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My Second Annual Warning

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Ben Vukicevich SRA

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Although this probably belongs in the Watercooler, I hope Wayne leaves it here so that it receives exposure to maximum amount of appraisers possible.

Caterina Platt reminded me in the "Turkey" post below that this is long overdue. Many of the old regulars on the forum know that I had Lyme Disease in the past (1989) and still suffer from its effects to this day, even after IV anti-biotics, 13 months on oral anti-biotics, etc.

As spring turns into summer and the weather warms, our tick friends move out to feed. If I told you that you could get a disease that you would never recover from while inspecting a property, would you inspect it? Probably not. But we have to. Please take precautions.

If I told you that if you get it and are not treated early enough, you will be in for a life of hell, would you listen? If I told you you will never be the same person you were before you got it, would you check yourself for ticks as soon as you get home? If I told you that if you not treated and you go undiagnosed for years, that you will never move from the couch or out of the bed, won't even have the energy to throw a ball to your kid and that you will pray to die (Lyme has a sense of humor-you rarely die from it-you're just sick forever), would you check yourself after you walk in high grass?

If you want to see what you're up against and have the time (I'd make the time, if I worked in an area with ticks), check this link:

http://www.angelfire.com/ct/lymejourney/

http://www.angelfire.com/ct/lymejourney/update.html

OK, so you don't really know what Lyme Disease is, the name doesn't really sound bad/threatening (Lyme Disease) and you don't care about it. But you do know what syphilis is? Now, after reading that, I'm sure that I have your attention once again. Lyme Disease and syphilis are two of the three forms of spirochete diseases. Do you want to walk around with an uncured form of syphilis with all its problems? I didn't think so. And yes, there are cases of sexually transmitted Lyme Disease and babies born with it.

Check for ticks. Watch for the bullseye rash at the bite site which is only one sign of Lyme Disease-I never had the bullseye rash. If you have pets, check for difficulty swallowing food and stiff front legs. Move fast with them as they die fast from it-on the plus side they are cured fast from it also. Humans, we get to grovel with "it"-sort of Purgatory/Hell here on earth.

My favorite is Lyme "fog." By the way, are there any other "Lymies" out there on the forum???

Ben
 

Douglas Mackay

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Montana
Wow...sorry to hear that you had lyme desease Ben. I live in Montana and am outdoors every chance I get. We have a ranch and I'm pulling ticks off of me all summer long. Hate those little buggers. I always get a tick shot. I wonder how effective they are...hmmmmmm

Doug
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Doug,

A suggestion on tick removal---don't try to apply pressure to the body of the tick. It's best to grip them up by/near the head or better yet make them back out on their own.

Squeezing the little buggers around the body and yanking them off just forces the Lyme bacteria into you, if they have it.

And you will know when you get it--it's like the eternal flu that will never go away. You keep hoping that you will be better tomorrow just like any other illness but you never are better.

Ben
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Ben,
I recall that one of the easiest ways to get ticks off without squishing them is to light a match, blow it out and then immediately put the hot matchhead onto their fat little bottoms. They let go and back out immediately (wouldn't you?!).
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Dee Dee,

Although all ticks can carry Lyme Disease, it's the extremely tiny deer tick that usually carries it. The adults are about the size of a pin head. I don't know if you will ever see their little bottoms!!!!!

Like I said, I never had the rash and I never saw the tick.

Guys/gals that hunt deer have to be especially careful when gutting them to avoid contact with Lyme infected deer blood. If you have a cut on your hands/arms and you get infected deer blood on them, you'll probably get it. Best to wear gloves if you're a hunter when gutting deer.

Ben
 

Austin

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Virginia
Things are changing in the environment like the weather and critters. The last few years around here we have had a new kind of tick. They are called deer ticks and they are about 1/50 the size of a normal tick. They are so small that you have to have good eyes to see them.
About 5 years ago a woman at church told me she had contracted Lyme disease. She had a big red spot on her leg that looked like a target and she was getting treatment. She described her symptoms and I had the same things happening to me. I ran to my doctor for a Lyme disease test. The doctor did the test for about $85 but told me I was wasting my time because he had checked with some disease control center and there were no confirmed cases of this disease south of Maryland, New Jersey. They have treated a lot of people for symptoms but no actual confirmation of the disease, so don’t panic.
Now if these doctors were regulated by the appraisal boards they would be in violation of USPAP for treating a disease without supporting the diagnosis with clinical evidence.
 

Austin

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Virginia
Just had lunch with the city public health doctor. He said there is a local epidemic of rabies in skunks. He told us to get our pets vaccinated and to keep the kids safe from wild animals. If it ain’t the blood sucking ticks, it is the stinking skunks. If these two pest don’t get you, the Democrats will, so why worry? Personally, I will take my chances with the ticks & skunks. What do these three species have in common?
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Austin,

Your doctor is an a**. Believe me, I went to many like him before I found a Lyme specialist and I wasted 3 years of valuable treatment time. I even went to the "hotshots" at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia and after doing every test (except Lyme, even after I begged him because I come into contact with ticks as an appraiser-he said no test because it was 80% inaccurate) they released me from care with the following statement: "We don't know what you have but you've had it for over one year and you're not dead yet so it can't be serious." Well, it was funny to him but it had taken all the strength that I had to move from the couch, to get into the car to have my wife drop me in front of the doctor's office, then help me in, so I didn't have the energy to punch him in the face.

After chasing doctors for 3 years, I finally sat myself down and gave-up. I figured, damn, if I feel this bad, I must really be sick, so I have to die soon. That would be a relief and a blessing. But you don't die from Lyme, usually, unless you have a bad heart to begin with and can't take the random racing heart beat. It just makes you miserable for your entire life.

So, three cheers for the one that treated the lady without waiting for the test/comfirmation. Wow, a pro-active doctor!! Kind of like a pro-active appraisal with 6 comps, instead of waiting for the underwriter to ask for more! Anyway, by the time the test comes back, Lyme has crossed the brain barrier and it's difficult to treat. It's not a disease that you want to wait for the symptoms to appear before beginning treatment. Squirting yourself with IV's twice a day is not fun-yep, you get to do it yourself. It also scares the hell out of the people in the homes you inspect when they see the IV hook-up on the top of your hand. You also get to carry a loaded, self injecting needle with you at all times while on the IV just in case you get the JH reaction (that's when so many Lyme spirochetes die from the IV that they release very high levels of poison/toxins into your blood) and you have to stick yourself with the needle so you can make it to the hospital for treatment. The spirochetes make you sick when they are alive in your bloodstream and they also try to take you out when they die. It's a great disease....

Quite frankly, if they give you anitbiotics for an simple ear infection, there should be no problem with dispensing them, if the doctor suspects Lyme Disease. The tests are notoriously inaccurate. I never tested positive for Lyme because I had it so long. The bullseye rash is the tell-tale sign but not all get it.

Lyme is in all 48 states. As you stated, the deer ticks have just appeared in your area so they are migrating everywhere. If you have deer ticks, you probably have Lyme around-it's a weird cycle consisting of deer, deer mouse and deer tick and the tick gets its ride on the deer and deer mouse. So if the deer tick is in your area, you have all three items there to complete the cycle and spread the disease.

It's just a disease that no one wants to own up to because it's so expensive to cure. My IV for 28 days in 1992 was $11,000 per month. Oral anti-biotics were $700 per month. I didn't have a prescription plan back then. If you get it and are not treated early be prepared to spend some serious dollars to be reasonably cured. I say that because once you are chronic, there's a 50% chance of cure on oral antibiotics and a 90% chance on the IV. So what do you think the insurance companies do??? They rely on the test and force the doctor to rely on the test. Why? Because it's so much cheaper (and better for their stockholders) to treat you for panic attacks, depression, whatever, anything but Lyme.

Don't think your safe in your area. But like I said in my past posts, you will know when you get it. Think of the worst you've ever had the flu where you are bed-ridden, that's basically Lyme, then add random joint pain, dizziness, difficulty swallowing, racing heart, chest pressure-let's just say it has a field day with your central nervous system, so anything is possible-short term memory loss, screaming headaches.

So you don't have to panic, if you don't want to but if you get it, and ignore it or depend on a doctor to save you by waiting for symptons to appear, your pillow will become your best friend, believe me...........

Ben
 

David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
<span style='color:darkblue'>Ben:

Thanks for your post. Because of it, I have decided to go ahead and call my vet in a minute and make an appointment this week for Goose, my African Gray parrot. He recently took his second annual "overnighter" vacation out in the neighborhood. When he got back, he had a hitchhiker. It was certainly the size of a deer tic and therefore probably was one (but I do not know if there are similar looking impostors around). I could not tell if it was a splinter of some sort at first due to its being covered by his feathers on his neck area. I became suspicious that it was in fact a tic about the time it disappeared (which was troubling, in an of itself, as that means a pregnant female was loose in here -- I do not yet know about the possibility of having a whole extended family of little ones running around). Your comments on pets was interesting. It has been a couple of weeks since his outing. I will post later about what the vet (an avian vet) has to say about the situation.

My suggestion is for appraisers to spray themselves with "Deet" (sp?) as well as checking for them after being out.

Without a doubt, if it turns out that he has the disease, assuming it is diagnosable in birds, and also assuming I can afford it and the treatments, I will be exploring the actual mechanism of its affects (partly out of curiosity) on a molecular level which as you indicate are certainly function of it excreted toxins (on one or another somantic system) -- which are often simply the bacteria's feces, but sometimes more in the form of specific excreted proteins for the purpose of manipulating its new environment. I have read several books in the last few couple of years on parasites of the world, but Lyme disease happened not to be one of the examples sited in great detail -- I am versed on spirochetes in general though as a biologist by college degree.

I know that Lyme has a long history of under-diagnosis and miss-diagnosis and is often the real cause of the "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome."

"So, three cheers for the one that treated the lady without
waiting for the test/comfirmation. Wow, a pro-active doctor!!
Kind of like a pro-active appraisal with 6 comps, instead of
waiting for the underwriter to ask for more! Anyway, by the
time the test comes back, Lyme has crossed the brain
barrier and it's difficult to treat."

A couple of comments:

One, did you see last nights edition of "60 Minutes"? Duke is located down the road (I am in Raleigh, Duke is 20 minutes away in Durham). I am looking forward to perhaps meeting that proactive doctor in the future. His approach to treating brain cancer is to be commended in my book. I like his style. This is like the issue that has been going on for decades regarding the issue of adequate treatment of chronic pain for patients (particularly terminal). Doctor's are traditionally inadequately instructed on pain and pain medicine and fear dependency -- which is basically nonexistent for drug levels that only prevent the pain, while not inducing major euphoria. This is a problem in US medicine which I believe actually shortens life expectancy (i.e., the inadequate treatment of chronic pain), while certainly protecting doctors from lawsuits. Legislation is needed.

We have idiots and crooks on our appraisal board in NC. And they do not like me very much (wonder why?). An obvious "solution" for me is to leave the state; however, I am only one mile from NC State University (who just hired the preeminent researcher in the country for animal cloning experimentation and success), and I am just a few more miles from Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill University, where much is happening in molecular medicine. So, this makes my decision to leave much more complicated. One of my decisions for dealing with our criminally incompetent board has been to "expand horizons" into medical research and particularly at the molecular level. I may go back for a higher degree and will only have to pay state rates at two of the three universities cited. I have been preparing for two or three years while scaling back on appraising as a career, but I will decide if and when to quit appraising, if possible, rather than allowing some of our state's criminals and morons to make the decision for me. Actually, I would much prefer for some of them to consider leaving the state, or better yet, to relocate to one or the other of our fine state prisons.

Second, you speak of crossing the brain barrier. The immediate question that I have is whether "this crossing" is considered to be only that of the toxins, or the bacteria itself? I have not taken time yet to go to the websites you cite, but I will. I would say this: The organism is literally many hundreds or many thousands of times too large to cross this barrier (many or most mega-molecules, just on their own, are simply too large to cross -- and the bacteria itself is composed of many thousands of these mega molecules. However, it certainly is within the realm of possibility that the bacteria has physically forced its way through by destroying tiny sections the membrane for entry (e.g., burrowed through). I will be interested in finding out abut this.

"Lyme is in all 48 states. As you stated, the deer ticks have
just appeared in your area so they are migrating everywhere."

Something that I hope to find out is what percentage of deer tics are infected. In other words, if bit, do you have a 10% chance or a 90% chance of being exposed?

Thanks for posting, Ben. I sympothise with you. I may decide to take a particular look at this disease in my work in the future. As you may be aware, other unfriendly spirochetes are the tuberculosis bacterium and the leprosy bacterium, if I am not mistaken.

Regards,

David C. Johnson, Raleigh
www.boardwatch.org</span>
 
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