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Please read this, sent from a resident who recently developed Lyme disease through a tick from the grass near the lake - and beware of any similar symptoms!
A Cautionary Tail
A few weeks ago one of our residents, whose house backs onto the lake, was tidying up and clearing away some long grass, nettles and brambles the other side of his fence by the foot path & wearing stout clothing / boots to protect himself from the nettles and thorns. Quite often deer can be seen passing by their back fence by in the late evening and early morning. Also Mr Fox and occasionally squirrels which are all capable of carrying / transferring ticks!
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but that evening he remembers brushing something off his leg just below his right buttock whilst having a shower [the overalls have a side pocket each side from which he could access the shorts underneath]. A few days later when his wife came back from visiting some friends she asked him what he had banged into to get such a large bruise on the back of his leg [egg size].
Obviously he could not remember and though nothing about it. A few days later she remarked on it again saying it was twice the size with a nasty red ring outlining it. Unfortunately that was a Friday evening by which time he was aware of an ever present headache, a sore right neck and that when he came home from works he needed to have a little lie down to recharge his batteries. Something he had never had to do previously. The penny had dropped!
Phoning up Fareham health centre first thing on Monday morning he was put on the Triage list and when he spoke to a Doctor she had diagnosis Lyme Disease almost before he mentioned “the long grass”. Apparently it’s becoming quite common along the South coast and around this area. [Spreading from the New Forest and on the Downs]
She asked him to call in to see her immediately. By that time the patch on his leg had increased to about 6” in diameter. Although starting the antibiotics within 10 minutes his condition continued to deteriorate over several days and was unable to drive as searing barbs of pain were hitting his right head and neck causing him to literally stop in his tracks & forget what he was about to say or do for several minuets at a time. That lasted for over a week moving round to his left side.
After 2 weeks of antibiotics he is much improved, but his vision is still a little blurred and the vicious headache is now just a back ground irritant as are the sore and aching joints. He is just hoping no lasting damage remains to hit him in the future!
Very soon, as always, families will be picking the blackberries from the brambles around the lake and elsewhere, be it in the Funtley area or in the New Forest and there is no reason to stop them enjoying the experience. He is still quite happy to carry on working and walking around the Lake or elsewhere, but strongly advises that everyone reads up on “Lyme Disease” on the NHS website (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditio…/Lyme-disease/…/Introduction.aspx) so they can identify the symptoms at an early stage and seek medical advice.
This can be a killer at worst, or leave you with lifelong disabilities if not caught soon enough. A child is even more susceptible and parents need to be aware of the symptoms and how to remove a tick safely. You can’t pick it off as it will squeeze the poison into your blood stream which is probably what happened when he brush it off his leg. Had he seen it he could have use the tick removal tool they have in their first aid kit. [mainly for use on their cats]