May 29, 2013

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Hi friends! I wanted to write about something very close to my heart — Lyme Disease. May is almost coming to an end (where did the time go?!) but I wanted to share that it's Lyme Disease awareness month. I thought I would give a PSA on my blog about this serious and debilitating illness. Lyme is on the rise in America, but it's often misdiagnosed because it imitates other conditions. In 2011, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Lyme Arthritis. I had suffered joint pain for years, but it had been mistakenly interpreted as tendonitis. After I underwent antibiotic therapy for five months, my condition improved, but I still get the occasional flare up and swelling.

The best thing to do is to avoid getting a tick in the first place. I've come up with a quick list of tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer.

• Avoid tall grass, sitting on wood and heavily wooded areas. If you're hiking, stay on the marked trail.

• Wear light colored long pants, long sleeved shirts, hat and covered shoes when hiking. Make sure you tuck in your long hair. Don't provide the ticks with a convenient hiding spot on your clothes or skin.

• Wear Deet for skin and Permethrin for clothes to repel ticks.

• Check for ticks after ANY outdoor activities.

• Remove the tick properly (pull straight out with tweezers) and save any tick you find into a plastic bag with a moist cotton ball for the doctor to examine. Removing a tick within 48 hours can reduce your risk of infection.

• Check your pets—they're susceptible to Lyme Disease, and can bring ticks into the home. Ask your vet for their recommendations. We use Vectra 3D for our labrador, Riley.

When my husband went away this March to California, he found a tick on him, removed it properly and took 14 days of antibiotics just in case. You better believe I was the first one to make him his doctor's appointment!

Lyme can be a frightening disease, but it's better to be safe and focus on prevention. If you're concerned that you may have contracted Lyme disease, consult your physician immediately and ask to be tested. Symptoms may occur years after infection, so you may not see a bulls-eye rash.

Keep safe, enjoy the summer and I hope my post has been helpful! Knowledge=power :)


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