I will admit I am a huge Real Housewives fan. I know, I know it isn’t exactly Emmy award winning stuff, but after a long day of juggling work, a toddler and an active duty military husband who is often away, sometimes it is oh so nice to get caught up in the (ridiculous) world of these ladies. It is completely mindless TV and certainly has never intersected with my job or blogging about mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Until now, that is.
This week on her blog the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster opened up about her struggle with Lyme disease and news articles started popping up all over my Twitter and Facebook feed. I was so shocked to read about the incredible journey she’s been on; first trying to get diagnosed and then her battle with this terrible disease all brought on by a tick bite. But more importantly than that, I was really inspired by her bringing this to light and sharing a personal story. Very little is known about Lyme disease and there is no vaccine or cure.
Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick and in 60-80 percent of cases, a rash resembling a bull’s eye appears and expands around or near the site of the bite. The early stage of Lyme disease can include symptoms such as chills and fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck, muscle and/or joint pain. If Lyme disease is unrecognized or untreated in the early stage, more severe symptoms may occur. As the disease progresses, severe fatigue, a stiff aching neck, and tingling or numbness in the arms and legs, or facial paralysis can occur. The most severe symptoms of Lyme disease may not appear until weeks, months or years after the tick bite. These can include severe headaches, painful arthritis, swelling of the joints, and heart and central nervous system problems such as what Yolanda Foster describes in this interview.
Just last week I was blogging about the new tick borne virus out of Kansas and here I am talking about ticks again. It may seem like the problem is growing rapidly, but really it is our awareness that’s growing, thanks to people like Yolanda who talk about their health journey and advocate for vaccines and cures. It is also something to keep in mind because spring will be here before we know it. As I said just last week, if you’re someone who spends a great deal of time or works outdoors, it is important to keep yourself covered during prime tick season. If you have questions about tick control for your yard for the 2015 season, just give us a call.