This morning I am going to talk about Lyme Disease, a disease spread by ticks. A friend is having symptoms that could mean Lyme Disease., and yet the doctors are delaying giving him the two blood tests to diagnose it. If he has it, they can give him a certain antibiotic and treat the problem. My friend lives in California. A few years ago, my brother lived in California and suddenly had an excessively hight temperature, was achy and very sick.. It was so bad, he went to the doctor. He was put on "normal" antibiotics. Then, things got worst. His eye and one side of his face were paralyzed. He was in Intensive Care for five days. Though the tests showed Lyme, the doctors didn't believe it and wouldn't treat him for it. They were well-intentioned, but couldn't imagine what was wrong. He went to Connecticut where they know Lyme and do treat it, and he was put on Doxicillin for 30 days. It took time to recover because it went untreated so long and was initially wrongly treated. The "light" antibiotic just made the disease stronger.
I share this because I am insisting my friend get the blood test and the doctors and hospitals seem to be delaying. Why? Why not do it immediately? Why not at least rule it out?
If you begin to notice things don't seem quite right, get the blood test for Lyme. If it is not that, fine, but if it is, you can begin treatment before it gets really bad. The East coast is so aware of this problem, and the West coast is not, and I don't understand why. It makes no sense to me that in these days of computers that all information is not a finger-click away.
Anyway, as we know it is good to wear long pants, light-colored, and socks and long-sleeved shirts when walking in tall grasses and the woods. Hiking and camping are fun, and one needs to be aware.
I am reading the book, The Stars, the Snow, the Fire, Twenty-Five Years in the Alaska Wildnerness, a memoir by John Haines. It is fascinating to go from watching people navigate city life to reading about a life where survival means trapping animals, catching fish, and raising food in a very short growing season. One may deal with a grizzly bear, a fox, lynx, or marten in a day. He speaks of sometimes having to literally ring the neck of an animal so as not to damage its fur. He wonders what that does to his soul, and yet, he needs a way to support his life of solitude in nature. Those who buy fur coats don't want a bullet hole through which to put their button.
I love these kinds of books and always marvel that the human being can not only survive but also revel in the sacredness of such a life. Of course, this is a memoir. He is looking back.
I take an excerpt from a part of the book where he is staking out his territory, making it work to support his livelihood, and fulfilling his bonds with the land.
"It is often true that the best things we do in some strange way take place within us long before we come to the ground itself. The physical domain of this country had its counterpart in me. The trails I made led outward into the hills and swamps, but they led inward also. And from the study of things underfoot, and from reading and thinking, came a kind of exploration, myself and the land. In time the two became one in my mind. With the gathering force of an essential thing realizing itself out of early ground, I faced in myself a passionate and tenacious longing - to put away thought forever, and all the trouble it brings, all but the nearest desire, direct and searching. To take the trail and not look back. Whether on foot, on showshoes, or by sled, into the summer hills and their late-freezing shadows - a high blaze, a runner track in the snow would show where I had gone. Let the rest of mankind find me if it could."
Well, this is not practical for most of us, but I think awareness of the merging of inner and outer is key. We are affected by straight lines rising into the sky, leaving only a little patch of natural light, light distorted by the patchwork of different architect's minds.
We need to leave the city and hike and we also need to utilize the science that can wisely heal us from the bite of a tick. Most of us live a life of unifying worlds. We go from freeway to trail and from out to in, and how to balance our inner needs with those of the outside world is quite the trick.
May your journeys be fruitful today and may you not need to ring the neck of anyone or anything in your midst.
Live adaptable and adapting, with joy on your lips.