One of many Lyme-related, broad scale commonalities in the Northern Rockies is that if and when Lyme disease is reported on, it is most often accompanied by the declaimer that Lyme is not present or not a concern in the region. It is often stated that people should be careful of other tick born illnesses, or careful of Lyme when they travel.
This commonality stems from a larger, more dangerous, and more problematic commonality: the assertion by states, provinces, and relevant agencies that Lyme disease is not present. This remains the case despite positive cases contracted in the region. Even when these cases are followed up with phone calls from health agencies, patients are consistently reporting that their cases still somehow do not make it onto the map, and their areas remain unacknowledged (view our recent post regarding the Bitterroot study for a recent exception).
Continue reading Spring 2015 Northern Rockies ‘tick season’ media coverage ~ patients still note room for improvement
“My family needs me, the world needs me. Please help if you can.”
It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, and it is not something the patients we have met or worked with do lightly or easily. For many, it takes months or years beyond the point of really needing help to finally be ready to ask for it…or, more likely, to no longer have a choice.
Continue reading Wyoming Lyme Patient Needs Our Help
Thanks to Dan and Tanner of Ride For Lyme, and to Jan of Manitoba Lyme Disease! You weren’t late at all, we knew you’d be good for it!
We said we’d make your donation on your behalf, but we’ll send one in to Canlyme (Lyme Sucks Challenge) in addition to ILADS (Lyme Disease Challenge), as we should have thought of that in the first place!
What a lovely, lovely, lovely location! Lyme-a-rita is a nice and fitting touch (nicely done Jan).
You can see our challenge here and additional featured regional challenges and challenge info here.
Via Flo Gardipee (friend and fellow Wildlife Biologist with Lyme):
To all my friends & family, especially fellow biologists and park rangers, that spend time in the outdoors, please take precautions against tick bites. If you find a tick attached to you, remove it and save it to send in for testing, then get to a Dr right away for treatment with antibiotics. Ticks carry awful diseases such as Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, Erlichia, Rocky Mtn spotted fever, and others.
Continue reading Tick PSA From Flo Gardipee ~ Wildlife Biologist with Lyme
“My daughter knows what I was like before I was sick,” she said with tears in her eyes. “My son doesn’t.”
By CHRIS PETERSON Hungry Horse News, May 27, 2015
In April 2010, Angela Daenzer was doing field work as a biologist for the Flathead National Forest when she startled a moose up the Middle Fork. She ducked off into the brush to avoid the angry animal, and while the moose encounter was a bit scary, there were worse things to come.
While hiding in the brush, Daenzer picked up a tick that bit her in the scalp. After a shower hours later, she found the tick and, disgusted by it, she pulled it out of her hair and threw it in the toilet.
Daenzer is convinced that tick gave her Lyme disease, or at the very least a disease very similar to it. Within a week, she became very ill. She got the chills and a sore throat and then what she and her doctors thought was an ear infection and then severe jaw pain.
May 24, 2015
My former (and now future) anti-tick precautions predate confirmation that ticks in western Canada carried the dreaded Borrelia bacteria. Instead, I grew up on tales of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis and other ailments shared by the seed-sized critters. It was only during my last few years in the mountains that Lyme disease loomed locally as a possibility.
I recently met a colleague from those mountain days. He mentioned that several people he had worked with in the 1980s now suffered from unaccounted-for neurological problems, including memory loss, chronic fatigue, muscle wasting and nerve issues.
He speculated about Lyme disease, but didn’t know. He said the acquaintances also didn’t know. Three decades have passed since they spent their summers roaming slopes, exploring valleys and camping in high-mountain passes.
Lyme disease might have existed in the Rockies back then, but remained undetected, undocumented and unknown. The bacteria can incubate for years in some people before causing illness. It’s also possible the illness occurred back then, but lack of awareness and difficulties with diagnosis — which continue today — left it undiagnosed.
– See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/columnists/monique-keiran-tiny-ticks-a-good-reason-to-be-cautious-1.1944790#sthash.fuhfwAYX.dpuf
Related link and additional future links posted HERE.
This graphic by Jill McAllister is extremely meaningful, as it provides information not currently available in terms of geographic distribution of Lyme and Lyme infected ticks.
Some of these locations, although across the border, are not really all the far from where I was bit in 2010 (various maps will be constructed over time). As you will read elsewhere on this site, distribution estimates and maps can be dangerously misleading if they do not depict associated levels of detection effort. As is seen time and time again (with North Dakota serving as a highly relevant example) the areas where we are not finding Lyme coincide with areas where we are not yet, or not adequately looking.
Our very first collective Lyme Disease Challenge goes out to Dan and Tanner and the Ride for Lyme team (aka the Adalaine project), in a location of their choosing as they cross the continent for Lyme patients and their friend!
This challenge includes the patient they ride for that day, IF the patient is well enough. If not, we’ve got that patient covered, as we’ll be doing extra ‘bites’ on behalf of that patient in their honor.
So, Dan and Tanner, here’s how the Lyme Disease Challenge works!
Continue reading Ride For Lyme ~ You Have Been Lyme Disease Challenged!
Posted with permission. This is not from the Northern Rockies, but clearly applicable to all of us. Thank you Melissa.
Dear CDC and FDA,
I don’t want to just go away.
I want to live!
I have a lot to offer this world.
I am not just a number or face in a massive population.
I am a mother, daughter, wife, sister, aunt, friend who has a giving heart and creative mind.
My life matters.
I am here for such a time as this.
Continue reading Dear CDC and FDA ~ By Melissa VeHorn