There have been a lot of changes in my life recently-we moved back to my home county (Ulster County, NY), we adopted a baby girl, I opened a business, and we bought a house. All this in the last year! Returning to the Hudson Valley I was immensely excited to return to the beautiful forests of my child hood. However, there has been a big obstacle to that excitement. Ticks and Lyme disease. Ugh! How could we let it get so bad? When I was younger, like many people say, I could play in the woods all day and never even catch a whiff of a tick’s fart let alone see one. I knew one person that had a tick on them; and they lived in Florida! But now I have watched the woods I love so dearly turn into something dangerous and forbidding. It’s not that I don’t ever go into the woods, but something has fundamentally changed between me and mother nature. It’s like two old friends spending years apart and returning to find that one has changed, and you’re not sure if it is for better or worse. The you are cautious and not too trusting.
For example, when we bought our home the previous seller had dumped some of her house plants at the edge of the yard. The plants were still living from the soil caked root ball that lay naked to the elements. I had not ventured into the woods of my new home yet, but I stepped into the edge to retrieve a plant. That night I found my first tick neatly stuck onto my abdomen. I have to admit I panicked a little. I am steeped in Lyme disease treatment and have seen what chronic Lyme can do to folks so I was scared. I removed the tick put some clove oil over the bite and went to bed. The next day I bought some Cat’s Claw tincture and got a prophylactic prescription of 1 week of doxycycline. Practitioners are very divided about prophylactic treatment for a tick bite. There is no evidence that antibiotic prevention works. Some practitioners will prescribe 2 doses of doxycycline, others one week, some 3 weeks and the most conservative will even do 4 weeks. From my research I’ve seen that once you have an acute Lyme infection doxycycline and other antibiotics can clear the infection pretty reliably at the proper dosage. However, there are those for whom the infection is not cleared and end up with chronic Lyme disease and co-infections.
My practice is dedicated to supporting individuals with Lyme disease and co-infections. Next month I am attending the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS) conference to help me become an expert on this debilitating disease. Stay tuned for more updates.
I am a Naturopathic Doctor with offices in Kington, NY and High Falls, NY. The High Falls office is a Lyme Disease resource center.