|A picture of the Lone-Star tick. This is the nasty little bugger that got me.|
After the Syllamo NUE race on Saturday May 19, 2012, I went down to the river that runs through the middle of the park to clean myself up. The water felt great on my tired legs and it was a convenient way to remove all the dirt from the day. While washing the grime from my legs in the river, I found four ticks latched onto me. They all came off fairly easily and it appeared as if there were no others anywhere else on me, so I thought everything was fine.
|A "tick key"|
I didn’t think much more about my tick bite until the Monday after the Mohican 100 race. As most know now, I didn’t feel well when I did the Mohican 100. I had a headache, a sore throat, swollen glands in my neck, tired feeling muscles and basically just felt run down. I thought maybe I had these symptoms because I was coming down with a cold or something. Then, on Monday after the race, I noticed the lymph gland near where my tick bite was had swollen to the size of a large marble and was very tender to the touch. Everything seemed to click right then and I was able to put two plus two together in regards to my symptoms being associated with my tick bite.
I called my family doctor, told him about my tick bite and described my symptoms. He told me to come in that afternoon for an appointment. I was given a prescription for an antibiotic and an order for a Lyme disease blood test. The first antibiotic I took helped a little, but my extremely swollen lymph node on my leg did not go down too much. After doing some research on the interweb, I found that doxycycline is a preferred treatment for tick bite infections, so I had my prescription changed. Within a couple of days of starting my new prescription, my symptoms made a much better improvement. Additionally, I received the good news that my Lyme disease blood test was negative.
One of the best websites I found while doing my research on tick bites and Lyme disease was the American Lyme Disease Foundation site. It is clear, concise and full of information. If you spend any time outside, please take a few minutes to look over the information on this website. There is a lot to learn on there from the prevention of tick bites, to the symptoms and treatment of different tick bite infections. I am certain the information I have gained this past week about ticks and the infections they carry will be useful in the future.
I feel like it won’t be long now until I am functioning at 100% again. I’m not there yet and for this reason, I've decided to NOT do the Lumberjack 100 this weekend. I think all the traveling and stress of doing such a hard race would hinder my recovery. Instead, I am going to try racing this weekend at the Big Bear 2x12 in Bruceton Mills, WV on a duo SS team with Nathan Annon. Big Bear might not be a NUE Series race, but it will be good fun and a good way for me to check on my fitness without putting my body through too much stress. Hopefully, things will go well this weekend and give me a good indication that I will be ready for the six remaining NUE Races I have planned this year.
Happy Trails... Gerry