Warning: This isn’t relating to weight loss or fitness but it has a lot to do with health awareness.
Ticks. I hate ticks. The very thought of them as I write this makes me feel like I have at least four on me right now. Ideally, it would be great if you are reading this and you have no idea what this nasty little bugger I’m talking about is. However chances are, since there are roughly 900 different species of ticks in the WORLD, you probably have at least heard of ticks.
Ticks have been a part of my life ever since I first discovered how magnificent nature is. My family and I would do “tick checks” after our adventures outside and if one was found, my Dad would carefully pry it out of our bodies as we screamed in horror as if he was removing a toe. What was just as bad though was when we failed to find the ticks on the dogs and they would go around for days before we discovered the sweltering beast on their bodies.
My motivation for this post came for two reasons: One is that I went for a hike on Sunday with Maggie, our golden retriever, and twice I found two different types of ticks on her. I was so worried about finding another tick on her that I constantly was rubbing down her majestically fuzzy fur, picking out every tiny thing that wasn’t part of her coat. I did the same to myself, scratching at my head on the drive home, thinking of the many times I had pulled ticks off me doing the very same thing before.
The other reason I wanted to talk about ticks is because there is so much more to them than just finding them and picking them off. The scariest thing about ticks isn’t that they fall down from the trees above you as they detect your body heat moving below and then latching on and burrowing into your body, filling itself with your delicious blood. No no, as scary as that is, the most horrifying thing about ticks is that they CARRY DISEASE.
I know two women who have contracted diseases from a tick. One case, not as serious, was my own mother. While I can’t recall the name of what she got, I remember how she came down with it. She found a tick in her arm and within a few days of removing it, she noticed the spot start to get really irritated. After it got worse and worse, she finally went to the doctor and was put on medication to “cure” her. She’s fine now, but it was a wake up call that no matter how careful you think you can be, there is still always a chance that ticks are out to bite you.
The next case, much more serious, is that of my high school friend Stacy. Stacy got diagnosed with lyme disease a few years ago after being bit by a tick in the very county I live in today (Sonoma County). Stacy started losing her hair and was constantly incredibly tired. She would get migraines, blurred vision, heart palpitations, insomnia, sensitivity to light and sound, issues with speaking, memory loss… SO many symptoms that continue on. Now that she is in the last and final stage of the disease, she described it was living with the flu, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Of course our American healthcare system doesn’t do much to help her situation unfortunately, people with lyme disease were often denied coverage. (I hope Obamacare will truly change that!) Stacy has had the best luck using homeopathic remedies to relieve her awful symptoms. There are some organizations out there that help people like Stacy, but people with serious diseases like Stacy could always use all the help they could get.
I was aware of Stacy having lyme disease for a while now but I didn’t know how severe it had gotten until her friend Sasha made Stacy a fundraising page and tagged her on it. If you are able to help Sasha make Stacy’s life a little easier, please check out her Gofundme.com page!What steps do you take to avoid ticks? Are they on your mind when you go out in nature?
Thanks for your attention, blogging world!