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We live in an area where ticks are very prevalent. When the weather gets warm, it’s time to start daily body checks when the kids come in from playing. Ticks can be seen in all sorts of yards, so don’t be fooled if you live in a neighborhood with small lots and constantly mowed lawns. We have actually seen more ticks in the postage sized backyard at our rental than we have at our 6.5 acre property.
Symptoms from tick bites can vary greatly and even resemble other illnesses so it’s important to request a test from your doctor if you suspect Lyme. Below I will share our experience with positive Lyme diagnosis in two of our boys. They were each masked by completely different symptoms; read on for details:
For months, our oldest son, Ethan, had complained of leg pains that came and went. We thought they were nothing more than growing pains and even shared this with our doctor at his 8yr well visit. The doctor agreed with growing pains since he didn’t have any other symptoms or irritations.
That went on for months from probably March through October, 2015. He made it through Fall baseball season and even walked the entire neighborhood trick or treating on Halloween. The next morning, November 1, 2015, he called me to his room because his legs hurt so bad. He stood up and I immediately called for James to come look at his knee. It had swelled up twice the size of his other knee and James took him straight to Urgent Care where they sent him to the ER.
I stayed home with the other kids anxiously awaiting a call and James called about an hour later saying Ethan was being prepped for surgery to drain the fluid from his kneecap and the diagnosis was Lyme Arthritis.
An excruciating dose of doxycycline, lots of IV fluids and 2 days in the hospital and he was home on crutches. A followup with a Lyme specialist determined that he was all clear.
The doxycycline caused stomach pain and we were very grateful to learn that a drop of peppermint essential oil in a glass of water helped to settle that discomfort.
As a huge coincidence, our youngest son, Logan was the same exact age (8yrs, 4mo) when he received a positive Lyme diagnosis. Logan’s symptoms were completely different though and Lyme was not at the top of our concern list.
Severe stomach pain and diarrhea were concerning after 3-4 days. The dr thought it was just a stomach virus but tested for Covid as a precaution. We cancelled our 4th of July and birthday celebration plans for that weekend just in case. But at midnight on the 4th of July, I was woken up to a very itchy child covered in a head to toe rash breakout. I immediately got him in the car and headed to the ER where they took many, many tests and ended up sending us home after bloodwork came back normal. Some lab results would take a few days but nothing they could do about that in the middle of the night. So we headed home at 4am.
Meanwhile, we finally got a negative Covid result 6 days later and the rash has completely faded. He no longer had any symptoms. It wasn’t until that Thursday, 10 days after symptoms started, when a co-worker mentioned that a certain tick bite can cause an allergic reaction to red meat that I thought of Lyme. Right after I got that text from James, I called the dr office to request a Lyme test and got an appointment for that afternoon. The results came back positive and we got him started on antibiotics.
Recap Of Symptoms We Experienced:
- Leg Pain
- Swollen Joints (knee)
- Severe Stomach Pain
- Head to toe rash
Neither case showed the “classic” bullseye rash and we never noticed a tick on either child. For additional symptoms and more information on Lyme Disease, see lymediseaseassociation.org
I hope you have found the information about our personal experiences with Lyme and tick bites helpful. Feel free to PIN the below image to share or save for later.