Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 1016 – Lyme Disease Update

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas

Haven’t done a Lyme Disease update in a bit. I’ve been on antibiotics over the winter and other than the occasional nausea and vomiting, can’t complain, in fact, I can’t complain at all.

Photo Credit Mike Grauer Jr.

Photo Credit Mike Grauer Jr.

Even though I didn’t get out much this winter, I didn’t have the pain I usually have when the cold weather comes in. I also had no memory or “brain fog” issues.

But then the weather changed and I discovered a notorious side effect of being on Doxycycline.

You become allergic to the sun. Until recently I tried to describe it to people as getting a “bad sunburn”, but it’s more than that. When you expose your skin to the sun while on doxy, your skin hurts. It stings and burns and it hurts on a deep level.

I recently burned my face and lips (I knew I was in trouble when my lips started tingling and then I could feel them swelling), my lips turned bright red and peeled for the next week.

One of my sons who is also on doxy for Lyme got a very serious burn on both of his forearms and neck. It took an afternoon in the sun as he helped with yard chores. His symptoms were an itchy raised red rash with lots of swelling.

It took some cortisone cream, complete protection from the sun, and time to get it under control.

Both he and I are currently off of antibiotics until our doc visit next week. At that time, we’ll be prescribed medication that hopefully doesn’t have the sun side-effect.

I’ve been off of meds now for about 3 weeks, can I tell?

Yes. The mind stumbling is coming back (what’s that word that means…) and I notice that some tendonitis has returned.

The good news is that my symptoms are not as severe as they once were. Some people think that this is the way it goes. You treat Lyme, stop, wait until it shows itself again and then retreat.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Eventually, the hope is that each time the Lyme reappears, it is in smaller and smaller numbers until you can finally get complete control of it.

Who knows right? When we have docs in New Hampshire who are *still* refusing to prophylactically treat someone who has a tick embedded in their skin (for over a day) with a rash (but not a bull’s eye rash), it’s clear that many still don’t have a clue how Lyme Disease works and how it should be treated.

The advice my friend with the embedded tick was “we’ll treat you only if you show symptoms.”

Good luck with that. It looks like I started showing symptoms a few years after I was infected.

But when you have a 76% chance of being exposed to Lyme Disease when bitten by a tick in our neck of the woods and when you pull a crawling tick out of your *hair* this past weekend, you don’t take chances.

I’d rather take the meds (even if it meant I’d have to stay inside all summer to avoid the sun) and have my symptoms managed then trust the “medical community” that says there is no such thing as chronic Lyme, but which is then more than willing to treat you for rheumatoid arthritis, MS, ALS, and a long dictionary list of assorted autoimmune illnesses down the road.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at

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