There is no season more carefree and sensual than summer. Everywhere you look, glistening toned and/or bronzed skin is bared … How delightful! Along with all the bare skin come some dangers though. My reminder came early, Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to the Summer season. Yet, I wasn’t to discover I had been infected until three weeks later – after I was already deathly ill.
Last Sunday was a regular day, biking with friends (all adult members of my immediate family were away on business)… my friends and I parted early (around 5ish). I’d been strangely chilled all day (since it was a warm day) & that migraine of unknown origins that had plagued me these past weeks was still with me… I was looking forward to getting home. Once there, the chill seemed to be bone deep. I decided to take my temp: 95 degrees? Odd. I turned on the heat (despite the warm weather), laid on the couch, piled on some blankets. I passed out.
When I awoke, I was sweating profusely. I took my temperature: 102 degrees?! “Oh no!”, I thought. “This is gonna get ugly.” I grabbed a litre of Evian, put some Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar in it (to combat the nausea caused by the incessant migraine) and added some raw tupelo honey to the mix (to keep my blood sugar steady since I hadn’t eaten since lunch). I popped a bag of organic unbuttered unsalted popcorn and my survival kit was complete. I went to bed and waited for the fever to break.
Except, the chill came back. I was so cold, my teeth were chattering and my whole body was shivering. The shivering became extreme morphing into something completely bizarre: my body would become completely rigid, my teeth would clench shut and then there would be a terrible pain in my head (something that I can only imagine was akin to electrical shock) which would then cause my rigid body to convulse (during all of which it seemed as though I would black out for several seconds). After the entire sequence I would completely pass out… only to have it start all over again (repeatedly). It was terrifying. Was I having seizures?! From what?
This sequence went on for a period of time. How long I don’t know, for when it was all over I fell into a deep sleep. When I awoke, my head was in excruciating pain. Might head felt inflamed. My eyes definitely were. I took my temperature: back to 102 degrees? I stumbled (as if drunk) into my bathroom to get sick: passed out between the toilet and the vanity (for which I presently have a lovely gouge from my coccyx up to my mid-back – I must have grazed the corner of the vanity on the way down). I slept naked on the cold tile floor the rest of the night. The tile seemed like ice, but it felt like heaven against my throbbing head.
To make a much longer story shorter, it turns out, I have Lyme disease. That’s right, all of that was caused by a tiny little tick I found on myself the day after Memorial Day. A tiny, tinny tick (who is still in my freezer, and who is facing a very unceremonious burial when I have a moment) did that to me. A tinny, weenie, tiny tick (and his nasty imperceptible bacteria) took me down. And, did I get this tick in the woods/countryside? No, I did not. Instead, I picked him up in the city, in an urban park. Is nothing sacred anymore? It is bad enough we have to slather that wretched sun block all over our skin… now we have to suffocate our skin with bug repellent everyday too? Yuck!
Getting back to my ordeal… by the time my temperature came all the way down, it was Monday afternoon. I was having a hard time thinking. I would lose thoughts as I was forming them. I’d catch myself staring into space, having lost complete track of time. I called the pharmacy to deliver some migraine medication. Big mistake. After taking just half the recommended dosage, it sent me into a tail spin. My temperature was back at 102 degrees, and a more minor rendition of Sunday night ensued. The irregular racing heart beat I had noticed became more pronounced… When the symptoms subsided again, I plugged them all into the web and the only match was Lyme disease. I thought, “That tick!”
When I got to my doctor, he put me on doxycycline hyclate immediately, even before he got my bloodwork back. Today, a week later, I am feeling much improved (which would be hard not to). That incessant mystery migraine that had plagued me for weeks – gone. Despite the upturn of events, my doctor scolded me for not coming in immediately after being bit. Is that common knowledge? Run to the doctor after every tick bite. I was completely unaware.
Well it’s now almost officially summer, schools out & I’m not going to let this little bug and his nasty bacteria get the better of me – even though the only “warning” on the medicine’s label is: Avoid Exposure to Sunlight (they’ve got to be joking)! It’s summer and I am ready for some living and loving & that’s exactly what I’m going to do (even though I am currently moving at half my normal speed & my mind goes completely blank mid task)!
Seriously, I wish all off us a summer filled with love and joy… just remember “safety first”. Whether it’s always wearing our bike helmets to protect us from that one freak accident; sun block, to protect us from potential sun cancer; bug spray (even in the city), to avoid being stricken with Lyme disease; condoms to prevent falling victim to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during a quick summer fling; or life perseveres on all our little ones (even if we feel they’re “strong enough” swimmers)…. It only takes one time, one small “bite”, to change your life (possibly forever). This is a lesson I will not soon forget.
I will maintain my site. However, I will be reading your blogs more than writing on mine while I convalesce. Be careful this summer (I know I certainly will), have fun, live, love, love the summer! I’ll start writing full-time again immediately after Labor Day week-end. Ciao, ciao for now! See you on your sites!