I just scanned this slide of me (I'm the big one) with my cousins today and my first thought was, the good old days, when we didn't have any ticks to worry about. Then I saw an article about a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine this morning. It found that long-term (12 weeks) antibiotic therapy doesn't help Lyme symptoms. I can't say I'm surprised, as so few people on Lyme message boards ever seem to get completely well. The study concluded:
"On one side of the schism stands the evidence, which grows stronger by the day, that persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease are not amenable to longer antibiotic therapy; and on the other, there is a multitude of patients suffering from debiliating neurologic, cognitive, musculoskeletal or even multisystemic symptoms. Standing witness at the tug of war between these two sides, we still do not have an answer."
I'm on long-term antibiotics, and I hate it. They mess with my good bacteria, despite taking probiotics, and deplete my serotonin, draining my energy and enthusiasm. No fun. And I haven't noticed any improvement in my symptoms, which are mostly neurological (thanks to being bitten in the back of my neck). So I won't be sorry to stop, but I wish there were an answer to "Now what?"
The outdoors has always called to me this time of year. I love living close to nature, and I love growing things. But after six bites last year, despite all sorts of precautions, and numerous bites in previous years, my beautiful property no longer welcomes me. It has become a threat.