Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Did you watch Doc Martin this week ?

If you did watch this weeks episode of Doc Martin, you may recall him diagnosing a woman of having Lyme Disease from a tic bite. You are probably wandering where this is all leading too ! Well it's because Joanne, from Joanne's Cottage Garden has been campaigning to enlighten the general public about Lyme Disease, having contracted it herself and being very ill for many years before being properly diagnosed with it. So I was delighted for her that it was in the plot of this weeks episode, I only hope she managed to see it. For more info, visit Joanne's blog.

I had never heard of Lyme's before reading about it on Joanne's blog. I now think it's really important that the public are aware of the dangers of a tic bite, especially dog owners, ( and walkers) as walking the dog in the countryside and through fields is one of the common places to get a tic bite. If more people know about it and the symptoms there will be less people that will have to suffer as Joanne and thousands like her do because their doctor doesn't pick up on it. Doc Martin has a huge following so that is quite a few people going to be aware of it now.


Joanne said...

Many thanks for posting about this. I was able to watch the program through I player. It was great that they will have raised awareness of the posibility of getting Lyme Disease through a tick bite.
The bulls eye rash is the hall mark of Lyme and should be treated with antibiotics according to HPA and CDC.

Testing rarely becomes positive until about the six week stage by which time the window of opportunity to treat an early infection is missed and the infection has disseminated throughout the body getting into systems and organs that can make it difficult to treat.

However 40% of people do not get the tell tale bulls eye rash or it may present in different forms.

50% of people do not get positive blood tests.

HPA/CDC/IDSA only recommend a shortcourse of antibiotics following IDSA guidelines which are currently under review.

Alternative guidelines by ILADS say that tests are not reliable and some need longer courses of antibiotics.

However awareness is the key and care tucking trousers in socks wearing long sleeves and regular cheks for what may only be the poppy seed size of Nymph tick.

Avoiding long grass.

Removing a tick correctly with fine nosed tweezers at the point where mouth enters skin. DO NOT burn, put anything on tick or shock it in any way as it could regurgitate the infection into the skin.

Get informed and discuss with doctor do not be surprised if doctor does not know the best treatment that's why you need to be informed and then you can avoid possibly years of chronic ill health.

Maureen said...

JOANNE, I'm glad you got to see it. I got quite excited when he pushed up her sleeve and saw the bulls eye rash and I said Oh that's Lyme disease, before the Doc said it, see ! you have educated me already !!
Thanks for posting your comment as it's more info for all to read.
I should have added that not all tic's carry Lyme's, but hopefully anyone interested will read up more about it.

Prospero said...

Dog owners! That's me. I'll check this out.

Alison said...

Hi Maureen
I'm a Lymie friend of Joanne's living in Canada. We face the same problems with beaurocracy knowing better than patients here as you do in the UK.
Thank you for 'jumping on board' and spreading the word. I truly believe change will come about when there are so many informed people at the "grass roots" level that the "ivory towers" and their inhabitants will come crashing down!!


cherry said...

I think it is wonderful that people like the two of you are getting the message out there.. keep up the great work . hugs, Cherry

Maureen said...

Thank you PROSPERO, ALISON and CHERRY for reading and commenting. Honestly the more I learn about it the worse it seems. What a terrible time all you suffers go through before you get any real help. I wish all the suffers well and a speedy recovery.
PROSPERO, I am glad you are going to check it out, it's always good to have the right info.

Anna said...

Not a 'Doc Martin' viewer Maureen so I missed this. Delighted that Lyme Disease was given some much needed publicity during peak hour viewing.