Lyn is retired and lives in Huron County. He was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in early 2004.
Introduction – 1:55
My name is Lyn Jerome, and I live in Clinton, ON, in Huron County and I am a victim of Lyme disease. In 2003 I had gone for a walk in a bush area, and a tick decided to go for a ride with me, and four month later, or I should say 1 month later the tick was removed, and 4 month later I was in the hospital for 9 days, and I was a year being diagnosed with everything and anything, but anyways it was a year before I actually got to find out that it was Lyme Disease that I had, then I was almost a little over a year on medication. I fortunately caught it early enough where I didn’t have to through the years and years of it. Anyways I have and was off for 2 years and then I had to go back for another regime of medication. To this date I am pretty good. I do have some residual effects from it; Memory loss is defiantly one of them, and fatigue is another culprit. It was just a devastating thing for the whole family. The way I am and from being very active to mediocre active, is hard, it’s a hard pill to swallow.
Symptoms – 1:17
The symptoms I experienced with Lyme Disease, especially when I had to go to the hospital to find out because of the severe headaches and flu like symptoms, I ended up for 9 days in the hospital. I shook so bad that they almost had to lash the bed down and the next thing I would be in the sweats and back to the chills, and after we got all that settled down it just seemed to be one thing after another. It just always, headaches were always prominent for a long time and fatigue and that. A lot of times I say well I am going for a walk and I might get 100 ft. from home and that’d be it, I’d be done and I would have to go back home, so anyways it just took a long time to get things sorted out, even to this day, there are times I just don’t feel like going for a walk!
Diagnosis – 2:19
Going back to when I first recognized that something was unusual, I thought I had what I can a ‘skin tag’, and anyways I happen to mention to my doctor about it and he looked at it and thought it was a skin tag also and he told me that it was and it would probably fall off on its own. Within a week it was almost twice the size and changed colour drastically. I went in to have it removed and he hit it with alcohol and he said this not a skin tag, this is a tick. With the tick, they can test the tick and if the tick has signs of Lyme disease, then you can get on your antibiotics early enough and maybe you’ll still be able to go to work and just be on the antibiotics for awhile. The earlier you get diagnosed the easier it is to treat. I defiantly do feel like I am one of the lucky ones, because of being diagnosed so early, the earlier you get diagnosed the more likely you will come out of this unscathed, and be ale to lead a normal life, but the longer it is left, the less chances there are. There is people that I have seen in my visits to the doctors, and anyways was told that they had lyme disease and you would not believe the younger people, like in their 20’s, walking with a walker and just unbelievable, just can’t talk, its just unreal the things you see. But what it does, it does anything and everything, I guess that why they call it the ‘chameleon’ disease.
Treatment – 1:39
The treatment that I had, once I found a lyme literate doctor, was a good year of oral antibiotics and test, blood tests and all kinds of tests. My favorite saying was ‘stab, jabbed, and looked at.’ You get sick of it after a while. But anyways you know it has to be done, so you just go ahead and do it! I was a little over a year doing that and I was back to work and I had a relapse. They put me on pick-line, which is intravenous and unfortunately I couldn’t handle the heavy doses that it was giving me and I had to pull the line. I think that was enough to catch the end of it, the rest of it, hopefully. To this day they say I have been fairly good, because of the length of time. I have residual effects from it. I was off work for over 2 years and then I had my second relapse, I had to go into retirement because I was at age 65 and to this day I am still retired. (Laughing)
Prevention – 0:57
If you want to go for a walk or hike, stick to the paths, but if you decide you want to wander off into the deep grass make sure you wear light coloured clothing, long pants, tuck you pant legs into your socks. Good idea would be to spray yourself with insect repellent, especially with deet in it. Go for your walk and enjoy your outing, but when you come back, check yourself over, and the areas you can’t see, have somebody check them for you, to make sure you have no ticks. It would be a good idea to spray yourself down again with the insect repellent, just to be on the safe side!