It shows that they are watching the spread of many tick-borne infections. But as a start, I only wanted to look at Borrelia burgderfori, so I clipped out that map.
Then I laid the Nat Geo’s map over IGeneX’s map — and, well — see for yourself:
Those maps match up extremely well.
24 October, 2022
I have a new look for my phone, and I’m quite pleased. I love the luna moth especially since the CG and I first talked about it being a wonderful mascot for tick infections.
In the past 5 months Lorraine and I have been working with a group of wonderful people, who are also disabled, to set up a general support group on the Second Monday of the month.
This is not a BorreliaEtc group, it doesn’t matter the type of disability one walks with.
Around The Fire Support Seshes were born.
If you’d like more information, please contact us privately by email.
This group has worked so well that we were asked if we could expand our scope. We have around 10 people per sesh, which is a good number for the 2 hours we have.. but some couldn’t make the original time (it is late for Europeans) and some people wanted to meet more regularly. Beyond that, we had caregivers join us and so we now have three groups:
1. The Original Sesh stays the same, the 2nd Monday of the month at 2p Pacific USA Time, 5p Eastern USA, 10p British Summer Time.
2. The Caregiver Support Sesh is on the Second Sunday of the month at the same time as the original group. (2p Pacific, 5p Eastern USA..)
3. The Additional Support Sesh is on the last Sunday of the month and is at a different time: 12 Noon Pacific Time, 3p Eastern USA, 8p British Summer Time, 9p Eastern France and German Time
🔥 Around The Fire 🔥 Caregiver Support Sesh Sunday 11 Sep 5p EDT (2p PDT) 🔥 Around The Fire 🔥 Disability Support Sesh Monday, 12th September 5p EDT (2p PDT)
🔥 Around The Fire 🔥
End of the Month Additional Sesh
Sunday, 25 September
3p EDT/12p Noon PDT
Last month a dear friend, Tracy, asked me to be the guest host for her 21 July, 2022 podcast whilst she was busy working on organizing her state’s Medicare For All march. Since M4A was the month’s topic, I quickly looked around for fellow advocates to join me on screen.
By some incredible divine intervention, I was able to scramble together an excellent panel!
There was myself, the CG*, Laura Fielding (craftivist, founder of Red Berets Medicare For All), Andre Stackhouse (Campaign director and board member of Whole Washington), and Congressional Candidate Rebecca Parson (WA-06).
When I do projects like this the CG is always at least in the room so she can be close by if something happens with me.
Best scenario: she helps me stay on track when my brain blanks, or can’t catch up.
Worst: she rescues me from a sudden onset of symptoms.
*And I want to say: Lorraine loves when I call her “the CG.” It’s using her professional title and said with nothing but love, honor, respect, and humility.
Here I have to stop and thank everyone that joined me; you all made time in your busy schedules to talk to me for a small podcast. You could have said you were busy, but you didn’t.. you all put in the effort and I cannot thank you enough.
The general subject was Medicare For All, but the discussion covered many topics:
We are all Western WA residents and the CG and I volunteer for Whole Washington’s 1471 ballot initiative campaign.
If we were to get single payer healthcare here in Washington State, it would be an incredible step forward for the many patients of tick-borne infections who live here. We need to see doctors who dare to treat outside the normal guidelines, therefore they don’t deal with insurance at all. In order to cover their practice, many charge hundreds of dollars per appointment. Some are even up in the thousands..
Most patients cannot afford that.
Insurance companies should not have the right to refuse you a treatment that you and your doctor have agreed upon.
But they do.
“Healthcare” is a misnomer in the USA; the for-profit industry is keeping sick people sick and the only motive that drives medicine is profit.
Since Borrelia is a bacterium, antibiotics are the main line of defense doctors use. But most abx for most bacterial conditions are prescribed for only 2-3 weeks. It’s not a long-term profit and therefore finding new abx is not a priority.
That is insane, to me.
In 1980 the US government decided to allow researchers to patent and profit from living organisms. For example, a scientist could discover the causative agent of an infection and then patent that organism so whenever vaccines are made, or new treatments are found.. that researcher could get their cut.
From that point on researchers and universities were no longer driven for the common good. They wanted their money.
That has to change.
#medicareforall #medicareforallEVERYWHERE #m4a #healthcare #medicalpatents #yeson1471 #wholewashington #lymedisease #borreliaetc #healthinsurance #forprofitmedicine #activism #marchforhealthcarejustice #capitalismkills #latestagecapitalism #2022election #universalhealthcare #peopleoverprofits #brandnewcongress #notmeus #Lyme #borreliosis #healthblog
Towards the end of April this year, my biological father, Douglas, died. One night he wasn’t feeling well, was dizzy and not making sense with his words, so his girlfriend called 911.. they brought him into hospital to rule out things like stroke.. only to find he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm and died on the operating table in the early hours of the morning. There is very little the doctors can do for you.
It’s been hard for me to process because I’ve been physically, mentally, and spiritually distant from him since he would not believe I am ill. He would take cheap shots at my mother; that was the only way he could express his pain from their separation. He drunk the rest of it away for most of his life.
But then there were times he’d play his guitar.. we’d both sing.. and all would be right with the world for about 3-4 minutes. I grew up listening to him play all kinds of music live, it was great.
But aside from music, we lost our connection. I would have to be the one to visit him, he never came out west save for once in 2002. I was 21 years old, getting married, and looking forward to starting a somewhat normal life.. he arrived right before the ceremony and left less than two hours later. Never even made an effort to spend any time with me.
But I wrote to him for years with no answers. I called him, sometimes from my hospital bed. My brother became so distressed at his lack of regard for me that he ended up moving out to the West Coast in 2008 so he could have me and our mother nearby.
Now the only time I find myself emotionally connecting is when music plays that I’ve heard him play. That will bring me back.. thank goodness for music.
A friend painted the following picture from one of my photographs.. so I added words of grief over it. Speaks perfectly to what I’ve been feeling since getting this news.
When I put up the first video, some questions started coming in.
But the one that surprised me the most?
When I finally picked my proverbial mouth up from the floor, I realized that there are people reading this site who have never seen a tick with their own eyes.
I promised to provide the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate safely. So… ladies, gentlemen, and non-conformist individuals, allow me to introduce to you to a tick.
Above is a stock image depicting a tick. Most are brown in color, or reddish-brown, and resemble a flat* raisin with eight jointed legs. The legs have hooks on the ends that they grab on and climb with. They are arachnids so they are cousins of spiders, scorpions, and mites.
*it looks flat until it’s having a meal. Some will also change color as they feed.. more on that later.
Let’s call him: Dick. It feels right, yanno? Dick The Tick.
Dick has a mate, Etta, who has quested for a decent-sized mammal because she is reaching the end of her life. When Dick sees Etta is taking in a large meal, he takes his spermatophore (a little sack of sperm) from his “genital pore” and puts it in Etta’s genital pore.
I kid you not, read this Slate article for more details. The author likened tick procreation from the female side to getting “interrupted at breakfast by the UPS guy, with a package of perishables.” 😂
The thing is: if you look at a more realistic image (or an actual picture), that “raisin” has 2 claws protecting what looks like a blade of a chainsaw in the middle of its mouth parts. That is called a hypostome.
When most people see this up close they squirm, cringe, and wonder how much the bite hurts. They are surprised, but relieved, to learn that they wouldn’t feel a thing with most pathogen-carrying ticks!
The tick species that most transmits BorreliaEtc, the Ixodes, has a lidocaine effect in its saliva. It opens the skin with its claws, then uses the hypostome like a straw to take a meal.
Many people who become sick with BorreliaEtc don’t remember ever feeling a tick bite.
Besides the lidocaine effect, ticks have anticoagulants in their saliva so the blood will keep flowing. They also have proteins they pass into our bloodstream that fool the immediate surrounding tissue into not reacting via immune system.
All of this together means that when we don’t feel the bite and our body is told not to fight the bite – the parasites the tick is carrying will enter our body without the slightest bit of pushback.
Ticks are so well-adapted to carry pathogens (they don’t get sick!) that we humans have studied them for biowarfare. Kris Newby’s book Bitten details the evidence in pictures, with both written and spoken testimony.
Let’s stay with the Ixodes (“ick so deez”) that are commonly called Deer Ticks. They are the type you will see and hear about most when Lyme disease is the main topic.
Here is the tick life cycle with some details, courtesy of the CDC:
Though I linked the image above to the CDC (that is where the image comes from) I urge you to question the claims the CDC makes.
Ultimately it comes down to money. We don’t survey every county in every state to have a real idea of tick distribution in the USA. We don’t study the infections enough. The authors of the *IDSA’s Lyme Diagnosis & Treatment Guidelines nearly all have conflicts of interest.
(IDSA = Infectious Diseases Society of America)
If you want to know what we have been fighting, please watch Under Our Skin. Especially from time stamp 42:32 to 44:30.
Those two minutes will explain our biggest complaint with the CDC: profits over people.
Back to ticks.
I found this map on a veterinarian’s website, color-coding what areas of the country we have to be careful of ticks in what time of year.
I’ll make it easier:
(Sorry, I didn’t label Alaska: May-Oct.)
It took not even a minute for me to put a palm to my face. This map is woefully behind current data at best, and misleading at worse. Climate change, deforestation, and overall human influence on nature has expanded the natural habitat of ticks. We’ve also found out that ticks can survive in colder weather than we previously thought.
EVERYWHERE on that map should be purple. All 50 states have pathogen-laden ticks in their borders year round. Snow fall actually insulates the ground; we are learning so much about the survival of ticks that changes the entire game.
I remember a time when the argument was: “Ticks can’t cross the Mississippi River! That’s an East Coast problem.”
Once a surgeon told me and my caregiver that she moved her family from the Midwest — where her babies came inside from playing and she found ticks all over their groin areas(!) — to the West Coast because she was told there are no ticks out here. (I hated bursting her bubble on that one.)
Birds can fly over rivers, giving ticks a first class ticket to visit other parts of the country. Deer/horses/moose/etc can swim. Ticks have all kinds of methods for conquering their environmental challenges.
Of the (approx) 90 types of ticks we have in this country, 9 of those species can transmit dangerous pathogens to humans. They are the:
We used to divide the USA into 4 areas: the West, the East, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast. However, ticks that were once only on the Gulf Coast are now found up the Atlantic Coast and in the Midwest. Now we have condensed the areas into 2: the West and East.
Let’s start with the West.
These are the 4 ticks to be on the lookout for in the West:
(The American Dog Tick is growing its territory and is coming into the West. It was first reported in Colorado, then it was all over the lowlands of the mountains.)
Then there is the East. I am focusing on the United States of America, where I live. If you are in Canada or Mexico (or Europe, or Russia, China, or the Caucasus..) look up your country’s statistics, but pay attention to your neighbors too. Ticks don’t respect borders, they follow their senses to CO2.
There are 7 types of ticks native to the Eastern US that will give humans infections.
And by the way.. there’s a new guy in town.
There is an East Asian Tick that showed up recently on American soil in New Jersey. It’s called the Asian Long-horned Tick. We aren’t sure how, but it’s very possible they were on a person or in luggage) and were brought to America unknowingly.
This is the first time we’ve caught an invasive tick species in the USA, but some researchers wonder whether this has happened before but we just didn’t have the knowledge nor technology?
Each of the ticks mentioned carry their own cocktails of infections. Most of them carry borrelia, relapsing fever, or types of both. Other possibilities are Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlicia, Anaplasma, Q fever, and others.
One last thing.. the longer a tick has been feeding on you or a pet, the bigger it will get. The color of the tick turns lighter brown to a gray.
The outside can be scary. Ticks and other vectors such as mosquitos and fleas pose a threat to our well-being. But I’m not trying to scare anyone into never leaving home – I love nature. If I was well enough I’d hike, travel forests, go to the beach, visit national parks.. I’d go everywhere I could. I’d just make sure I’m prepared for many outcomes.
In my own yard my parents and I keep our grass cut, we have wide trails for walking in our forested back yard, we keep natural pest repellant for our bodies and our animal’s bodies.
We have to be careful about using chemicals on our property (I’m highly sensitive) so we use products with essential oils rather than chemical repellents. We use Wondercide and it works well! If you are interested in trying it out, there is a 10% sale happening for the opening of summer! Please check out the website for more details.
(We are not affiliated with Wondercide in any way, it’s just a good tool!)
The best thing to do is a tick check when you come inside.
When you’re done with gardening, hiking, playing, walking in the woods, and all around enjoying the great outdoors, please follow these steps:
If you find an attached tick — do not panic.
With your tool (tweezers work), take a firm hold on the hypostome and pull steadily up. Don’t yank, don’t tug, just keep pulling steadily and the tick will let go.
Put the tick in a bag or container you can close, and clean the wound on the body.
Next you want to report this tick to a university or program that will help you identify it. Have a tick tracking app downloaded and ready on your phone.
After you’ve taken the picture and sent your report in, put the tick inside a Ziploc bag with a wet paper towel so you can send that tick into a lab. Label the bag with the date, time, and where it was attached on your body. For more detailed instructions, read this page.
Send in the tick to a lab to be tested.
Telephone: (413) 545-1057
Telephone: (970) 305-5587
Telephone: (866) 713-TICK
Telephone: (800) 832-3200
Then keep a sharp eye on yourself or your loved one. If you start to experience any symptoms like a cold, or if you feel any joint pain and lethargy, please call your doctor as soon as you can. Repeat the information about the tick that bit you (when, where it was, etc) for your doctor and show them the picture you took of the tick, or the report the lab created for you.
Have you ever heard about a stadium called “The Big House” in Michigan? It can fit 107,601 people at full capacity.
It would take filling more than 4 of these stadiums to reach the amount of USA Lyme disease cases diagnosed e.v.e.r.y year. (476,000)
That’s an average of diagnosing more than 1,300 cases every day.
Borreliosis has been growing at terrible rates in the USA alone. When I first joined the Lyme community in the 90’s we were talking about 30k a year, then that jumped to 300,000 after 2006, then by 2016 we had 476,000 cases yearly. The numbers will only continue to grow exponentially unless we can come up with a real vaccine or truly educate the masses.
Take a look at this YouTube someone took of Michigan Stadium doing a wave.
It takes about 30 seconds for that wave to go all the way around. Over a minute for two cycles.
Now think about 4 of these stadiums filled to the rafters, standing room only. That’s the average of how many people are diagnosed with BorreliaEtc in the USA every year, and actually, we haven’t had an update in the average number of cases in years.
Please be careful when you go out.
Johns Hopkins University has good tips on how to protect you and your family. Read about them here.
Day: Saturday, 21 May
Time: 3:00p – 4:00p Pacific Time
Where: the entrance to the Purdy Spit Bridge, on the green in front of the “Welcome to Purdy!”‘sign.
Special addition: we will have petitions for Initiative 1741, Whole Washington‘s effort to get our State Senate to talk about making WA the first state to adopt Single Payer Universal Healthcare. If you’d like to sign this petition please stop by the rally or contact us!
By Lorraine Hart
About two decades ago now, I was in a dangerous whirlpool of my daughter being so sick with Borrelia etc, while doctors insisted it couldn’t be Lyme, despite her symptoms, despite knowledge of the bites and bullseye rashes she had. Even with the small amount of knowledge we had then, we were leaving doctors in the dust. Their response was to close their eyes and write a prescription for any particular symptom she had mentioned. Frustration at the many spins we had taken with doctors who parroted, “But we don’t have Lyme out here,” frustration at not being heard when I tried to tell them of the horrendous days and nights we were having. Some days she writhed on the bed with so much pain, my husband and I had to stand on each side of the bed, making sure she didn’t throw herself off–and then the next day she couldn’t move one muscle in her body, only blink her eyes for yes or no answers to my questions. As a parent, you spin. As an intelligent human being, you spin. Infections from ticks were real, and right in front of me, and yet we were treated as idiots by many, many medical professionals.
One Saturday in May (National Lyme disease Awareness month) I found myself needing to DO something, rather than the talking we’d been doing for years. I grabbed a sign we had made that said, “Lyme Lives Here,” and told my husband and daughter that I was going down to a very busy intersection in Purdy, to protest. There’s a safe, grassy edging on the Northwest corner, where I could hold up my sign and wave to the many cars going through the lights, or turning onto the Key Peninsula. I stood there, danced there, waved there, yelled thank you to hundreds of drivers who honked or waved back as they passed, and thoroughly wore myself out in four hours of my solo Lyme protest. Finally exhausted, I threw my sign on the passenger seat and drove up the hill towards home.
I know I’m not Chicken Little, yelling that the sky is falling. Lyme disease is on the rise all across America, all across the world. I want my community to know about it, learn about ticks and their habitat of moist woods and grasslands, learn the early flu-like symptoms of Lyme, and learn how to keep themselves safer by pulling socks over pants, wearing light-coloured clothing, putting clothing in a hot dryer when you come in, and most importantly, to check one another for ticks that can be tiny in their Spring nymph stage, tiny as a poppyseed, or speck of dust. I wanted to do something to help people learn.
If we wait for others to organize, to make sure we are in a crowd before activism, well, we may never actually act! Who says you need a crowd? All we ever need is ourselves and our own convictions to help our communities. Oh yes, and a sign that could start a conversation. You can stand or sit in front of your own house, all by yourself, and you are a protest, speaking your truth and asking for a conversation. I can tell you from experience of that day, and the nearly twenty Mays since, that it is worth the sore back from standing, worth the sore shoulders and neck from waving to my community. Each year, drivers and passengers in the cars that go by, wave and honk back to let me know they hear me. Each year someone stops and asks for more information.
We can be our own protests, our own parades, our own seeking to reach and teach our communities, asking to be heard. My protest is about the lack of knowledge and care for patients of Borrelia etc. My protest is about the pain of watching my daughter be treated as “less-than” by the medical system. It hurts. My protest is about wanting to save other families from this journey. My daughter joins me now, and my son brings his sons. Sometimes other patients and their families have joined us, and our community now recognizes our stand. All you need is conviction, and the desire for a respectful conversation. Go. Do it. Your soul will be content to stand in loving truth.
This year’s Lyme Awareness Month started out with a bang! Niagara Falls and the Helmsley building both lit up green!
Ticks are found in all countries on all 7 continents (yes even Antarctica, on penguins and other birds who fly to and fro) in the world.
Further you can find “hot spots” in a lot of countries like Germany, the USA, Canada, the UK, Kenya, India, Norway, Romania, Russia, France, Greece, Serbia, Bosnia, Turkey, Ethiopia, Finland, Mozambique, and I’m sure many others I just don’t know about.
Please be careful when you travel, or when you go to and from work. Or when you play in your yard. 75% of Lyme cases in the USA are from tick bites in our own yards. (I’m in the minority of getting infected while out or on vacation.)
The CG and I will be at the Purdy Spit Bridge on 21 May at 3p for the Annual BorreliaEtc Rally!
TickSpotters reported that the first nymph ticks of the year were spotted and reported to them on the third week of April in New Jersey. They could be carrying diseases. Please be careful.
This is a collage of just a few places ticks can be found. Please use proper precaution, tuck your pants into your socks, wear arachnid repellent (ticks are not insects!), when you come inside, throw your clothes in the dryer and get into a shower where you look for ticks on your body. Water will wash unattached ones away. Have someone check the places you can’t see. (Your head, neck, back, etc.)
This time of year they’re so small they go undetected. Nymph ticks start out the size of a period at the end of a sentence. They’ll be size of a poppy seed in May and June. Most people don’t see the ticks.. but feel the effects for years and years. Stay on trails. Be aware. It’s far easier to treat acute infections than letting it fester for weeks, months, or even years.
#Lymediseaseawareness #lymedisease #BorreliaEtc #mayislymeawarenessmonth #blogpost #ticks #tickbornediseases