme Disease Action web site




    http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk
    Mitch

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    Sounds like you've had a rotten time, Mitch, and I do hope you make a full, speedy recovery. Thank you for sharing the information.

    I've never had a tick myself, but some years ago I was stroking my cat and felt what appeared to be a lot of blisters on his neck. As I knew they hadn't been there when I'd been stroking him the previous day, I took him straight to the vet. He took one look and said 'These are ticks and he'll need a general anaesthetic for us to remove them all properly'. I couldn't help wondering if he really needed to give my cat a GA, or if it was a money thing. However I did trust the vet and soon had my cat back safe, healthy and tick free - with a course of antibiotics. Your story makes me thankful for my cat's sake that I had such a good vet.

    Wishing you well,

    TD

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    All the best with the treatment Mitch!

    and thanks for bringing this home for everyone.
    All of life is a journey ...

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    Default Thank you

    Dear Mitch you may have saved many of us your pain. Thank you for sharing.



    It made me search Wikipedia on tick removal, avoidance and early detection. Is there more advice on what we should do?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease

    They also mentioned the vectors are deer in the Americas and Sheep in the UK. They suggested killing the deer.

    The acute phase of Lyme disease infection is a characteristic reddish "bulls-eye" rash, with accompanying fever, malaise, and musculoskeletal pain (arthralgia or myalgia).




    This removal article was interesting. Thread should be easy to find in the field if you wear clothes. How about a long hair?

    To remove a tick use a small set of tweezers: grab the head, pulling slowly and steadily.[6]. There are a number of manufacturers that have produced tweezers specifically for tick removal. Crushing or irritating the tick (by heat or chemicals) should be avoided, because these methods may cause it to regurgitate its stomach contents into the skin, increasing the possibility of infection of the host.[7] Tiny larval ticks can usually be removed using a special tick remover [8]. Lyme disease found in deer ticks cannot be transmitted once the body is removed even if the mouthparts break off and are still in the skin. Prompt removal is important; infection generally takes an extended period of time, over 24 hours for Lyme disease.
    The rostrum of a tick (the mouth-parts that are planted in the skin) is fully covered with spikes that are implanted backwards. If you pull upon the tick, these spikes will rise and the "head" of the tick will break and stay in the skin, causing pain and infection. On the other hand, if you turn the body of the tick (like unscrewing), the spikes will fold into the axis of rotation, and the head will detach easily.
    It is essential not to compress the abdomen of a tick during the removal, to minimize the risk of saliva back-flow; this back-flow into the skin can lead to allergic manifestations and to transmission of tick-borne microorganisms. Tweezers and other similar instruments exert a pressure on the digestive tract of the tick
    Tick hooks are effectives tools designed to remove ticks from the skin of animals and people, without leaving the mouth-parts of the tick planted in the skin, without compressing the abdomen of the ticks, minimizing the transfer of infectious agents (Lyme's disease, babesiosis...) [9]
    An alternative method used by fishermen, which does not risk squeezing the tick's thorax, uses 18 inches of fine weight fishing line. The line is tied in a simple overhand knot that is tightened slowly around the tick's head. If the line is pressed against the skin while being gently pulled, the knot will tighten around the tick's head. Slowly pulling the ends of the line will then dislodge the tick from the bite site with a reduced chance of leaving the head attached. This method also works with sewing thread.
    It is commonly claimed that petroleum jelly placed on the tick will clogs the animal's breathing passages and cause it to de-attach itself. However, many medical authorities advise against this and other "smothering" approaches as ticks only breathe a few times per hour and feeding may thus continue for some time, and because these approaches may irritate the tick to the point of regurgitation of bacteria into the bloodstream
    Dr. Joe
    Electric Hospital
    Coos Bay Or
    http://electrichospital.com

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    Mitch I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but at least you know what it is.
    I really hope the treatment works well and soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch164 View Post
    I have recently done much personal research into the subject matter about Lyme disease and there is one thing that is quite frightening that really stands out. People should be aware that a negative blood test does not necessarily mean you do not have Lyme disease. There are many diagnostic blood tests but none of them are absolutely reliable!!!
    I have been tested a couple of times for lymes disease, as I have had many symptoms. They have never been conclusive as far as I know.
    After your post I think I ought to get tested again and I'll get the kids tested.

    Our whole family, including the kids have had dozens of tick bites ( you can't avoid them wild camping for any length of time in Scotland) and occasionally there are some that cause concern. I had thought that they were unlikely to pass on Lymes disease untill they had been attached for 24hrs, but it doesn't look like that is always the case.

    Numbers of ticks in Scotland seem to have exploded in the past few years, possibly coinciding with a big increase in deer numbers, I know Estate managers feel that grouse numbers are going down as a result of ticks.

    All good advice on this thread, prevention is better than cure.
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

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    My brother posted about tick removal on BCUK

    http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/sho...t=tick+removal

    Hope it helps

  34. #34

    Default Lyme Disease

    Hi Mitch

    thanks for clear information on Lyme Disease and I hope that now you are getting the the correct treatment you will recover quickly.

    with regard to the tick hooks they are called OTOM and the web sight is
    www.otom.com this has usefull advice and the uncle bills silver gripper
    fine nosed tweezers are available from www.raymears.com both are worthwhile

    I spend time most days in woods with a lot of deer and a springer who can pick ticks up on his coat.

    I hope this information is of use - I have no conection other than satisfied
    customer

    Regards Cliff

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    Default

    Hi All,
    Having never seen a tick, except for the cartoon! Can I ask what is probably a stupid question? Are there area's to be avoided? still/flowing water, different parts of the country? different times of the year?
    Do insect repelents help? if so any recomendations?

    I'm determined to get out and about this year with my young son and would like to reduce any risks.

    Mitch - Hope you get well soon.

    Cheers

    Adam

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adam View Post
    Hi All,
    Having never seen a tick, except for the cartoon! Can I ask what is probably a stupid question? Are there area's to be avoided? still/flowing water, different parts of the country? different times of the year?
    Do insect repelents help? if so any recomendations?

    I'm determined to get out and about this year with my young son and would like to reduce any risks.
    ...
    Grassland - pasture, or areas which have in the past been pasture - less prevalent in woodland - absent on the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam View Post
    I'm determined to get out and about this year with my young son and would like to reduce any risks.
    Actually contracting Lyme disease is so rare that it's not worth worrying about the risk.

    Although all my best wishes go to Mitch (it's good to hear you've found a speciallist, my GP had to look it up when I asked for a test), and I don't want to down play how nasty a disease it is, the chances of contracting it are rediculously low. I've been bitten by a lot of ticks, and know plenty of others who have been made a meal of, but Mitch is only the second person I've heard of actually getting Lyme. There are far more likely risks to worry about, and worrying too much won't do you any good either.

    If you get a rash or persistent flu like symptoms within a month of being out ask your doctor for a Lyme and Weils test, but don't let it worry you.

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    you can get shots against lyme. i know that at least in germany and switzerland where there has been a huge increase in lyme and other tick-borne diseases over the past few years, they recommend that especially people who spend a lot of time outdoors get these shots.

    removing ticks is good and necessary but it can (and in most cases will) be too late. looking at how many ticks i've had over the past decades, and considering that i spend an awful lot of time outdoors, in forests etc. i decided to get the shots a few years ago.
    the risk of contracting lyme from a bite might be relatively low but it is increasing and the consequences are just too serious. actually i should check when the shots need to be refreshed...

    mitch, i hope things will work out for you!

  39. #39

    Default

    I would very much agree with Lowlander and reccomend that if you spend a lot of time in pasture land or the woods that you get vaccinated.We have a lot of ticks in our area(N.E Slovenia) and they are already showing up on the cats at this time of year!Late last september(07) i had a minute tick on my leg and as it was one of the many picked up over the summer removed it and thought no more of it,a week or so later i developed the most awful head ache (that lasted for a whole week)felt weak and flu like and started having night sweats and also during the day if i exerted myself.After feeling like crap for a week or ten days,i suddenly thought of looking were i had been bitten by the last tick of the season and sure enough had three big red blotches that were on the way to forming a circle,so off to our local doctor and a strong dose of Erythromycin .This seemed to clear it up ,the rash was gone in a week,but was left with pain full joints and muscle pain,have since been back to the doctors and had blood tests,which have been clear!So hoping that we got it in time!One of my sons was visting from the u.k the same week i was bitten and after returning home became unwell and unfortunately was not till almost christmas that when talking on the phone we discovered that he thought he had had picked up a tick while he was here and had inadvertently scratched it off.By this time his syptoms were very advanced,including numbness of the hands and feet,bad pains in his rib cage and was tachycardic .After we spoke his G.P sent him straight to the infectcious dieses unit at the Churchill hospital in Oxford who were very good and now he seems to be making a good recovery.As Janet has already had a infected bite the summer before last,we most certainly will be getting the shots very soon!!!Just to add to the confusion both Sams and my blood tests did not show Lymes.

  40. #40
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    Default Lots of unknowns and no money for research

    I am no authority ,but as an interested GP in a tick/Lyme hotspot, removing ticks from my kids daily in season, I wish we knew more! Potential research donors don't seem interested in establishing even the basic facts such as prevelance of infected ticks. Due to various "constraints" the labs try and limit the number of tests. The test needs improving anyway it only shows positive on about 2 out of 3 people with the disease. You cant stick everyone whos been bitten by ticks and develops a few of the listed symptoms on antibiotics. If I did half the population round here would be on longterm antibiotics including my family.

    There is no vaccine yet. The last one was withdrawn it seems to have caused more symptoms than the disease! The continental vaccines are I think for a different illness, an encephalitis.

    I think deer are only half the story. Having worked in an area with lots of deer and few rodents I diagnosed no cases of Lymes. However now working in semi wooded country with deer and rodents in profusion Lymes is commoner. I think a crucial factor maybe rodent density. Its just a hunch. Would be nice to do some research but the Lyme parasite is not easy to study without big technology and therefore money.

    The best bet as the listed websites indicate is avoidance of bites. Trousers tucked in socks. Insect repellant around your legs. Shirt tucked in and dont roll around in the grass. We do a nightly inspection in tick season and try and remove all ticks within 24 hrs (should limit chance of Lymes parasite being regurgitated into you)

    Dont be afraid of GPs, we are supposed to be public servants. We daily have folk coming in with vague , bizzare and unpleasant symptoms and 99.999% of them dont have Lymes. Many of them remain undiagnosed after seeing many specialists. I think most GPs would be very pleased to have your help in making a quick and rare diagnosis. Just tell them when and where you were bitten. It curable with antibiotics though some people do report ME like symptoms in the medium term.

    Its frustrating that more research is not being done. A good vaccine and a better understanding of which areas are more risky would help. But like many infectious diseases (mostly in developing countries) drug companies wont fund research. Finding out more about Lymes or Schistosomiasis is not going to generate a return for shareholders, but a new blood pressure tablet will.

    Shame we can't trade Lymes for a few more tangible & interesting wilderness predators like wolves and grizzlies.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by seabeggar View Post

    The best bet as the listed websites indicate is avoidance of bites. Trousers tucked in socks. Insect repellant around your legs. Shirt tucked in and dont roll around in the grass. We do a nightly inspection in tick season and try and remove all ticks within 24 hrs (should limit chance of Lymes parasite being regurgitated into you)


    I could not agree more with the above mentioned advice. Get some tick hooks into those first aid kits folks!
    Mitch

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    Default

    Mitch - all the best, sorry to hear about this. As an Outdoor person I've had my share of tick bites in the past, but avoided them for a number of years somehow - probably because I was once a redhead & burn easily so wore trousers mostly rather than shorts.

    Hope things sort themselves out.

    See you soon paddling.

    Alastair

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    Hi all

    Further to other posts I have been told about other outlets for the O'Tom style and forcep style tick removers are your local vets surgery or on line from www.hyperdrug.com an on line animal pharamacy. Magic's mum has some uses!

    I hope you recover soon Mitch.
    A bad days fishing is better than a days work

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    I picked up one of these muppets when up at a BCUK meet in november. My first one and it did worry me some. Removed with tweezers, wound was itchy for about a week but kept a good look out for the rash etc. Bite site was on my stomach so mum was right, tuck those base layers in too!!



    Duly stomped on, dowsed in alcohol, incinerated, then buried at sea (well, flushed!)

    Get well soon mitch,

    Cheers,

    Alan
    Cheers,

    Alan


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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Firestarter View Post
    It doesn't fill me with confidence in our health service to be honest.

    Hope you don't suffer long term effects Mitch.
    I've had a similar experience, not Lyme Tick thank goodness, that sounds awful. Went to doc with pain and considerable swelling, got told I'd strained muscle. He gave me some pills for 28 days and sent me off. Eight days later with more swelling and barely able to walk, I again went to doc. This time I saw a different doc. He took one look at me and the the first words out of his mouth were, "Can you get down to the hospital or shall I call an ambulance?" A month later I was released. The end of the first emergency admission; not the only one.

    But to be fare to the NHS, they're still keeping me alive.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seabeggar View Post
    Shame we can't trade Lymes for a few more tangible & interesting wilderness predators like wolves and grizzlies.
    Can you get vaccines for those then?

    Joking aside, i hope you're feeling 100% soon Mitch.
    If a man opens his mouth to speak and there is no woman around, is he still wrong?

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    Default Ticks

    Excellent information and I hope you recover fully.

    I was wondering whether any clarification was needed on which ticks carry which disease. And if the disease is only carried by one species of tick what is their distribution?

    However, I guess its academic as most of them look rather similar to our human eyes.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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    hope your recovery goes well Mitch,

    I've not been bitten for a while (since I was a child) but knowing I'd be camping more this year I got some tick hooks in the group buy they'll be in my first aid kit from now on
    JD
    He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide, It's not the destination, It's the glory of the ride

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    Default Lyme Disease Whats Going On

    Here is a trailer a friend of mine sent me for a UK documentary that will be released soon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpvkJKT9mKo
    Mitch

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    Default

    hope you get well soon.

    I found a funny side to disease's tho, they make them into cuddly toys

    http://www.cyberdog.net/cybershop/pa...toys&item=9814
    SF Peterborough 14'
    weighs 7 Stone! 44.5kg
    Bell Yellowstone (so light)

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    Default Lyme Disease

    Just a bit of an update. I have now been on treatment for Lyme disease for the last 4 months and my health has gradually improved .

    Although my blood tests are still coming back positive I am hoping the next 8 weeks of treatment will finally start producing some negative results.

    I am now out jogging some mornings and cycling around Glentress again

    The good thing is I have managed to mostly keep working and paddling throughout the chronic stages of this hideous disease .


    There is lots of information about Lyme disease on the forum including the prevention and treatment. so read it! remember it! and enjoy the great outdoors! (remember those tick removal hooks in your first aid kits).
    Mitch

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    Glad to hear you're getting out more and hope your progress, toward a state of full health, is soon here.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  53. #53

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cliffc View Post
    with regard to the tick hooks they are called OTOM and the web sight is
    www.otom.com this has usefull advice and the uncle bills silver gripper
    fine nosed tweezers are available from www.raymears.com both are worthwhile
    The o'toms are fantastic, the sliver grippers in this context aren't the tool of choice.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch164 View Post
    Just a bit of an update. I have now been on treatment for Lyme disease for the last 4 months and my health has gradually improved .
    that's great news, glad things are improving for you! also good to hear that you've still been able to get out.

  55. Default

    a very informative, and quite shocking post. When we were last in tic country we were told to put butter on them which worked - they all came off without a problem.
    Long trousers from now on though...yikes

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brignall View Post
    a very informative, and quite shocking post. When we were last in tic country we were told to put butter on them which worked - they all came off without a problem.
    Long trousers from now on though...yikes
    A word of caution!! If you cover ticks with petroleum jelly or butter you are suffocating them so they will spit out any nasties back into your blood stream in the process . The safest option is using a tick removing tool.

    Mitch

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    Mitch,

    I missed the original post, but now that you have bumped it up the list - I've just read it in full.

    So sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations. There's nothing worse I think than having loads of symptoms and not having a clue what is causing them. I'm sure you will have been relieved when you were informed of the cause and a course of treatment started.

    Here's hoping that you are well on the road to recovery and that your blood tests will soon come back negative for the disease.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and for highlighting this issue - forewarned is forearmed!

    George
    Smile - it makes them wonder what you've been up to!

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    After picking up another one at Loch Chon a couple of weekends ago and my laddie having what looked like the remnants of one on him, I bought a couple of OTOMs from BADA. You can buy from them direct or from Ebay

    No links, just a satisfied customer, they even send you a wee leaflet!

    Cheers,

    Alan
    Cheers,

    Alan


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    I'm waiting on a couple of these



    Will report back after some use.

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    Default OTOM has limitations

    I have been using OTOMs and find they work well for larger ticks, BUT they dont work with the smallest ticks until they are engorged with your blood. This means resorting to tweezers. I am going to buy the lasso and see how that fairs on the small ones, thanks for the tip.

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