In 2007 when walking our dogs in the woods, I was bitten by a tick. I had no idea that this would change my life forever. I had always enjoyed rude health but within a few months of the tick bite I became a virtual invalid. I had succumbed to pneumonia, heart disease and an arthritis so severe I was unable to walk or drive. Refusing to accept that all these things were coincidence, I sought private help, and was diagnosed as having Lyme Disease, which is transmitted by infected ticks.
I was treated with special antibiotics, and within days the arthritis had disappeared and I could walk again. Soon after this, my two leaking heart valves were mended. But I was warned that Lyme Disease becomes chronic if diagnosis is delayed, and that I should be prepared for its return. The disease has since attacked my thyroid gland, and recently revisited my bones, so I now have two artificial hips. I live with the knowledge that it may strike again at any time. Lyme Disease can, and does, attack anyone, any age, and any part of the body, eyes, brain, your entire nervous system – you name it, Lyme can get there. It is hard to diagnose and all too often the last thing your GP will consider.
The purpose of writing this is to try and make other people more aware than I was. If you walk anywhere where there may be tick-carrying animals, i.e. sheep, deer, mice etc, cover up. Don’t wear shorts or open sandals. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you do get bitten, go straight to your doctor and insist on an antibiotic injection. If this is done within days, the disease will not develop. Please help me to raise awareness of this illness.