A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

Daddy Debrief:  The Dreaded Tick

By David DeWitt

Our little family all tested positive for Lyme a few weeks ago. Finn first, then Erin and myself. It has not been the best experience for a feel good column.

Finn had a pretty bad first week with a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic but has bounced back since he’s been on the right one. Erin has gotten the worst of it. Two weeks in, she’s still spending most of the day in bed, with a full range of symptoms.

Lyme often triggers other infections and with Erin it is Mono. So on top of the constantly changing and confusing Lyme symptoms she has an exhausting fatigue.

My blood test showed a past infection but I’ve since learned that doesn’t mean a whole lot. It could be a week or six months ago. Random symptoms could be Lyme or just a pollen headache and middle age.

We have always been fairly diligent with our tick checks on Finn. We haven’t been as good with ourselves. That has changed now.

My own tick bites are too numerous to count.  About 10 years ago I had the whole nine yards of symptoms; a hundred and four fever and a bulls-eye on my back the size of a large dinner platter. I took antibiotics and haven’t experienced those particular symptoms with other bites. 

The more you read about Lyme, the more confusing it gets. It’s no wonder that confusion is one of the symptoms. Am I confused? Certainly. Is it Lyme or just who I am?

A couple of days ago Erin was slowly tracing her steps through the house for the third time trying to find her phone.

“I know you have Lyme because I feel like you right now,” she said.

We both chuckled, but it’s true. I spend half the day looking for things I just set down. But I’ve always kind of been that way. She hasn’t.

Before she had the blood test, she kept saying, “I just don’t feel like myself.”

We have a number of friends who have dealt with Lyme, some of them for many, many years. The conversations with them these last few weeks have been extremely helpful for us.

First-hand experience beats internet articles hands down. 

Not knowing what to expect is probably one of the more challenging parts right now.

Lyme seems to be a moving target. Manageable one day and knocking you off your feet the next. But we are hopeful that the antibiotics and other treatments will work as well for Erin as they have for Finn.

If you know someone with Lyme, give ‘em a hug. Keep checking for ticks.

And while you’re at it, offer up a few thoughts and prayers for Erin. They are much appreciated right now.