While I don't exactly hate nature, I'm not that big into it. I feel immediately rotten when I'm in the sun and avoid direct sunlight whenever possible. (When we go to the shore, I stay inside all day until just before sunset, then go on a walk on the beach. This is more than enough for me.) I never hike because I hate being surrounded by gnats and getting hot, and the bottom line is, I prefer indoor plumbing.
Really, other than evening walks around the block, I don't get out much. My day is normally this: Get up, go to the car, go to work, work, get in the car and go home, knit or sew or read if it's not too late, sleep, get up and do it all over again.
How I contracted Lyme disease is beyond me. Everyone who knows me even a little is stunned.
The only thing I can figure is that I pet the neighbor's sweet little cats almost every day on my way into the house from work. But who knows. Maybe ticks dropped from the trees that are next to our driveway. I know nothing about the lives of ticks.
This post is not for sympathy. I caught it early and am fine, and don't really care that I have it. It is to alert you to be aware of symptoms, because apparently it is a bad year for ticks, and my whole point is that if I can get Lyme, anyone can get Lyme.
The symptoms are mild, and you might not think anything of them. That to me is the frightening part. Mine started with a headache and swollen glands, and a little more lethargy even than my normal self. I know that when I get sick, I need to sleep, so when my symptoms began, I spent the weekend in bed. It didn't really help. That seemed odd--sleep is normally my magic elixir. Then I decided to see why the heck was going on with a mosquito bite that had itched for 3 days. I looked at it; it was a bite with a big, splotchy patch around it.
I wondered vaguely if it was Lyme, but that made no sense. I hadn't even mowed the lawn in the past few weeks because it was so hot and dry that the grass wasn't growing. In full denial, I googled spider-bite images, thinking that, well, I've seen spiders in our house sometimes. And none of the images even remotely resembled what I had. (I did learn that spider bites are not pretty.)
The next morning I got up and decided that it seemed far-fetched, but I would google Lyme disease. I looked for about 2 seconds at the Google Images of bite areas, then ran immediately to the doctor for antibiotics. She saw my bite area and immediately gave me a 30-day run of them.
And I also went to my acupuncturist, who seems to have cleared it further. I am still a little tired, but the cobwebs seem to be finally gone from my brain. I continue to rest (which comes naturally to me). You needn't worry about me.
It is I who am worried about you.
The whole point of this post is this: Know the symptoms for Lyme and take them seriously--even if you're not the outdoorsy type. (I never even sit on a lawn chair to enjoy nature, which is how one of my friends thinks she contracted Lyme.) If you catch it early, it is no big deal. If you don't--well, we've almost all known someone who didn't. That is why I am feeling so very educatory today.
Learn the symptoms. Go right now and do a search on Lyme Disease, and read several sources to get a sense of them. Then pay attention, and if you have any symptoms, even without the rash, take them seriously.
Okay. That is enough lecturing for now. Next time: More knitting and quilting. I've been busy this summer with crafts!