Thursday, November 16, 2006

Your Lyme FAQs. (Or, mine actually. Yours may differ...)

How did you get Lyme Disease?
How does anyone get Lyme? I was bitten by a tick. Which bothers me a lot because I’m a big fan of the Mighty Blue Justice Guy.
(AND: The Tick vs Season One is out. Buy me mine here.) But I suppose it makes up for the hours of joy as a boy pulling the little bastards off my golden retriever. If you want more info on Lyme, click on this. Yes, that's what the CDC says. But there are billlllllions of other sources. Whom I know and respect. And thank.
When did you get Lyme Disease?
I dunno. Some theories: …(1) Sometime in the spring of 2004, when I first experienced the non-specific symptoms that did not warrant further investigation by medical authorities… or (2) Sometime when I was working on remodeling that old farmhouse … (3) or on that new place surrounded by woods and gardens… or (4) at any time in the past 3 years walking to my car, or barbecue or laundry, or ANYWHERE on the 274 acres, or ... (5) during an outdoor event, summer of 2006. I lean toward the latter because within two days I began to suffer flu-like symptoms (chills, fever, and aches) which did not respond to home remedies.
Did you have any of the classic symptoms? The “target” rash? Anything cool like that?
No. Although, when I described my symptoms to anyone who had had Lyme, they insisted I had Lyme. Doctors, not so much.
Did you see a doctor?
A routine physical showed "nothing to be alarmed about." Fatigue could be explained by medications for high blood pressure. Aches and pains by my active lifestyle. Which wasn’t that active anymore. But tests (not for Lyme) showed elevated urine protein and blood creatinine levels, indicators of kidney issues.
Did you have kidney problems?
I’d been diabetic for 36 years. (Type 1, not the fashionable BabyBoomer one. World Diabetes Day was November 14, with the optimistic slogan "Diabetes Care for Everyone," and the hope to advocate for diabetics worldwide. Locally, this was celebrated by "Whine About Having to Stick Yourself and Not Eat Malassadas Day." ) It’s often been mentioned that my kidneys might be at risk. Although I'm tested regularly, diabetes and hypertension are factors that harm kidneys.

What's a malassada?
Sometimes incorrectly described as a Portuguese doughnut, it's fried dough covered in sugar. Like elephant ears without the cinnamon. Or flatter, more informal funnel cakes with granulated, not powdered sugar. Or sugar fritters. Or drop cakes. Or shankar palla. Very popular in parts of Portugal, the Azores, Hawaii, SouthCoast, and other places where Portuguese influence is obvious. The malassadas, not the other ones. Take that, Alton Brown. *
Do you have high blood pressure?
Yes, although it is controlled through medication, diet, and exercise.

A special diet?
No, just watching what I eat. No salt on those margaritas. Or Margarita mix. Or...
I thought this was about Lyme Disease.
My feeling is that the Lyme further insulted my already-compromised renal function. Lyme’s impact on my kidneys, although believed by some to be significant, is pooh-poohed by some medical professionals. (Including the guy who invented it, Dr. Lyme.) But I’ll be nice to them anyway, because I’ve gotten to know them and they seem nice enough. And I mean, poor them! All that expensive schooling they went through. Plus, when the Lyme tests came back positive, I was already in the hospital, so I had to be nice or they told me I wouldn’t get my shoes back.

No. Not the shoes part...
There are more questions.
Put them in the comments. Or wait 'til next time. Now, some Alton promotion:


Anonymous said...

Ye gods, what an ordeal!

I've has enough of ticks for one lifetime. I blame the liberal media.

The Tick vs. Season One. Gotta love that annoying alarm clock in the opening credits. On second thought...

Anonymous said...


Large said...

Good to see you are out of the yard,..

Bullseyes suck unless it is you that is shooting at them

-Robin Hood

P.S. Here's an apple kid ..

we need to find a way to make approved malassadas and beer get Alton on it....

Gotta love chemistry dontcha ..

ThirdMate said...

I don't really like 'em (malassadas) because of the flagrant sugar and carb they are. I was referring in that bit to the fashion diabetics who knew all the wrong roads but took them anyway and then complain about what an intrusion "The Sugah" is on their lives. Recently I heard a 40-ish guy (all tricked out with cell phone, blackberry, etc...) just kept complaining that he "couldn't tell a client he had to test and sometimes I don't want to eat breakfast." Maybe it's different elsewhewre, but the denial I see from my own neighbors about the reality of diabetes is breath-taking. And SouthCoast has the highest rate of Type2. Which I just might as well call DeathWish Diabetics. These yahoos call diabetes a "death sentence." Nay, I say it's a "LIFE sentence." And, Large, you've seen how I live. I was living out of a seabag and shooting before meals. But then again, I had thirty years to develop the habit. Yeah, judgmental, but I'd rather hear people around me honestly describe their successful experience of diabetes than brag about how they fool their doctors or cheat on their diets. You don't live well with diabetes by denying its existence. Sure, you might look like you're living well, and it don't get you down. But brag about that to your retinologist, nephrologist, or vascular surgeon. They're always so-oo impressed.