Monday, June 21, 2004

I don't like to play chicken little too often ("the sky is falling, the sky is falling" and all that crap), but every now and then, I gotta wonder...simple summertime cold? or did I really go and get myself some Lyme disease this time??

Two weeks ago, I got a cold. I felt like shit for a solid 7 days. Took a couple of days off of work, and the whole nine yards. I never take off sick days. Not counting hangover "sick" days, those were probably the first two I took in 4+ years on the job. Anyway, I was pretty much out of commission Sunday thru Sunday. Then Tuesday and Wednesday following, I did a couple of mountain bike rides, cuz I had a friend in town from Atlanta, and generally I was sick of being cooped up. Exerted (sp?) myself pretty good.

All goes well the rest of the week. Friday, I spend an hour or two taking photos at an abandoned farm in Loudoun County (VA). It's a really cool rundown place with a few buildings, a lot of land, a few pieces of old farm equipment, bigass rolls of hay in the field, and a life expectancy of maybe 2 months. There are already signs put up by developers touting "COMING SOON! Luxury townhomes and retail space!". Yay. just what I need. More high density housing and Starbucks swilling soccer moms clogging my roads. But anyway...I digress...Ahh yeah, that's progress.

Anyway, I'm out at this soon-to-be-leveled farm and the grass surrounding it is easily waist high (and I'm 6'6"). I'm trapsing through it knowing full well that I'm getting ticks all over me. No biggie. I'll pluck them off when I'm done. It's not like I'm gonna be out here all day.

Maybe two hours later I finish shooting and head back to the truck. At the truck, I proceed to pull 8-10 ticks off of me. Most were just wandering around looking for a place to have lunch, but I'm pretty sure two were mid-meal when I plucked them. One was all ultra small. Dunno if he was the dreaded Lyme carrying "deer tick" or just a little-ass run-of-the-mill-dog-tick. Again, no biggie...on with my life.

Jump to Sunday. Wake up feeling a little crappy, and procede to get more crappy as the day goes on. By the afternoon, I'm on the couch under a blanket, watching 6 hours of an American Chopper marathon on the Discovery Channel.

Monday (during my Lyme disease research phase) I learned the following...and I quote:

"The incidence of Lyme disease in Loudoun County is about 20 times greater than that of the Virginia average." Oh joy. The best part comes if you read the causes. Loudound takes the opportunity to use Lyme disease as a selling point as to the county's greatness:

* the preservation of our county’s beautiful rural nature and woodlands [editors note: bullshit. see rant above about townhouses and Starbucks]
* our increasing population, which allows more people to come in contact with ticks
* a well trained medical community that appropriately diagnoses early Lyme disease, and
* a well educated citizenry that knows to see their doctor if they have an unusual rash or had a deer tick attached to them for more than 36 hours.

Jump ahead to Tuesday, and I'm still feeling like crap. Stiff neck, nausious, headache, sinusy, my throat feels like it's trying to expand out of the skin surrounding it (I'm guessing swollen glands?). So I go through the trouble of actually picking a new doctor and making an appointment (I think my company medical coverage has changed three times since I last used a doctor). Just two short days from now and we'll see if I can add "lyme disease" to my list of "cool plagues I've survived". So far, it's just pnumonia and rabies on the list. And I didn't really even have rabies...I was just lucky enough to go through the treatment (shots!). But that's a story for another day.