June 2nd, 2015



Actually, it's a mixed bag.

Good--I was nominated for a Coyotl Award for "Jackalope Wives"!

Bad--I woke up with a sort of spotted rash breaking out on my stomach next to a line of semi-recent tick bites. (Very widely spread dots, not tightly clustered, not a bullseye, not (thank god!) bedbug bites.)

We do have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the area, but it doesn't look quite right for that. I feel fine, I don't have any flu-like symptoms. Thing is, there's so damn many tickborne illnesses and half of them don't even have common names, so it's off to the doctor I go so that they can stare at it, take blood, go "Hell if I know," and shoot me full of antibiotics. Rashes next to tick bites are a "Don't mess around."

"Don't get bitten by ticks" is not a viable option where I live if I wish to, y'know, leave the house. Alas. (Ironically, this year has been down a bit--hemorrhagic fever swept the deer population last year and the numbers crashed, so fewer ticks come through. But I'm sure they'll all be back next year.)

No, I am not getting guinea fowl. Yes, I know they eat ticks, but then you have guinea fowl.


My nurse practicioner gazed at my weird little spots with deep suspicion, at my tick bites near it with even deeper suspicion, and at the other tick bite with the big irregular red welt around it with extreme suspicion.

(She started off with "Did you see a tick?" and I started laughing. This is a new NP, only been seeing her for about six months after my old one left the practice. She is learning, though.)

After a brief discussion of my life with tick-kind, she snorted and canceled the titers. "All that will tell us is whether you've been exposed to Lyme or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever at some point in your life. And I can pretty much guarantee you have been, with that history, so that's not going to tell us anything new--and even if it came back negative, I'd STILL put you on Doxycycline. We'll save you money, time and blood and just assume the tick gave you SOMETHING."

Which I am inclined to agree with. There are so many different tick diseases out there--I'm not presenting as either of the two big ones, but they keep finding exciting new varieties--so I get the mega-antibiotic run to blast it all out of my system.

Fortunately I feel fine, and apparently the new diet has dropped off about five pounds, which is awesome and unexpected. (It might be technically more, since the last time I was in, I hadn't eaten in three days owing to norovirus, and I had a big breakfast before I went in today. I don't actually keep a scale at home because it just makes me unhappy, so I haven't been tracking it, but good to know that it's getting results!)

Anyway, I get three weeks of juggling dairy and antibiotics, which is always a delight. But at least I do not appear to be dying at this exact moment.