Interlude: a tale of two infections

Infection number one: a tricky rash

I meant to return to Scotland in September, but… that rash in my groin – the one I thought was a sweat rash because I noticed it after a soggy bicycle ride – well… it didn’t go away.

It was easy to ignore my new rash, because it didn’t itch and it wasn’t sore, and I’m not the sort of person who spends a lot of time peering at my own groin! The rash wasn’t even circular, but was a weird rectangle in shape, and had quite a clear edge. In fact it looked like the kind of rash you might get if your skin was irritated under a piece of Elastoplast (Band Aid).

Two weeks after my return home to Manchester, with the rash no better, it suddenly occurred to me that it might be Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease is a nasty disease with serious, long-term consequences. It is caused by the Borrelia bacterium, and is carried by infected ticks. It is common in areas with an extensive deer population – places like Scotland.

Now, I knew with Lyme Disease you could develop a circular rash with a pale ring around the centre – a rash which typically looks like a bull’s eye on a dartboard.

Photo from Wikipedia, Photo Credit: James Gathany

My rash wasn’t circular and didn’t have a bulls eye. In fact, it looked very much like this…

… photo, that I found on a page about Lyme Disease.

And so, four weeks after the rash first appeared, the penny finally dropped. With a very heavy clang. I had Lyme Disease!

I knew there was no reliable blood test for Lymes and it is notoriously hard to get a definite diagnosis made. My heart sank. Would I have to undergo numerous blood tests, while doctors ummed and ahhed about the diagnosis? I was certain that I knew what it was, but could I convince anyone else? If left untreated, Lyme Disease can have very, very serious consequences, and I had already wasted some weeks since the infection first began.

I quickly did what everyone else does when faced with a health crisis. I consulted Google.

To my surprise, NICE had drawn up a serious of guidelines for Lyme Disease and an easy visual guide to making the diagnois: NICE guidelines, (NICE is the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, part of the NHS). And I discovered the rash alone is enough to make the diagnosis. What a relief. It was so easy to treat too. All I needed was a three week course of antibiotics.

The waiting time to see my new GP (someone I had never met) was two weeks. Two weeks!! Luckily, I am a retired doctor, and have plenty of medical contacts. It was easy to find a colleague willing to listen to my story and issue a private prescription for the antibiotics I needed.

Up until then, I had no symptoms apart from the rash, and I felt very well. Ironically, the antibiotics made me feel quite ill! Nausea was the main problem, which got worse as the three weeks of treatment progressed. The rash, on the other hand, gradually got better.

These particular antibiotics (doxycycline) could give you another type of rash if you exposed your skin to sunlight, and I’d had previous problems with sun-rashes while on a similar antibiotic. So I spent most of September 2019 sheltering inside, and I cancelled my next trip to Scotland.

Over a year has passed since then. In retrospect, I was lucky, as 1/3 of victims don’t develop a rash. I never saw the tick that bit me and, without the rash, I wouldn’t have had a clue I was infected. If untreated, Lyme Disease can cause serious medical conditions, many of which don’t manifest themselves for years after the infection, and chronic Lyme Disease can be tricky to diagnose and difficult to treat.

Amy Tan, the writer of the Joy Luck Club, wrote movingly about her experience of undiagnosed Lyme Disease, during which time she thought she was going mad. You can read an account of her experiences on her website: http://www.amytan.net/lyme-disease.html

You can also see examples of the rash of Lyme Disease on the NICE website: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng95/resources/lyme-disease-rash-images-pdf-4792273597

The NHS has a useful page which summarises the symptoms of Lyme Disease and what to do about ticks.


Infection number two: a global pandemic

In March 2020, Lyme Disease was behind me. I felt fit and healthy after a great walking holiday in the Canary Islands. With the weather forecast promising a few rain-free days in north-west Scotland, I decided it was time to resume my walking trek around the coast.

So, I booked a cottage through Airbnb, packed up my van, and was due to set off in the morning. The date was Monday, 16th March, 2020.

I knew Coronavirus had caused havoc in China and was now decimating the elderly population of northern Italy. But I thought I would be safe enough on my trip. Although I wasn’t going to sleep in my van – because the nights in March are too cold, and the campsites weren’t open – I was the lone guest in an isolated self-catering cottage. I was taking my own food, and knew the chance of meeting anyone at close quarters was remote.

The Airbnb host asked me to bring my own loo rolls, because the shops were empty. I discussed with him how we could keep everyone safe. He assured me he would give the place a thorough clean before and after my stay, and there were no other guests booked in for a couple of days on either side of my visit. I’d packed disinfectant wipes and alcohol spray.

That night, on the 16th March 2020, Boris Johnson held a press conference, and told us “to stop all unnecessary travel”. I phoned the Airbnb host and told him I thought I shouldn’t travel up to Scotland after all. Maybe in a few weeks… when the crisis blew over.

A few days later, the UK went into strict lockdown. The rest, my friends, is history.


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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47 Responses to Interlude: a tale of two infections

  1. babsandnancy says:

    Very glad to hear you got lucky with Lyme’s disease – a colleague of mine contracted it around the same time as you and it caused all kinds of problems including severe back pain resulting in him having most of a year off.

  2. Dear Ruth:
    I’m glad to hear you’re doing well and recovered from Lyme Disease – it’s an awful disease. I live in Nova Scotia and it’s a big problem here.
    I’m sorry your trip was scuppered due to Covid-19 but it looks like there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel. My friend and I are making plans to travel to Newfoundland in August to do the East Coast Trail there – about 200kms – so looking forward to getting out there!

    I hope you get to continue your walk soon as I look forward to your writing and photographs and it’s always a happy day when the subject line Ruth’s Coastal Walk pops up in my mailbox.
    Happy trails and all the best,
    Linda Jackson

    • Hi Linda and thank you for your kind comments 😊. Didn’t realise Lyme disease was such a problem in Nova Scotia. The East Coast Trail sounds wonderful, and I hope you manage to get there.

  3. Philip Simpson says:

    Ooh, did you manage to climb to the top of Mt Teide on your Canary Islands holiday?
    We did a week on Tenerife, and did several guided walks. We weren’t able to ascend Mt Teide,,as the Cable car wasn’t running due to the winds up there. But the scenary in the surrounding area was pretty spectacular!
    I wonder whether you booked your walks with a local company, or did you just do your own thing?
    So glad you got over the Lyme Disease though! I’ve done a lot of walking on the SW coast path, and haven’t succumbed to any insect bites as yet! Good luck with your walks this year.

    • Hi Philip, no didn’t get up Mount Teide, although it was sometimes in view on the horizon. I went with Solos, who specialise in a variety of holidays for single people. Been on several of their walking holidays, and even been to China with them. This time, I went to La Gomera, and enjoyed some fantastic walks through steep mountains and amazing forested landscapes. I met a great group of people and we still keep in contact.
      I don’t think there is much of a problem with Lyme Disease on the SWCP, as not many deer about if I remember correctly. But always best to keep an eye out for ticks anyway.

      • Pam Ley says:

        There could be problems with ticks, especially on the Exmoor sections of the SWCP. Warnings about them are given every year. That’s why we’ve always worn long trousers whatever the weather…So pleased you’re better, and so hope you can start walking around the coast again soon…..your update emails are the best ones to find in my inbox! Xx

  4. M J OTOKA says:

    Glad to hear that you have recovered from the Lyme disease Ruth. Hopefully, when the lockdown is lifted, it will be for good ! We’ve got quite a bit of walking to look forward to…. The Wash in May, the Northumberland coast in late May, Hampshire coast in June & September IOW in july & Suffolk/Norfolk in Oct.
    Enjoy your walks when the lockdown is lifted

  5. Eunice says:

    Sorry to hear about the Lyme disease Ruth but glad you got over it without too many problems. I missed your walks last year, here’s hoping you might be able to continue later this year 🙂

    • Hi Eunice. I was lucky because I never felt ill – not until I took the antibiotics anyway! I’m optimistic about getting up to Scotland later this year, but I’m not tempting fate by planning anything yet 😄

      • Eunice says:

        Neither am I Ruth. My booked Easter break last year was cancelled and my June and September trips, although not booked, were put on hold, so as much as I would like to get away this year I’m planning nothing until I definitely know I can go somewhere.

  6. Diane Iles says:

    So glad to hear you got the appropriate treatment Ruth, Have really missed reading your lovely blog so it’s great to connect again. Lyme disease has always worried me as we holiday in the highlands every year. I’ve had countless tick bites over the years, in spite of always being well covered. After one walk I removed 12 ticks, one of which was developing the bulls eye rash. I was told that because I removed it quickly I should be ok. I’ve not had symptoms since. I take a magnifying glass and check myself really well after every walk but of course there are so many places you can’t see and some ticks are so very tiny. Safe walking Ruth.

    • Hi Diane. How nice to hear from you. Ticks are a real nuisance, aren’t they. And unfortunately, the problem seems to be getting worse. I wonder if global warming plays a part, or if it’s simply because the deer population in Scotland is a rather out of control? All we can do is continue to be vigilant and check our skin. I have to confess I didn’t do this very rigorously while living in The Beast – but difficult with poor lighting and no mirrors!

  7. I have heard of Lyme disease but knew nothing about symptoms or effects, hence, have found your experience interesting and a useful bit of knowledge to store away, glad to hear you have recovered fully. Missed your walking updates, could have done with them this past year, hoping they will soon be able to resume for you and all the walkers out there.

    • As a doctor, I did know a little about Lyme disease, but I certainly know a lot more now! Think it’s important that we’re all aware of the danger.
      Yes, we’re all hoping restrictions will be lifted soon and we’ll be able to get out trekking again 🤞

  8. jcombe says:

    Yes it’s been a rubbish year, hasn’t it. I stupidly also managed to pick up Lyme disease on my last trip to Scotland in October last year. I am aware of it and never walk in shorts for this reason. It was on one of the walks in Knoydart. It was during the deer rut season so the deer were very active which can’t have helped. I was wearing trousers but when I stopped for lunch I saw tiny insects all over my arms and hands. I suspected, from your pictures they were probably ticks and kind of panicked going over in great detail to make sure I got all of them off. I wasn’t aware of any bites and I didn’t get any kind of rash. I didn’t find any others after that.

    A few days later I started feeling really tired and achy and sometimes getting a chill even when I was not cold, like when you are going down with something. A week or so later there was no improvement, so I suspected Lyme disease. Of course, as you found it is impossible to see a GP now. My own surgery told me that had no appointments for the next 6 (!) weeks and that was as far ahead as you can book and said either phone each morning to see if they have cancellations or to try some phone app called Livi. I was able to “see” a doctor via that app on a video call a week or so later and I explained my concerns. A blood test was booked and that confirmed my diagnosis. It’s interesting what you say about blood tests because my doctor said it showed it was likely Lyme disease but that I already had anti-bodies to it. Anyway I was giving a month-long course of anti-biotics which largely cleared it up. For a month or so afterwards I would have perhaps 1 or 2 days a week where I’d feel a bit of a chill or unusually tired but then it cleared up entirely, thankfully. I’ll make sure I stick to long sleeve tops next year and perhaps gloves as well when going “off piste”. I suspect I picked them up putting my hands or arms on rocks climbing up or down, though I don’t know for sure. I was so annoyed as this was after I read your account of when you found them on you so thought I was being extra careful. I never did get any kind of rash.

    As to travel plans gosh yes that is frustrating too. I was supposed to be going to Scotland a week later than you, but of course I couldn’t. As the flight I was booked on there and back still ran I was unable to get a refund. Travel insurance said because I had been offered a voucher the costs were “recoverable” so they would not pay out. So I was forced to accept a voucher, which expires in May. I doubt I will get to use it given the ban on overseas travel and the fact that domestically we won’t be able to stay overnight until May I think. So that voucher will go to waste and the money is lost. Not to mention all the other problems I had. I did, eventually get back the money for other trips I had booked to Scotland last year, but it was a real battle with Easyjet who refused to pay out even though they had “amended” my booking without my agreement to depart from a different airport on a different date. I tried to phone and email them but email was not answered until after the flight was due to depart (and all they said was to check their FAQ!) and the telephone never answered even when I waited over an hour. When I claimed a refund claimed I was not entitled to one because the flight still ran (well the one I booked did not) and so when I did a charge back through the credit card company they argued that too, but unsuccessfully as the credit card company agreed with me and even said “they are just trying it on”. It was a long and frustrating battle to try and get all the money I had spent back (and I still lost some on overseas trips I had already booked and paid for but not allowed to go on)

    I am not sure 2021 is going to be any better. I had booked a trip back in November last year for early May when the Government was promising “back to normal” by Easter. Of course I shouldn’t have believed them. All they do is lie and promise back to normal in 3-6 months time, but it never happens. At the moment I think it’s on dates when hotels in England are not open but hotels in Scotland should be. I asked the hotel if I will be permitted to stay but they told me they don’t know yet as they are still waiting for guidance! I have been trying to find alternative self-catering options (as even if I can go a mask-wearing socially distanced hotel is horrible, they don’t even clean your room anymore, even when staying for over a week) but I can’t find anything that doesn’t involve at least some financial loss if I am not permitted to travel, which seems very unfair.

    • tonyhunt2016 says:

      Your luck could hardly have been worse. With compensatory luck, your airline will do as P&O Ferries have done and extend the validity period of the vouchers, but if it’s EasyJet or Ryanair maybe not.. Flying may have been relatively expensive in the past, but airlines would not have behaved like those two I’ve mentioned, and it was certainly a lot more pleasurable back in the day.

    • Yes, I was sorry to hear you got Lyme disease too, Jon, and you suffered far more than I did. It’s annoying when we both took precautions. Like you, I’d been wearing long trousers, usually tucked into my socks, and long sleeves, and tons of insecticide – mainly to protect against midges, to be honest! Just shows how easy it is to pick up the little blighters.
      I’m appalled you didn’t instantly get your money back for those cancelled trips. I’ve still got “vouchers” from BA, for a trip I couldn’t go on, and also vouchers from a holiday company. I now realise I should have insisted on my money back immediately, but hopefully I’ll be able to use the vouchers in the future. I haven’t booked anything for this year yet, but unlike you have the advantage of being retired, so I can go away on the spur of the moment. Really hard for you to try to plan trips around work when everything is so uncertain. I just keep reminding myself that this can’t last for ever!

  9. tonyhunt2016 says:

    A shame that you missed your last gasp of freedom before lock-down. Given the circumstances you would, of course, have been quite safe against either receiving or transmitting a respiratory virus. The ‘measures’ have been full of infuriating illogicalities, especially when you realise that UK has had 40% more deaths per million than Sweden that has had no lockdowns and has not mandated masks…

    • Yes, Tony. I know I would have been quite safe. In fact, one of the slightly difficult things I’ve found about walking in Scotland is that I get quite lonely because I don’t meet anyone! I think the mountains are more crowded than the coast.
      At the moment, I’m just yearning to have a friend round for a meal or a drink. Just to sit with someone in the garden would be nice. Socially distanced walks in the cold and wet and mud… well, they aren’t much fun, are they?!

  10. Jayne says:

    Lucky break with the Lyme Disease, so glad you were able to get antibiotics quickly and have recovered fully.

    I knew someone, 20+ years ago, who was certain they had contracted it, but this was at a time when it was not a disease taken seriously. No medical assistance was forthcoming and although they ‘appeared’ to recover I am quite sure their immune system was permanently compromised; they certainly seemed to age very quickly afterwards.

    As for the other infection . . . as others have said you would have been remarkably unlucky to have come into contact with Covid last March, and the mental health benefits of having had those few days away cannot be overstated. Just crossing my fingers that I can get away soon.

    • Hi Jayne, I was lucky to get treatment so quickly and without any bother. Actually surprised – and pleased – to see NICE has produced guidelines on how to diagnose and treat Lymes. It’s been notorious for remaining undiagnosed, with symptoms that baffle doctors, and tests that are unreliable.
      I agree, my March trip would have been entirely safe, but I would have felt uncomfortable travelling around at a time when we had been asked to stay home, so I am glad I didn’t go.

  11. Peter Caton says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve had Lyme Disease. It’s a good thing you had the knowledge to spot it. It’s something that concerns me when walking and I try to cover up if walking through bracken etc, especially in areas where deer live. I don’t know if it is getting more common (maybe as deer populations grow) or if it is just noticed and reported more.

    Like most of us, my walking has been curtailed by Covid restrictions, although it has been good finding new local routes in Essex – but less so the number of people walking the footpaths who don’t know how to behave.

    I’ve also had my own medical issue – a heart attack while walking alone on Dartmoor in August. There was no phone signal and no one about and I’m very fortunate that I was able to slowly walk 1.5 miles off the moor, before being taken to Exeter hospital and having a stent fitted. It was completely unexpected as I didn’t have any of the main risk factors – other than genetic. I hadn’t realised at the time but both my parents, both grandfathers and my only male uncle have all had heart problems.

    Hoping to get back to walking decent distances again soon. And I’m looking into buying some sort of GPS emergency beacon or communication device that doesn’t reply on a phone signal. Do you carry anything like that?

    • Oh my word, Peter! So sorry to hear this and what a terrifying experience. How lucky you were to be able to walk off the moor and get help. Glad to hear you are making a good recovery and I am sure you will be back to full fitness soon.
      Yes, I have a Personal Locator Beacon for just that sort of emergency. I bought it a couple of years ago after being advised to buy it by other walkers for when I was in the wilds of Scotland. Basically, it’s a one-way communication device that sends an alert message via the satellite system (so no need for a phone signal). You need to register the device in advance with the search and rescue service, and supply them with up to 3 nominated contacts. If activated by you, the beacon sends the emergency signal to the coastguard service (I think). They check with your contacts to make sure you really are on Dartmoor (or wherever) and it’s not a false alarm, and then they launch a full-scale rescue. In the meantime, you just sit tight, wait, and hope the rescue service turns up! The batteries keep transmitting for about three days.
      I’ve since discovered you can also buy other devices that allow two way conversations via satellite, but they require a subscription. More info here: https://trekaddict.co.uk/blog/best-satellite-messengers-and-personal-locator-beacons/

  12. 829b says:

    I got the classic bullseye back in 1986 and fortunately, the doctor gave me dose of antibiotic which cleared it up. It really hurt which is what made me go to the doctor sooner rather than later. At the time, it was new in my community so the doctor was not sure what it was. Others in my community were not so lucky and really suffered.

    Are you able to go out for training walks? When do you think you will be back on the trail again?

    ray

    • Oh wow, Ray. So you’ve had Lyme disease too! That makes three of us on this page. Not as rare as people think. Glad you made a complete recovery.
      As for training walks, I’m afraid I’m really unfit at the moment. Manchester has had high rates of Covid, and the parks have been so crowded, with people running and cycling and going out in large groups- I’ve been too nervous to go out much. Now I have a place in Anglesey and it’s easier to walk around, but we haven’t been able to travel anywhere. So the same old walks get a bit boring.

  13. Paul Watts says:

    So pleased to hear you got through that nasty Lyme’s and hopefully there’s now a little light at the end of that long dark pandemic tunnel. We’re all waiting to hear of your on-going adventures 😜

    • Hi Paul. Good to hear from you. I have a week in 2020 to write up, although it seems like the dim and distant past now. (Time seems to have played tricks during lockdown, doesn’t it?) I’m sure when I get the map and the photos out, it will all come back to me!

  14. Hi Ruth. I was shocked to read your account and then relieved to find you had managed to get it sorted. You have my utmost sympathy and best wishes for your future exploits. The frustration of Lockdown seems to be getting to even my most hardened friends, and myself included.

  15. David says:

    Great to have your latest update, along with others we have missed your updates on your grand adventure. Its been a challenging year for all. However I did mange to do the Anglesey coastal walk in the Summer between lockdowns which was amazing. Taking a 18KG bag with tent wastnt the best idea though especially with two slipped discs. Many great experiences and a diverse coastal route with great beauty. Your posts inspired me to undertake this route, so thank you.

    Looking forward to doing some more and Im sure you are to.

  16. Hi David and congrats on completing the Anglesey Coast Path. Can’t imagine doing it with 18k on my back, and glad your poor old back managed to hold out. Although much of Anglesey is flat (compared to the rest of Wales!) there are some steep and tricky bits, especially the north side. Yes, looking forward to getting back to some serious walking again.

  17. 5000milewalk says:

    Hi Ruth, Wow, you’ve been through quite a scare there. So glad you got it sorted quickly though, it sounds quite scary, Lyme’s. It’s something I’d only heard of but had no experience of, so I’ll definitely keep a close lookout when I get up to Scotland. Thanks for all those links, that’ll help.

    The Covid saga just keeps on giving, doesn’t it! I have to admit to have been rather blasé about it, after I’d caught it back in March ’20. I assumed I was immune to it after that, but with the variants that are going about now perhaps I was more vulnerable than I thought. I’ve had the first jab now anyway (nasty side effects for 24hrs as I already had antibodies!😁), but whether things will really be back to normal come June, and we can all resume our treks, who knows.

    I really look forward to your blogs coming, so I do hope you’ll get plenty more walks in later this year.. good luck!

    • Hi Paul, I’ve had both my jabs now, and am feeling a lot less stressed than I was. Have been enjoying your blog. I think you’d be very unlucky to catch Covid twice, despite the variants, but I’m sure it’s sensible to have the vaccinations anyway. Just so fed up with the restrictions now, and hope the end really is in sight! Happy walking!

  18. Denise says:

    Ahh glad the Lymes is sorted and hopefully soon we will all be able to continue our adventures outdoors. I feel we have been fortunate in that we can go out to exercise, unlike some countries.

    • Yes, we are lucky to have been allowed out without much in the way of restrictions. I’m in a “bubble” with one of my daughters, and my youngest daughter lived with me for some months at the beginning of lockdown, so I have had their company and feel I shouldn’t complain. But I do miss meeting other people, and the loneliness and isolation of this winter has been difficult to bear.

  19. tonyurwin says:

    Something else to think about when I get that far. Glad you have made a full recovery Ruth and are raring to go again. Sunnier times ahead for us all.

  20. Hi Ruth, I’m a bit late to the party, but add me to the list of those pleased you were able to get early treatment for the Lyme disease which can be nasty as you know. I seem to attract ticks wherever I go, an expert now at removing them, but have always kept a close eye on the area. I was tested for Lyme disease, on my insistence, when I developed what turned out to be Polymyalgia Rheumatica – but that’s another story.
    I am looking forward to you striding out once more around Scotland. I just hope the second of the infections, Covid, doesn’t catch us out, unawares, with some unknown variant. I suspect it will.

    • Ooh, polymyalgia rheumatica is bad enough, poor you, but at least it gets better eventually. As for “striding out”, more like “inching slowly forwards” 😄 but thank you for that!

  21. Chris Elliott says:

    Hi Ruth – many thanks for all the info on Lyme’s Disease. it is something that has always terrified me. Back in November / December I had my own health scare when a blood test showed my liver was playing up. When the doctor booked me in for subsequent tests I asked her if she could double check it wasn’t previously unidentified Lyme’s Disease destroying my liver. She told me the tests were too expensive and she would eliminate everything else first! Fortunately it turned out to be something else entirely. I am always so careful too. Especially in places like that Loch Teacuis gap where I was wading through bog. When I got to the Forestry Commission gap I took all my boots and socks off and made certain I had no leaches of ticks. You can never be too careful. Take care and enjoy Anglesey!!!

    • Oh Chris, sorry to hear about your health scare and hope you are fully recovered. I know there is a lot of controversy about the Lyme Disease tests, because they’re not very reliable anyway (although my knowledge about this is based on horror stories from people with long-term Lymes, so might be a wee bit biased!). Anyway, yes, it’s important to be aware of ticks and I’ll be more scrupulous about checking my skin in future.

  22. Karen White says:

    Many years ago (1988) when I first became ill the hospital thought my symptoms could be due to Lyme’s Disease and treated me accordingly, with six weeks of tetracycline. My symptoms didn’t clear up and eventually I was diagnosed with lupus. I’ve often wondered if I had had Lyme’s but because it wasn’t diagnosed early (I’d had problems for months before being referred to hospital) it had triggered the lupus. Having dogs and living in the New Forest I have always been very wary of ticks and never walk in the forest with bare legs. The risk of Lyme’s is also one reason I can’t understand people letting their dogs sleep on the bed with them – all too easy for a stray tick to crawl from dog to human!
    Anyway, I’m glad your experience was no worse and you were treated quickly and effectively.

    • Living with Lupus must be hard, Karen. I have no idea whether it can triggered by Lymes, but it’s a good thought. I think you’re sensible about not sleeping with dogs, because my only other experience with ticks is as a child when I caught them occasionally from my pet dog! I lived in the Caribbean at the time, and there was no worry about Lyme Disease back then.

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