This time of year I should be deadheading the late spring bulbs, cutting back tulip stems, weeding, harvesting lettuce, mowing the lawn, etc. Instead I find myself crouched in fetal position vacillating between cold shakes and hot sweats. I have wet the bed (with my sweat). Everything is sore. I’ve got fever to burn at 105 degrees. I’m as limp as over-boiled pasta. I want to die. I’ve got ehrlichiosisis. From a stupid tick.
Only now though the miracle of antibiotics and the loving care of my family do I start to feel human again. It turns out ticks don’t just transmit Lyme’s disease, named after a nearby Connecticut community, but also lots of other nasty things. But that doesn’t really matter to me as I lie unable to move my head without being in a huge amount of pain. What does matter is how can I prevent this from happening again?
I know that you should always remove all your clothing and take a shower after you spend anytime in the garden. And I always do that. . .most of the time. You should look for any little creatures hanging on to you. I do that though it is a difficult thing in the steam of a hot shower without my glasses. You should spray tick repellant like DEET at least on your shoes, pants, anything that comes into potential contact with a tick. But I haven’t gotten anything in the past decade and I really hate to spray pesticides around. OK, I have pulled some ticks off and I have gotten some preventative treatments of Doxycycline in the past. And I know you are not supposed to walk through fields of grass and try to stay away from brush. The problem with that this year, however, is that we are building new gardens at Ann’s Place and some unwanted rye has sprouted in the back that needs to be plowed under. Doesn’t sound too convincing, does it?
Well maybe I have learned my lesson and for the next three weeks because of the sun-sensitivity side effect of Doxycycline I will be walking around fully clothed with a wide-brimmed hat looking like some Miami Beach retirement wannabe. And perhaps I need to take showers more often and buy myself some DEET.