In this day of internet access many of us seek our own information about our health.
For this post I decided to put into Google search engines What to do about a tick bite? Up came 555000 links and I was very pleased to see that Lyme Disease Action was the second link on the list.
It is directly thanks to Lyme Disease Action in their efforts to raise awareness that I eventually have my health back after an illness of 6 1/2 years. I was diagnosed with many things
Those aware of the dangers of contracting Lyme Disease by the bite of a tick will do well to read information on line before discussing with their doctors as sadly because of the politics and controversy over this illness doctors are not well informed and can often miss early opportunities to treat this infection.
One lady I spoke with local to me in Guildford said her GP was so excited when she presented with a tick attached and regretted not having her camera to take a picture. However she failed to treat with antibiotics and the patient still continues with chronic ill health, which may or may not be related to the bite.
Another lady who I met with,told me that when she presented at the surgery the GP did not know what to do and called a colleague, between them they managed to remove the tick intact but lost it on the floor, where it was left to seek out the rest of it's blood feed! This poor lady has serious health problems including scans of her brain showing abnormalities which have not been attributed to any illness but which are thought to be connected with her Lyme diagnosis and on treatment her health is improving.
Another lady attended the hospital for a tick to be removed and the first time the doctor squeezed it between his fingers to pull it off!!! The next time she attended she was more informed and insisted the tick was removed with the correct tool. As it happened to be an Army hospital another doctor was called who was an Army doctor and therefore, as a tick remover was standard kit in the army, he was able to remove correctly.
A little boy was in the Bolton paper last year, he had waited with his mother at A & E and the nurse attending did not know what to do about removing the attached tick, so the mother took her son to the vets who duly removed the tick.
These are just a sample of stories I have heard, but do illustrate the serious lack of knowledge about tick removal amongst doctors. Not their fault but a fault of the training they are given and the lack of awareness about Lyme Disease and tick bites. Sadly when My MP Anne Milton asked the Health Secretary what they intended doing about raising awareness the reply was that HPA had updated their website!! Not much help to those of us who are not aware of being able to get tickborne illness in the UK.
In my personal story it took 5 doctors and 3 rheumatologists 4 years to diagnose me although I had attended at the surgery with tick bites, bulls eye rashes and summer flu' followed by migrating arthralgias.
How many people with symptoms such as mine Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Muscle weakness, ME/CFS, Polymyalgia Rheumatica could infact be suffering with Lyme Disease?