Illustration by saworks
Early summer, 1986. I'm back in my small Chicago apartment on Addison, just east of Broadway, after my very enjoyable time in NYC, where I was also graciously welcomed by my friend Louie Dangelo and his parents. Oh Louie! How your Mother can cook!
I noticed an odd blister like growth on the back of my thigh surrounded by a red circle. Little did I know it was a classic Lyme bull's eye rash. I had an appointment to see my zombie gynecologist hoping she could figure it out. I think the muscles in her face were incapable of moving. She would have made a terrific nun in a Catholic school; severe, non communicative, with a judgmental sheen in her eye. I instantly felt guilty and I'm not even Catholic.
Me: "He, he, maybe I got it from a toilet seat? Maybe I should go to confession..."
Ms. Dr Gyny: "Mmmmm."
That was it . No tests. No looking at medical journals. No suggested ointments, not even a command for 40 Hail Mary's.
I went home and decided to put alcohol on it. It took quite a while but it finally dried up. I still have the scar. Well, it left many scars come to think of it. Most people who are bitten by a tick have no recollection of it, nor do they develop any type of rash.
The first noticeable outbreak in was in Lyme Connecticut:
NIH-A HISTORY OF LYME DISEASE
"In the early 1970s, a mysterious group of rheumatoid arthritis cases occurred among children in Lyme, Connecticut, and two neighboring towns. Puzzled, researchers looked at several possible causes, such as contact with germs (microbes) in water or air. Realizing that most of the children with arthritis lived and played near wooded areas, they then focused their attention on deer ticks.
Researchers knew that the children’s first symptoms typically started during the summer, the height of tick season. Several children reported having a skin rash just before developing arthritis, and many of them recalled being bitten by a tick where the rash appeared. By the mid-1970s, researchers began describing the signs and symptoms of this new disease, now termed Lyme disease, to help physicians diagnose patients."
Last Updated July 01, 2015
Little did I know what was coming just around the corner...Tune in next time folks for My time in Hell, where our heroine meets the Bastardly Bloody Bacteria for the first time!