Sunday, June 15, 2014



As many of you know, I have Lyme’s Disease. If you don’t know what that is, I don’t know what planet you are from, but I would like to go there! Lyme’s comes in several forms and it is possible to have all of them, I suppose. I have 2 types, myself, and antibodies for a third. We no longer have a Lyme’s specialist here, we barely have a hospital, and most people who can afford to travel generally leave the Shore to get help for any medical problems. I HATE traveling, so, when the local jerks that somehow managed to graduate with an MD behind their names forced our Lyme’s Dr to retire, (they don’t believe Lyme’s really exists) many of us were stuck with either no treatment or traveling 70-100 miles to find a specialist. The local docs will not prescribe the mega doses of doxycycline or other serious Lyme’s medications necessary to clear up a bad cycling of Lyme’s. I will not go into all the treatments out there or even bother you with what I went thru… just trust me, Lyme’s is something you do not want.

In case you are one of the few who do not know, Lyme’s is spread by a tick bite, tho I have read mosquitoes can carry it also. That is in great dispute, but, better be prepared just in case they are right, eh? The form of Lyme’s that bothers me the most at this time causes a great deal of pain, muscular pain mostly, tho some forms settle in the joints. Lyme’s is often misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia (have you seen the commercial where the woman insists it is a real disease? That’s because it is so often misdiagnosed!) or even MS. I need to remind you of a sad fact at this point… I know we all want to believe in our doctors, but just remember, someone had to graduate at the bottom of the class… and they get jobs somewhere… probably in dumb little back-water places like the shore where the hospital sucks, the pay is low (for a doctor) or they get sent to work off their loans. But that is not the point of this post. Just sayin’.

Many of us with Lyme’s have days when we can barely walk or do anything for ourselves. And if you know me, I do not accept not being able to take care of myself very gracefully. And, you know how I love my gardens!

So what does a poor fool like me do to prevent getting re-infected here in the heart of tick country where one can’t even go pick a tomato without getting a couple mosquito bites and a couple ticks crawling on them? Well, there is DEET, of course, and other things one can spray on them to repel the little suckers. But, I am sure you have heard that DEET is not good stuff to put on your body. There are numerous high pitched electronic things that supposedly send skeeters in the other direction, but  that does not deter ticks. Then, last year, I heard about clothing that actually repels insects… and I decided to give it a try.

One company that sells insect repellant clothing is EXOFFICIO. The clothing is permeated with permethrin:

“Permethrin kills ticks on contact with treated clothing. A method of reducing deer tick populations by treating rodent vectors involves stuffing biodegradable cardboard tubes with permethrin-treated cotton. Mice collect the cotton for lining their nests. Permethrin on the cotton instantly kills any immature ticks that are feeding on the DSC_0726mice. It is important to put the tubes where mice will find them, such as in dense, dark brush, or at the base of a log; mice are unlikely to gather cotton from an open lawn. Permethrin is used in tropical areas to prevent mosquito-borne disease such as dengue fever and malaria. Mosquito nets used to cover beds may be treated with a solution of permethrin. This increases the effectiveness of the bed net by killing parasitic insects before they are able to find gaps or holes in the net. Military personnel training in malaria-endemic areas may be instructed to treat their uniforms with permethrin, as well. An application should last several washes.”

My clothing is supposedly good for up to 70 washes. Please note: some people are allergic to it, so it is not a cure all! I, fortunately do not seem to be allergic to it, and have shared the product with several other people who swear by it. EXOFFICIO makes lots of treated clothing. I personally have a pair of khakis, several T-shirts, several bandanas, and a couple pair of socks. I just came in from cutting 2 acres of grass here, and not one bite! I got buzzed a little, but they all left, and not one tick on me! All their products are available on amazon.

If you have Lyme’s or are greatly bothered by mosquitoes where you live and hate being covered with spray, maybe this is a solution for you. I would suggest buying a bandana and trying it out to see if you are allergic to it. These products are not horribly expensive, but they are not cheap, either, so be sure it is something you can use. Also note – if you have pets, it may not be good for them, especially cats, to be around it, so don’t wash your “bugsaway” clothes with their bedding,  for example. And good luck!


Ginnie said...

VERY interesting. I have sent this on to my daughter in NY who has Lymes and I've never heard her mention anything like this. It will be interesting to get her thoughts on it and I'll pass it on to you.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Rant on because you are so right about medical treatment in our area, Possum. Thankfully, I am not affected with Lyme's, but am diligent when working in our own yard and wear long pants, socks and higher boots when weeding and lawn most times, but prefer to be be safe from any of those pesky and, as you posted, very dangerous to one's health ticks. Mosquitoes are my downfall and I seem to be. Magnet. I have heard of this tick repellent clothing and am glad it has provided some measure of safety for you, albeit at a cost. Wondering if you could buy the spray version to re-treat the clothing after the elapsed no. of washes and do you keep count?

Snowbrush said...

I'm so sorry. As you attest, it is a horrible, horrible thing to have, and makes me glad that I'm not in an area in which ticks are inescapable. Even in the woods, I've rarely gotten one.

troutbirder said...

I can't believe your area doctors done "believe" in Lyme disease. This is ridiculous. We have lots of dog ticks but few deer ticks so the cases of Lyme are increasing according to Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota. I try to take every precaution.