Hi to all, I got bitten by a tick in the Dolomites in 1987. For the last five and a half years I have been ill with chronic fatigue which I believe to be Lyme Disease with other co-infections. This sort of story is common if you read up about it. ie getting affected years later. Initially, I thought I had depression but the more exercise I did the worse I felt. Then I thought CFS/me, then after reading Ray Mears book where he described being gradually more tired and having backache he got diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I remembered that tick in Italy. Testing for the condition is fraught with difficulties. I am limited to low level of energy expenditure activities for short periods. So no real climbing, mountain biking or sport-a long walk for me is 1km once a day. Most of the time I feel I have low-level of flu, tired out as if I was hungover with heavy achy limbs. If I do too much I virtually spend all day in bed.
My plea to you is to guard against this condition by following some simple steps-cover up with light coloured clothing where possible, use repellent(mosiguard is DEET free), check yourself and friends after each time you have been out(ticks can be poppy seed sized) and if you do have one remove them with special tick removing tools which only cost £4. (I’ve spent over 10k trying to get better) Then keep an eye out for bull’s eye rashes and flu type symptoms. Your average GP knows little about Lyme so be insistent if you think you have it.
There is loads of info about Lyme including on BMC site and check out LDUK for info on how to remove ticks and people’s stories. The Ham and High carried a story of a woman getting infected on Hampstead Heath. Richmond Park is another hot spot as is, the Lakes and Scotland. Up to 10% of ticks carry the harmful bacteria. They are in urban parks and gardens.
In the UK we diagnose 2000-3000 new cases a year and chronic Lyme is not generally recognized. Holland has a population of 16 million but has 21,500 cases a year (see Dutch Dept of Health website).