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Lyme Disease(11 posts)

Lyme Diseasefiltersweep
Jun 28, 2002 6:20 PM
Last weekend I had a small rash on my inner thigh where the bike shorts end. This rash grew over the week, spreading outward from the middle. It appeared that I had been bitten by "something," but I don't remember anything specific. I let this thing go all week, thinking I had an allergic reaction to something. At work I mentioned something to a coworker who "joked" that I probably have Lyme Disease.

At my wife's insistance I phoned the Urgent Care nurse after work. The nurse went back and forth with her decision whether I should come in, then suggested that I should.

When the doctor came in, he took one look at my leg and said, "Looks like you have Lyme disease." I asked him if he was kidding... he said he never kids around. At this point I'm on three weeks of antibiotics, am waiting definitive blood test results, and will have a follow-up appointment in a month.

I'm a bit baffled. I don't MTN bike, and most of my riding occurs in the city of Minneapolis... in fact biking is my ONLY outdoor activity. Granted I've seen deer, fox, racoons, and all sorts of vermin on my rides within city limits, but I just don't get it. I've never seen a tick on me. Of course it is entirely possible the results will come back negative, and I fully realize that Lyme is very treatable, but this shouldn't happen to a "city kid" like me. Yet another hazard of the road.
re: The problem with the Deer tick is it's REALLYJL
Jun 28, 2002 6:44 PM
small. Do you have a house? Do you work in the yard? Have you hung out at a park in the grass? Unfortunately, it's more mice that carry the tick than the deer. Working/playing on near brush/bushes/grass it's very easy to acquire deer ticks. A lot of times people don't get to SEE the rash because of the location or it doesn't show.
If you had a "bullseye" rash, you probably DO have it. A friend got it last year about this time. Similar location for the bite. He was able to ride, but it was difficult during the antibiotic stage. The good thing is you caught it and you're probably on/going on antibiotics to combat it. It took my sister-in-law's doctors 6 months to find out she had it, and now she battles rheumatoid arthritis and she's only 33.

Don't push too hard riding and you should be OK. My friend doesn't ride nearly as much as most of us here, so maybe you won't feel it as bad as he did. I don't mean to scare you, but it's a very serious problem across the country and should be taken seriously.

Hope you get over any symptoms quickly, so this doesn't affect your riding.

Jun 29, 2002 4:50 AM
It is too soon to tell, but from what I understand, when caught this early it is generally not considered something "serious"- I'm sorry to hear about your sister-in-law (and those are they situations that concern me).

I definitely have a bullseye rash.

The doctor acted like this was "routine"- and yesterday, after I was waiting in the exam room, a nurse walked in, said, "oh, you have your pants on already... the doctor said there was a textbook case of Lyme disease in here." The lab techs were asking if I'd been to northern Minnesota- and were baffled that I had this when I haven't been out of the city in months.

There is extensive material at the CDC website that implies that this isn't serious when caught early. I view it that I'm probably a week into this, and symptoms were identified by the rash, rather than some of the unfortunate people who have mystery symptoms of the joints, etc... when it is at its more advanced stages.

I am being treated, which is reassuring.

My biggest concern is that I most likely picked this up in an area frequented by a ton of other people... I doubt I'm the only one that has been exposed to this.
Sorry if I sounded "too serious".JL
Jun 29, 2002 9:34 AM
I'm glad you found it early. I know a few people that have found the rash early and got over it quickly. Even the dog next door had it this year (no kidding). I realize that like other illnesses early detection is key.
Like I said with mice populations, etc. on the rise the ticks can get other places that you wouldn't normally think about. I've been really paranoid about this because I live in one of the highest concentrations of Lyme in the country (SE Penn.). I do a tick check on the kids nightly as well as wife/myself. Just watch where you go and check yourself carefully. If you look at the link I gave below you'll find a link to graphic at the bottom. It's not much bigger than a period on a newspaper.

Happy riding.

Jun 29, 2002 11:57 AM
I don't have a yard, don't have a house... that is the absurdity of this. I live downtown, and can't even see grass... live in a highrise apt. as far from nature as it gets. I haven't left the city in months... except for a long trip to Norway (where they've never even heard of Lyme disease).

I do often ride through a prairie surrounded by industrial wasteland on a three-land MUT on my way to some decent roads... that is as much nature as I see.
Jun 29, 2002 1:58 PM
I'm in Minneapolis too. I guess I'm not too suprised to hear you got infected with Lyme in the cities. Heck, the virus can't tell where it is. I've had friends get infected in town (yours sounds like the most urban I've heard). But I think all the essential elements exist right here in our fair city to make it possible (or even likely) that urban infections occur.

At the end that trail you mention is a large group of coyotes whose territory runs the full lenght of Purgitory creek. It looks like down in the Minn River valley there's multiple Cougars who taken up residency. The hazards of living in a small big city.

My wife has been infected twice. The first time it went months without diagnosis and treatment and was a real problem. The 2nd was caught early (like yours) and was no more of an issue than a kids ear infection. Treat it for 10 days or so and no other lasting effects.

Get well soon.

took my mtb out for the first time in a whilerufus
Jun 28, 2002 7:19 PM
and when i got home, i found two ticks on me. one was just under the cuff of my glove at the base of my thumb, and the other one was on my shin. both burrowed in, the one on my shin for quite a while, as i had noticed it on my ride but thought it was a chunk of mud.

the next morning, i had my feet up on the arm of the couch and felt something crawling on my foot. it was another tick, i guess that had fallen from my shoes or socks the night before.

so far, no signs of a rash.
be careful.....cyclejim
Jun 28, 2002 8:11 PM
Just because you dont have a rash or the telltale bulls-eye doesnt mean you dont have Lyme. How did you remove the ticks? Its critical to remove them ASAP. The longer they are in the more chance you have of being infected if the tick has Lyme. You should always remove them following the proper method- preferably use a tick removal tool and grasp it as close to the skin as possible and pull up and straight out, removing the entire tick. Then place it in a zip lock bag and keep it moist. Then have it tested by your county health department ASAP. Dont mess around with Lyme.. its the pits....
be careful.....rufus
Jun 29, 2002 6:27 AM
poured some oil over the tick until he had backed his way out, then scooped him off onto a blow-in advertising card. after that however, i just fried him.
re: Here's a link to an article that ran my newspaperJL
Jun 29, 2002 4:42 AM
just this past Monday:

They had a chart which may be in the resources. It has some good information of what to watch out for.

Jun 30, 2002 6:58 PM
You will get over it.

I have a wife of my friend's who has had it for over ten years... She is housebound.

You have found it early enough. You will be ok, man.