Most outdoorsmen have heard of Lyme Disease, and some of them might even understand the life cycle of the deer tick involved in spreading this much misunderstood ailment.
Back in the early 1990’s, my hunting pal Jim returned home from the deer hunt with a large ‘bull’s eye’ like red welt on his forearm. Luckily for Jim, the Doctor knew right away he had been bitten by an infected female deer tick.
Jim was treated right away and suffered no ill-effects from his brush with the dreaded Lyme Disease.
I also have another friend, her name is Kelly, and I’ve worked with her for 15 years. Kelly, her husband and their two kids love the outdoors and camping is an activity they all share. About 2 years ago, Kelly and her family made the mistake of spending time at a campground on Big Rideau Lake. Evidently, there were signs indicating the presence of deer ticks, but they never noticed them.
Poor Kelly returned home from that trip with more than just memories, and unlike my pal Jim, there was no telltale bull’s eye rash to indicate anything was wrong.
Somehow she was bitten by an effected, blood engorged deer tick and contracted Lyme disease without even knowing it. Over the next few months strange things began happening to her – memories loss, lack of energy, general confusion.
The local Doctors were baffled. At one point, they felt very strongly that she had developed MS, but it was Lyme Disease all the time and it had been left untreated for nearly a year before they could finally pinpoint a diagnosis.
Kelly is a beautiful person inside and out and one of the nicest girls I ever met, and in no way deserves the horrors that go along with this terrible disease. She has been on disability from her government job for more than a year now, with regular visits to the United States and 10’s of thousands of dollars spent on meds to help control the disease.
It is felt that eventually she will be rid of this terrible condition but what will it take? With two young children at home and her husband struggling to keep up with the exorbitant costs of meds not currently covered by OHIP.
Please, I urge you all to sign the Petition for Lyme Disease, for people like Kelly, and for the 20-30 others who will contract Lyme Disease in Ontario this year.
Get well soon, Kel..we all miss you and are praying for your full recovery…
A Petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
WHEREAS, the tick-borne illness known as Chronic Lyme Disease, which mimics many catastrophic illnesses, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, arthritic diabetes, depression, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia is increasingly endemic in Canada, but scientifically validated diagnostic tests and treatment choices are currently not available in Ontario, forcing patients to seek these in the U.S.A. and Europe; and
WHEREAS, the Canadian Medical Association informed the public, governments, and the medical profession in the May 30, 2000 edition of their professional journal that Lyme Disease is endemic throughout Canada, particularly in Southern Ontario; and
WHEREAS, the Ontario Public Health system and the Ontario Health Insurance Plan currently do not fund those specific tests that accurately serve the process for establishing a clinical diagnosis, but only recognize testing procedures known in the medical literature to provide false negatives 45 to 95% of the time;
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to request the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to direct the Ontario Public Health system and OHIP to include all currently available and scientifically verified tests for Acute and Chronic Lyme Disease in Ontario, and to have everything necessary to create public awareness of Lyme Disease in Ontario, and to have internationally developed diagnostic and successful treatment protocols available to patients and physicians.