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To remind you, especially in the holidays, about b******* ticks?!

(115 Posts)
BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 14:05:31

We're on holiday in North Yorkshire with the DCs. On a family walk in a rural coastal area, one DC, a mid-teen, was a little way ahead. As the rest of us rounded a corner on the path, we spotted them coming through some long grass and wildflowers and rejoining the path. Needless to say they'd been for a wee behind a gorse bush!

After walking on a little while, I suddenly remembered about ticks, and we all stopped to check the DC over and brush them down. At this point, there was no sign of any ticks. We did the same on returning to the car, and again on returning to the holiday cottage. Still no sign of any ticks.

It wasn't until bedtime that the DC found 3 of the little b***** attached!!!

Out in the middle of nowhere at night, we had to get them off with ordinary tweezers, which isn't ideal. Luckily it seemed to go ok, perhaps because we'd found them reasonably quickly. We washed the area with soap and water, and applied antiseptic. We usually carry a tick removing tool but it had been lost on our last trip and not replaced.

Not all ticks are infected but we now have an anxious wait to see if the DC develops any symptoms which could indicate Lyme Disease, at which point it would mean tests and extensive antibiotics. It can take a few days, a month or even longer to show up. This can sometimes be a target-style rash around the bites, flu-like symptoms of headache, fever, joint pain or fatigue, or specific joint or nerve problems.

We're all kicking ourselves, including the DC, as we know ticks are a risk. We usually avoid going off paths into long undergrowth especially. It's the first time one of us has been 'got', despite living rurally and lots of time spent outdoors. In the scorching weather, we'd got shorts on rather than trousers tucked into boot socks or wellies.

Do educate yourself and your DCs. Pets also need to be checked regularly. Ticks can be hard to spot, often just the size of a poppy seed, until they have engorged themselves. Don't look at images of that if you're squeamish! There's good advice on the NHS, NICE and Lyme Disease Action websites. Tick removing tools are available for less than £5 in camping shops and online, and are easy to carry in a rucksack or bag. There's even a credit card style one for purse or wallet. Fine point tweezers or a piece of cotton can also be used.

Ticks are pretty widespread but especially so in some areas.

Be careful out there.

And all fingers crossed for our DC very welcome!

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 18:27:07

Bumping for the evening crowd.

MadameGazelleIsMyHomegirl Thu 09-Aug-18 18:29:59

I had one the other day- no idea how it got there as I’d been at work and in the car. I accidentally picked it off before I realised what it was. Hateful things!

WeShouldOpenABar Thu 09-Aug-18 18:32:18

A friend of mine has a probable Lyme disease diagnosis, she's a shadow of her former self, it's an awful illness

Magicpaintbrush Thu 09-Aug-18 18:39:24

Thank you for the reminder. I have never had an encounter myself but my husband's aunt caught lyme disease from a tick which attatched itself to her thigh while she was in an outdoor swimming pool in france! I was really shocked they can get you even in water, I didn't realise it was possible. I am going to buy a tick removal tool to keep in my handbag - hopefully I'll never need it but it would be sensible to keep one. I've read a few stories lately about lyme disease and it is really scary how it can affect a person's life.

Ansumpasty Thu 09-Aug-18 18:40:08

I have a phobia of Lyme disease. I hope you manage to calm the anxiety of waiting for symptoms.
My daughter got bitten by something and developed a bullseye. Doctors were COMPLETELY ignorant in regards to the Lyme risk (I saw 2) and one even said that it was ‘extremely rare and not to worry.’ He then said bring her back if she got a temp or ill over the next few months. She’s a little kid, chances are she WILL get ill, which would lead to traumatic blood tests for her, etc.

I had to fight for antibiotics but got them. I think when it comes to potential Lyme disease, you can’t be too careful.

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 18:43:15

It's been noted on my DC's medical records Madame in case anything happens. It might be worth you ringing your GP surgery and asking them to do the same. I hope you stay well - do keep an eye on it and your general health. I was surprised to read ticks are found in towns and cities, not just the countryside. They can survive the washing machine apparently, but not usually the tumble dryer.

LaDilettante Thu 09-Aug-18 18:43:57

I had Lyme disease six years ago and I haven’t and never will recover completely. I had never heard of it at the time and my GP was equally clueless despite me having the classic bullseye rash. It took a year to deteriorate to the point where I had seizures. So if your kids show any signs and your GP is fobbing you off, raise hell to get your kids on antibiotics. Also the test is just as useless as tossing a coin.

Fingers crossed for your DC!

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 18:46:21

Sorry about your friend, WeShould. I hope her health improves soon. flowers

EddieVeddersfoxymop Thu 09-Aug-18 18:48:53

Ditto that advice. I'm currently undergoing treatment for a bite (never felt nor found a tick) but I developed the classic rash. I ignored it thinking it was skin irritation from stupidly tight jeans in hot weather. I eventually showed a nurse who didn't like the look of it at all and started me on antibiotics immediately. It was creeping, with an active red edge. I feel awful, fatigued and broken. Don't know if it's Lymes or just the antibiotics making me feel awful.

gendercritter Thu 09-Aug-18 18:51:02

I have a friend who is very ill with Lymes Disease. It needs to be taken very seriously

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 18:51:41

Sorry about your relative, Magic. I've read there are many different types of tick, and some overseas carry other serious infections. Yes, do buy the tool. That way hopefully you won't need to use it, if following Sod's Law!

Theworldisfullofgs Thu 09-Aug-18 18:53:29

Also people need to remember to check their dogs as well. Our long haired mutt picks them up easily!

Yarnswift Thu 09-Aug-18 18:54:00

They also carry TBE where we are. Bloody hideous things.

JessieMcJessie Thu 09-Aug-18 18:55:04

Thanks for the warning but why are you being secretive about whether you have a DD or a DS?

Theworldisfullofgs Thu 09-Aug-18 18:56:16

And I do know dogs aren't as important as people (but nicer than some). Humans first then dogs.

So sorry for the people who caught Lyme's, it's awful.

The worst thing about ticks is that you can't feel them, so check and check again. And then get someone else to check you.

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 19:09:41

Thank you Ansum. Statistically they'll be fine, but it doesn't stop us worrying, does it, especially as Lyme Disease can have serious consequences. Reading up, you're absolutely right that there's too much ignorance about it, including from GPs. It seems early treatment if Lyme Disease is suspected and with the right sort of antibiotics is crucial to the outcome. It beggars belief that you had to push for them, even though the bull's eye rash had appeared!!! Well done for fighting for your DD, and I wish you both all the very best. flowers

Ansumpasty Thu 09-Aug-18 19:21:22

Thank you smile I hope everything turns out fine and well done for taking the time to spread awareness.
Believe it or not, my doctor didn’t even have a clue which antibiotic to prescribe and the other one laughed at the Lyme possibility.
Good luck!

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 19:24:42

Thanks for adding to the information on the thread, LaDil, and for your kind wishes for my DC and wise advice. I'm so sorry to hear it's from hard experience, and wish you all the very best. flowers

It seems not everyone gets the target/bull's eye rash, and the available tests are unreliable, as you say - worth doing, but not everyone who has Lyme Disease tests positive.

BrazzleDazzleDay Thu 09-Aug-18 19:27:58

We have woods out the back of our house, the cat brings them in often. Luckily he's mostly white so easy to spot but many a time i've caught one creeping along my leg.

When they're small its easy to mistake/brush off as it being a spider.

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 19:31:55

So sorry you're feeling so poorly, Eddie. Thanks for taking the trouble to help raise awareness via the thread. Thank goodness for that nurse. I wonder if it's worth you getting the blood tests, although they're not completely reliable by all accounts?

Take good care of yourself, and wishing you all the best flowers

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 19:51:11

Very sorry about your friend, gender, and wishing them well. flowers

BstrdTicks Thu 09-Aug-18 19:55:26

I did mention pets in my OP, but thanks to Theworld and Brazzle for emphasising checking them too.

Greenandcabbagelooking Thu 09-Aug-18 20:01:55

My friend got a tick bite on the bit between her collarbone and boobs on an outdoor trip with work (teachers). Quite how it got there, we struggled to work out. It wasn't until later she remembered that when they stopped for lunch on a canoe expedition, she sat on her life jacket. Which she then put on over her head.

Just a warning to be careful, and to check unusual areas for ticks. I'm a biomedical scientist, I've seen ticks before, but never thought you could get bitten there.

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Thu 09-Aug-18 20:10:31

I have Lyme also . Major symptoms , eventually only managed by significant brain surgery . And I consider myself very lucky indeed. Horrible horrible disease.
Ticks move though from the place from where they first land / drop onto you. Warm moist places ..... Keep yourself covered up , anywhere you would expect deer to be .

Don’t expect to get the rash either, I didn’t or missed it . If you get the rash or then very strange flu type symptom, get antibiotics from the GP at least 4 weeks worth asap and don’t get fobbed off either : not all GPS are knowledgeable , even now .though it’s improving .

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