Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Avast, Ye Scurvy Dogs...Or Why I Feel Like A Pirate

Forget Orlando Bloom. Forget Keira Knightly. Forget Johnny Depp (if you can). I now know more about the real pirate experience than I care to.

Let us back up. Three years ago I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Oh yeah, test came back positive on the first try. Swollen joints, flu symptoms, fatigue, everything but the bullseye. A month of antibiotics later, I guess I was cured.

This past summer was a tick nightmare here. A walk from the house to the car would result in a tick in my hair. Mowing the yard meant not only picking off a tick, but fighting off ground bees. It was just hideous. But nobody got past my screening system. Until I went to California.

After the plane trip of death, we had dinner, fell into bed and I got up the next morning to prepare for the workshop I was part of. In the shower, I found a tick. Dead, he was, but still hanging on to my hip.

"Ew! Ew, ew ew!!!" What was I to do? I was a very long way from home and wouldn't be back for three days. I decided to wait to see a doctor. I flushed the little bastard down the toilet.

Back at home, I went to the doctor.

"It won't show up immediately," they said. "But we can put you on a three day antibiotic regimen and that should head it off."

Sounded good to me. I did it. I was supposed to go back and get a blood test to be sure but I felt okay and I was BUSY!

Fast forward three months. I'm now a confirmed vegetarian instead of a part time one, I'm not feeling well at all and I'm thinking maybe I'm seriously anemic. I break down and get that long overdue blood test.

"You," the doctor informs me when she calls, "have Lyme. You've probably had it for six months. You've got seven out of ten indicators. Plus you're so low on vitamin D I'm going to put you on a prescription strength supplement."

"How'd I manage that?"

"You need dairy, meat and sunshine."

Check, check and check. None of the above in my life lately.

I looked it up. Guess what vitamin D deficiency results in? Rickets.

Bone softness, deformity, the kind of ailments the pirates suffered from after long months at sea.

So of course now that I know what's wrong, I feel worse than ever. I'm exhausted, cranky, stressed and a little worried about what six months of spirochetes in my system have done to me.

But it's kind of cool, too. I might have rickets. Argh!

One friend informed me that she thought I should have a peg leg. I'm going to try on an eye patch.

And just think - if I wanted to, I could probably develop scurvy next!

Move over, Capt Jack Sparrow. There's a new seadog in town. Avast!

Maybe I'll start being more faithful with those multivitamins.


ArtSparker said...

Vegetarianism is also easier for some than others, physioloogy wise - I've hear stories about loose teeth and so on, whereas some people thrive.

If you have a health food store nearby...try getting some dried nettles and steeping them over night in water that has been brought to a boil and left to cool with said nettles immersed. Woman Warrior food!

Susan said...

I will do precisely that. Nettles sounds like a fine pirate brew. Thank you!