How to Treat a Tick Bite

@ 11:02 pm

Tick season is in full swing, and ticks can easily hitch a ride unannounced. The best course of action is prevention – treating your clothing, yard, and pets with tick repellant, and doing tick checks after being outdoors – but what do you do if you end up with a tick bite anyway?

Here is what all Lyme patients wish they had done if they saw the tick that infected them.

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The Past Month: The Good

@ 8:38 pm

Over a month without a new post! I’m not off to a good start here. I was hoping I could keep this going at a steady pace, but my energy has been up and down in the past month, and both of those kept me from posting. I’ll talk about the high energy days first.

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New meds, new herx symptoms

@ 4:21 pm

There’s something that happens when you treat Lyme and co-infections called the Herxheimer reaction. You can feel worse before you feel better, even though the treatment is working. Patients usually refer to it as a herx, or herxing. Some people are more or less sensitive to this than others, and I appear to be someone who doesn’t herx much. It may not sound like that after what I’m about to tell you, but there are people who have severe reactions after just one dose of medication. For many people, herxing completely incapacitates them. I’m grateful that it’s not usually that bad for me, so when I share my herx symptoms, it’s more for record-keeping than to complain.

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@ 2:51 pm

Of course now that my blog is finally up and running, my mind is blank. Or maybe it’s not that I don’t have ideas but that I don’t know where to begin. It’s kind of weird starting a blog so far into my Lyme journey, but I know I couldn’t have managed it before now.

I guess I’ll start with the present and fill in the gaps later? Currently, I’m on round 6 of IV antibiotics. I got my port in July 2015, and did various combinations of meds (usually for 6-8 weeks each) until May 2016, when my doctor suggested a break to see how I did on my own. I was supposed to go back in August but couldn’t afford it (follow-ups are $500), so I didn’t see him again until January of this year, when I had money in my FSA again. He put me on IV Clindamycin and IV Flagyl, for 4 weeks and 6 weeks, respectively.

I saw him again earlier this month and now I’m on Flagyl again, plus IV Rocephin, which is new. They’re both twice a day, but on different days. A nurse comes to my house once a week to re-access my port and draw blood for labs, and our appointment day has changed over time, because it depends on when insurance approves the new prescription and how soon the pharmacy can send it out. I started this round of meds on Saturday, March 11th, so right now we’re on a Saturday schedule. When I talk about finishing up a week, if it’s relation to meds, then for the time being, I’m considering Saturday to be the first day of the week. So…Rocephin is 4 days a week, Saturday through Tuesday, and Flagyl is the other 3 days, Wednesday through Friday. I’m on week two of this combination; that started on Saturday, the 18th.

I’m also on another new medication: oral Rifampin, which treats Bartonella specifically. I started that on Monday the 13th, so I’ve been on that for a little over a week now.

These aren’t all my meds; just the new ones.

There’s a lot more to my story that I’ll have to share in pieces, but for now, this and the FAQ page should give you the context you need to follow along.