This is my version of a public service announcement. As the title of this post reveals I'm sending out a message to all my fellow plein air painters, travel journalers/sketchers, and just plain anyone who's out enjoying nature.
Ticks! Eeeekkkk, their creepy crawly, annoying, and more than just plain Yucky with a capitol Y. They can be dangerous, and I wanted to remind all of my readers to take precaution when you plan to go out to paint or sketch!
Why the concern you ask? Well you see before I left on my cruise I was Plein air painting my first Oil (see "Norwood's Buttercup Fields" A Plein Air Study, 5" X 7" Oil on Canvas Panel.) And quite a few ticks hitched a ride and had lunch at the Gloria Callahan Diner AKA my legs! And I was not very aware of them until I showered late in the day. They were tiny, seed like specs! SIX of them Eeeeewww. But I removed them within 8 hours of their catching a ride.
Two days later, the morning we left on our trip, I found that two more tiny seed like in size had hitched a ride, undetected. They had been on me for 3 days!. It's recommend by the CDC to remove ticks before they have been attached for 36 hours. Well this was not good! But hey we booked a cruise and paid for it so I disinfected myself and took some antihistamine for the itching and planned to enjoy my trip.
The fourth day of our trip (8 days after being bitten) I developed the bullseye rash typically associated with Lyme's disease and was feeling tired. But no this couldn't be, we were almost to Jamaica, in the western Caribbean, I told myself, "It would wait till I got home. I had deserved this trip and I was just run down from my hectic schedule". I won't bore you with the details of how I progressed over the next week and a half. But suffice it to say I had all the symptoms of Lyme's, my Dr. said. So she began the two week treatment by antibiotics right away.
If you want to know the all the symptoms click here. But here is the important facts I learned:
1. The rash only develops in 70-80% of people who have it.
2. And the blood test only comes back positive regularly after 6-8+ weeks of it in your system.
False negative results can keep you from getting the treatment, so my Dr. thought it best to treat me and not wait. AND I was feeling badly, exhausted, very confused and disoriented . So please be careful. I finished my treatment this past weekend and I'm still tired a little achy but hoping it clears up soon. But overall way better than before the treatment.
YES, I will continue to go out to plein air paint, sketch and enjoy the outdoors. But I have a new bug spray WITH DEET in it.(see below). And I will use a scrubby when showering IMMEDIATELY after I get home!
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a specialist/professional in the health field so please investigate on your own, see your Dr. I have posted a few links here to help inform you and info I have learned from the reading I have done.
Obvious Tick tips: