A Not so Harmless Little Tick

I’m dead on my feet at the moment, so this post will probably be brief: a few weeks back I was no doubt boring readers with my recent health problems: mega dental treatment during February and March followed by a mega chest infection shortly thereafter (if interested you can find my post about it all here). I was prescribed five different medications for the chest infection and “dangerously high blood pressure”, two of which I’ve still got to take for a number of months. I should perhaps add at this point that the last time I had any contact with doctors and meds was 13 years ago, and that was related to a bad work injury which was not connected to my general health. Anyhows, cut a long story short, it took a few weeks before the meds got me on the mend from the chest infection; but then this last week I’ve been feeling really ill again. This was due to an uninvited guest on the lower part of my left leg: a small, blood sucking tic (I’ve been doing a lot of gardening recently, as you do at this time of year). As the tic got bigger I was going to pull the damn thing off myself, but then thought about my blood pressure problems, so I went to see my lady doctor this afternoon (as an aside she’s a Portuguese national who’s fluent in French, English, Italian and Spanish). My multi-lingual lady doctor was most impressed when I rolled-up my trouser leg and showed her the uninvited guest. It didn’t hurt when she removed the uninvited guest with a pair of tweezers. It did hurt when she went in for a second go to see if anything was left inside my sore and swollen skin.

My lady doctor put the uninvited guest on a piece of gauze, and we both laughed to see the guest still wriggling around. I didn’t laugh when the doctor told me that from this particular kind of tic I had a serious risk of contracting Lyme disease. This disease is apparently quite common in France, and of course particularly in rural areas. After just finishing a course of anti-biotics for the mega chest infection, for which I’m still taking other medication, I now find myself having to take a three week course of anti-biotics to combat Lyme disease. The Lyme disease anti-biotics are ‘solar sensitive’, meaning that I can’t be in sunlight while I’m taking them. My nice lady doctor told me that if I’m out in the sun I will need to wear a wide brimmed hat and gloves on my hands, a la Dracula. The good thing about this afternoon’s visit to le Docteur is that she tested my blood pressure, and it’s no longer at insane levels.

What I like about all this, of course, is that the mega chest infection, and to a lesser extent the dental stuff, are down to lifestyle choices (I have now almost managed to give up smoking). That tic which attached itself to my lower leg was due to the perfectly normal and healthy activity of gardening, albeit in the nature wonderland of rural south west France. Talking of which, a few weeks back, while sitting down to dinner, with all the doors open during the hot weather, we suddenly noticed a snake curled up under the tv stand in the kitchen. It was a big bastard, five or six feet long. I managed to gently guide it back to its natural environment. It wasn’t a poisonous snake, although there are plenty of those in these parts, mostly vipers and adders (we’ve had one of those in the house as well). All the chemists around here sell emergency anti-venom packs for those unlucky enough to get bitten by one of the little buggers. Our recent snake was not a nasty one, and it’s usually easy to tell the difference. Non-venomous snakes have round eyes. Venomous snakes have slit eyes. Our half-stray cat Herricka has also been under the weather recently, because she’d been bitten by a venomous snake. You could see the fang marks and fur taken out on her flank (there are a lot of snakes in these parts at this time of the year). Stray cats are incredibly tough, though (which is why they survive) and Herricka is now on the mend.

I’m rambling here, which is probably due to all the medications I’m now on. I think where I’m trying to go with this post is that I’m equating my recent medical problems to what’s going on in the wider political world. Make of that what you will. I’m going to bed.

Bonne santé

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14 Responses to A Not so Harmless Little Tick

  1. freddy says:

    what an excellent post Rob.
    Plenty of snakes round here but only little ones.

    We are being threatened with economic warfare, in the U.K.
    some retards are trying to keep us in the hated E.U. clutches.
    We shall see.
    If the will of the U.K. people is thwarted, we might as well give up on democracy.

  2. freddy says:

    Airbus said on Friday it was preparing to end its UK investment plans as it started to “press the button on crisis actions” because of a lack of details on post-Brexit trading arrangements of a no deal scenario. he EU diplomat believes the uncertainty is behind France’s reluctance to accept the UK’s offers and ideas in order to cut the country’s creative freedom at the negotiating table.

    They said: “Do you know the country blocking the most compromises? France, they are the toughest on the UK.

    “They block most of the offers brought to the table by the UK, they allow no compromises.”

    FRANCE was behind EU attempts to block British access to the crucial bloc-wide DNA database which helped authorities identify the terrorists responsible for the Paris terror attacks in November 2015.

    We will not forget.

  3. JOML says:

    Ticks are horrible little bastards! There’s been a huge increase in Lyme disease up here in the Highlands and Islands – the Uists in particular. The red deer population has exploded over the past 20 years, spreading ticks far and wide. In addition, the sheep here are no longer ‘dipped’ and the injections they now get allows the ticks to survive. The UK is currently free from tick borne encephalitis and I hope it remains this way.
    No shorts in the hills, that’s for sure!
    Hope you escape the Lyme disease, Rob. Slainté

    • Rob Godfrey Rob Godfrey says:

      John, I’m surprised to hear about the ticks/Lyme disease in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. One would presume that since they no longer do sheep dips, and instead inject the sheep with God knows what, these chemicals end-up in the meat we eat?

      I’m always very careful when doing outdoor work here in south west France. No matter how hot it gets I always wear sturdy boots and thick jeans (not just for the tics, but mostly for the snakes). Despite such precautions a tic still managed to get through and laid me low.

      The three week course of anti-biotics I’m now on to combat Lymes disease makes the anti-biotics I was given for my chest infection look like a walk in the park. Phew, this is powerful stuff!

      And all from a comparatively tiny little tic.

  4. freddy says:

    Four of us been out walking on the West Berkshire Downs, in shorts, today, we got nipped by horse flies, no ticks.
    Is Macron attempting to be the new dictator of Europe?

    French President Emmanuel Macron came out Saturday in support of financial sanctions against EU countries which refuse to accept migrants.

    “We can not have countries that benefit hugely from EU solidarity and claim national self-interest when it comes to the issue of migrants”

    • Rob Godfrey Rob Godfrey says:

      Freddy, as far as I’m aware Lyme disease ticks aren’t a big problem in England. I remember in my childhood (40 years or more ago) we regularly used to get grass ticks. We just used to pull them off and carry on as normal. No need for a three week dose of very strong anti-biotics… where was I..? Oh yes. see John’s post here about the present situation in the highlands and islands of Scotland, which I found quite surprising.

      I will get onto the present situation in France, all this medical crap allowing me to think straight again.

  5. freddy says:

    “If for the arrogant President Macron this is not a problem, we invite him to stop insulting and to show instead some concrete generosity by opening up France’s many ports and letting children, men and women through at Ventimiglia,” Salvini stated, referencing the Italian town on the French border.

    Why would Macron imagine he can tell the rest of Europe
    how to act?
    Is he a god
    or does he imagine he is dictator of Europe?

  6. freddy says:

    Some 20 students from a university in Alicante, Spain, were relocated from their residence last week to house migrants from the Aquarius rescue ship. One of the students spoke to Euronews about the unexpected move.

    “They told us 12 hours in advance,” said student Paula Sanchis. “They met us at seven in the afternoon and said that those of us who had finished (exams) should return to our family homes, and those who had not, should look for a place to stay.”

    The La Florida youth hostel is public property and part of a group of buildings that can be used in emergency situations. The arrival of the migrants on board the Aquarius and the two Italian ships, which transported over 600 migrants rescued in Mediterranean waters, constituted one of these cases.

    Paula explained that the problem with the move was the students did not want to leave because they had a contract to stay until the end of June, which is when many students finish exams.

    “They first told us that we should leave if we had finished, and later, they told us to leave in any case because (the Aquarius migrants) were going to arrive with contagious diseases,” she said.
    “If we wanted to collect some of our things we (had to go) with long sleeves, long trousers, or winter clothes,” she added.

    It seems that certain “charities” are fishing for migrants to bring to Europe.
    What legal basis are they working on?

  7. freddy says:

    Massive eXplosion in Wuppertal
    Later Sunday, authorities brought in heavy equipment to tear down the remains of the ruin. They said it was too dangerous for investigators to search for evidence that might reveal the explosion’s cause because the destroyed building could collapse at any time.

    Now strike me down with a feather of disbelief, this is LaLaLand talk.
    Trying to pretend it is not Islamic Terror, just because Mrs.Merkle is on the ropes with immigration
    is nonsense.
    Have some back bone you Germans.

  8. freddy says:

    In July, 2014, three Germans of Palestinian descent tried to burn down the Wuppertal synagogue with molotov cocktails. A year later, a court found them guilty of attempted arson, but decided the crime was not motivated by anti-Semitism, and sentenced the men to 200 hours of community service.[7] The court said the three men wanted to draw “attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel. In January, 2017, a regional appeals court upheld the decision, calling the arson attempt a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies.

    • freddy says:

      One of the questions I have is, why in Germany or Holland or France, do they do their uttmost to pretend that eXplosions are just explosions
      and nothing to do with Islamists?

  9. freddy says:

    A British plumber has been convicted of planning a terror attack in Westminster and making bombs for the Taliban.

    Khalid Ali, 28, was arrested on 27 April 2017 in Parliament Street, where he was caught carrying three knives.

    Prosecutors said Ali, from Edmonton in north London, had planned a “murderous attack” on politicians and police.

    In a police interview, Ali said he wanted to deliver a “message” to British authorities, but claimed the knives were for protection.

    An Old Bailey jury convicted him of preparing an act of terrorism in the UK and two counts of possessing an explosive substance with intent. He did not react as the verdicts were read out.

    We do not have quite as much terror in the U.K. as France but we have more than we want

  10. freddy says:

    President of FRANCE Emmanuel Macron backs sanctions on EU states that refuse migrants
    Macron’s comments drew a scathing response from Italy’s new populist government.

    Far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini denounced Macron’s “arrogance” over the migrant issue.

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