My Son has Lymes Disease
I spotted it as soon as he walked down the steps coming out of his classroom.
I was picking him up at the end of school, when he came jumping down the steps like he normally does, with a big smile on his face, not a worry in the world. I instantly spotted the red bullseye rash on the side of his neck. I knew instantly what it was.
We arrived home, and I rang for a doctor's appointment explaining that my son had a bite mark with a red ring round it, the receptionist explained she will get the doctor to call me back. I hung up, expecting the call to be hours later as per usual, but within minutes the doctor rang me and asked me to bring him straight down. I didn't have time to google the symptoms like I normally would, but anyhow, I'd read about Lymes Disease recently, thus, it was fresh in my mind and I am eternally grateful for that as I could have quite easily dismissed it as a gnat bite and tried to treat it at home.
We waited in the waiting room for a short while and we were called in. Jacob settled in the doctors seat whilst I stood behind him, anxious and trying to look calm. The doctor took one neck and acknowledged it is the classic sign of Lymes Disease; the words I didn't want to hear but knew where coming. He asked if we had been in long grass / wooded area, which I explained we have two beagles and are often visiting the outdoors; we were in Gunton Marshes last weekend, and my son was rolling around in the long grass. The doctor went and asked another doctor to have a look and they also confirmed Lymes disease.
The doctor explained the bulls-eye rash happens at stage 1, which is good, at stage 1 it is easily treatable with a strong 3-week course of antibiotics. He did advise the medication may make he feel poorly, although he may be fine. The doctors were highly optimistic that he would make a quick and full recovery. It's important to note that not everyone that is unlucky enough to be bitten by a tick infected with Lyme disease, always comes out in the bullseye rash - and if you have been bitten by a tick, not all ticks carry the Lyme disease.
The doctor advised checking the dogs, as if they have ticks/or been bitten they will need to be checked too.
Since our doctor's appointment last week Jacob has come out in a few more bulls-eye rashes, but thankfully he has been completely well within himself and going to school as per normal. I am confident that we caught it quickly and we're looking forward to him making a full recovery. Although! he's not too happy about the 'yucky' medicine he has to keep taking, but he understands how important it is to complete the full 3-week course.
What is Lyme Disease and how do you get it?
It's not contagious and you don't catch it from your dogs - Jacob has got it by rolling in the long grass in the woods, where he was bitten by a tick that is carrying the Lyme disease. Symptoms can occur anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the bite and can be wide-ranging, depending on the stage of the infection - there are 3-stages to the infection.
Early signs and symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. In up to 80% of Lyme infections, a bulls-eye rash is one of the first symptoms.
Without treatment, symptoms can progress. They may include:
- Early / 1st Stage: viral-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and typically a rash that has a bulls-eye appearance or is uniformly round and red and at least 5cm in size - the rash can widen.
- 2nd Stage: Flu-like symptoms that now include pain, weakness or numbness in the arms and legs, vision changes, heart palpitations and chest pain, a rash, and facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy)
- 3rd Stage: can occur weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. Symptoms might include arthritis, severe fatigue and headaches, vertigo, sleep disturbances, and mental confusion.
If you want to find out more visit this website, which I have found very helpful: https://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk