Right, here’s my take on it. Every time you get bitten by a dog you don’t get rabies, so why should you get Lyme Disease just because you’ve been bitten by a tick? Common sense tells you that you don’t. OK, the tick bite that you get might be infected with some bacteria or other, but that could be lots of things other than Lyme Disease. I sat up late last night learning about Lyme Disease and the one conclusion that I came to is that I don’t, and didn’t, have it. There are lots of unfortunate people out there, millions of them worldwide, who suffer from the debilitating and life-changing effects of chronic Lyme Disease and I would be doing them a grave disservice and showing them no respect if I compared the puny effects of my tick bite to what they have to endure on a daily basis through no fault of their own.

Yup, I’m sure I got a tick bite just as many of them did and yes, it must have been infected, but after all the evidence and images of real Lyme Disease that I’ve now seen, I do not think that I am or was a victim of it. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. OK the game hasn’t been fully played out yet, but that’s the conclusion that I’ve been forced to come to after everything I now know and have seen and read. For the record, here are some shots of my ‘rash’ on the site of the bite, the first on 26 September, pre-treatment.

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The second on 27 September, also pre-treatment.

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The third on 28 September, also pre-treatment.

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The last one, taken this morning after 3 full days of treatment with Doxycycline.

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It seems clear to me that all of the first three show an infected tick bite but none of them show the really pronounced ‘bulls eye’ effect that accompanies Lyme Disease if, indeed, any rash at all shows after a bite by an infected tick. And I have to say that after reading about the appalling symptoms that most sufferers of Lyme Disease experience, either I’ve been fortunate to have been spared them practically in their entirety or, alternatively, I wasn’t afflicted by the disease in the first place. Coincidentally, Doxycycline is the preferred antibiotic of choice for the treatment of Lyme but as one of the tetracycline group, it’s also the preferred method of treating many other general infections.

So I won’t amend my earlier postings as they are a genuine reflection of my thoughts at the time, but I’m now going to stop referring to myself as having been infected by Lyme Disease. It over-dramatises what I think is possibly a common health-hazard of living in a rural area such as the one in which I live. What happened to me could just as easily have happened to a member of my family living in the UK who regularly exercise their dogs in the New Forest and for whom ticks are almost an occupational hazard, so it’s not just a local French problem. In fact my sympathies go out to the poor souls who could well number millions of all ages in enormous swathes of country across Canada and North America whose lives have been blighted by what could well be one of the most serious epidemics of modern times.

And one final thing before I put this subject to bed, for good hopefully. As I said to my doctor who, incidentally, I think has applied exactly the right treatment, if I’d been bitten by a tick, I’m sure I’d have noticed. OK, so they’re small, but I think I’d have noticed some kind of wound left after a dang insect had stuck half of its ruddy head in my leg. So I don’t think that I was bitten by a tick. I’ve been bitten by plenty of other insects, though, while I’ve been working outside on my new wood store and at other times, and I think that I was the victim of just a badly infected insect bite. End of story.