This month we will be highlighting another disease. The disease we have chosen to highlight is Lyme Disease, and the color theme is green. Katherine of Cobert Photography has a daily challenge as a result of her son contracting Lyme Disease.
As a child I remember my father contracted Tick Bite Fever. Tick bite fever is found in the Sub-Saharan countries of Africa. My dad had gone out to inspect a property as part of his work. The property was overgrown and he had obviously been bitten by ticks. Within 2 weeks he was showing signs of fever, headaches, sore muscles and rash. Also the site where the tick(s) had bitten him were red and swollen and sore to touch. I remember my dad being incredibly ill. The room was blacked out because the light was just too much for him. I do recall my dad saying he would not wish that on anyone. My father was fortunate that he did not have long term consequences of this tick bite.
As a child I also remember Sunday School picnics. We used to go to the local “wildlife” sanctuary, where there were deer, zebra and non threatening wildlife. There was lots of bush to play in and of course, long grasses to run through. I remember my mother checking us thoroughly before bathing to make sure that ticks had not attached themselves. Eventually the ticks got so bad that the picnics at that location were cancelled. Sad because it was great family & friends time, and the hooligans ran wild 🙂
Lyme Disease is caused by an infected black leg tick. The bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi is transferred to the human through the bite. Like tick bite fever, you will experiences severe headaches, fever, fatigue, and a rash. Here’s the real downside. If you don’t get the tick bite treated it could lead to serious complications, such as spreading to the joints, heart and nervous system. If untreated for more than 30 days, the complications can be even more severe. See the CDC for more information. https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/signs_symptoms/index.html
A gentle warning. If you are out hiking, walking, picnicking etc, where there is long grasses or wooded area, be conscious of the fact that you may encounter ticks. Like my mother I made sure that I checked my children when we came back from hiking in the mountains. However, ticks are also found on those we love. Our pets can carry ticks, and we can also have them in a place where we feel safe, our gardens. So while you should not be paranoid, you should be checking your animals for ticks just to be safe.
The CDC reminds you to know your locations. Be aware of where you are going. If you are hiking (and it is not too hot), cover up with light weight clothing to protect your skin. Use sprays like DEET to protect your skin.
Be sure to check yourself when you get home. Look under your arms, check your belly button, behind your knees, check in and around your ears, in your groin, places where your clothing my pull tighter like your waist, on your legs, and gently feel through your hair. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure that you remove the tick carefully so as not to leave parts behind. Use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it out gently but straight up. Do not crush the tick to kill it, (which we as kids used to love to do – it was all bloody) but rather put it in some form of alcohol to kill it. May sure to clean the area with soap and water or some kind of sterilizing solution.
Obviously I have gone overboard on the green images. I saved these from last month especially for this blog. We got to see some of my favorite Disney Characters at the Garden Show. We went to Epcot last month to meet up with my brother, who had flown in for a conference. Whenever I have the chance I like to meet up with him because I never know how many more times this will happen. Right now he is traveling a lot but when that stops, we are going to have to consciously make decisions to travel either us to South Africa or him and his wife to the US, or alternatively we are going to have to meet up somewhere else. But I love the opportunities we get to spend time together. We have just spent a week with him in San Antonio, and I may head up to Philly later this year. Richard says he is not going there. But time together is time together and I cannot give that up.
Remember if you are out hiking, walking, picnicking or just hugging your dogs, check for ticks. A simple measure will make a big difference in your life.
Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post. This is a circle blog. From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle. Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Michèle Tremblay Photo and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.
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