A tick

image Just no new problems, some rest for a while, no extra worries. It seems wonderful, but once again it proved to be an illusion.
That was again the case last Sunday morning when we unexpectedly had to go to the city Den Bosch. Not for the Dutch Special Beer festival, which was organized there, but a necessary visit to the hospital pharmacy.

The reason was that I was under the shower Sunday morning and suddenly felt something on my calf. Or rather, there hung something. At the rear, exactly at that place where you don’t have a good visibility. Balancing on one leg in a wet shower, I only felt that there was something and it did not hurt. Not even when I pulled it a little. But whatever it was, it was hard to see. And because it did not hurt, I pulled a bit harder …. and held a wet, flat, empty tick pinched between my fingers.

Although I’ve barely been outside the last few days, that was not really unexpected. Recently we namely discovered and removed about 10 ticks at the dogs and also had found two engorged ticks on the floor. And that was remarkable since in other years we found at most one or two ticks at the dogs. And for that reason we quickly applied on Saturday an anti-tick agent at them. And that had apparently for this tick been a reason to say goodbye to the dogs and to travel over to me.

Lyme Disease! That instantly was my first thought. And that meant a fast drying, and down to my computer to have a search on the internet. Where I immediately found an information overload. So was it, but I already suspected that, not the prescribed method of disposal to pull the tick from the skin with your fingers. But that was something I couldn’t change anymore. More important was however the information that I might be infected with the bacterium Borrelia. This Lyme bacterium is usually transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. And therefore should with a tick bite, as precaution and as soon as possible, antibiotics be applied.

That sounds perfectly logical, but as GIST patient you are restricted in the use of other medications. Because there is always a risk that thereby the functioning of the GIST medication is adversely affected. And that’s a risk you want to avoid in any case. So in such situations, you have to call the emergency line of the Radboud UMC.
It was clear that they didn’t got this question every day, but nevertheless they quickly answered that the normal antibiotic for tick bites was “Doxycycline” and that would have no adverse effects. “But keep an eye on it!”

Thereafter, the next step could be made. A call to the emergency line of the GP. When the situation was explained they immediately understood that there was in my situation of reduced resistance some urgency. And Doxycycline was therefore prescribed, and could be collected after one hour at the pharmacy of the hospital in the city of Den Bosch. As well the urgent advice to treat the wound immediately with disinfectant and to keep an eye on it.
It turned out to be a course of antibiotics for 10 days. Whereby also the pharmacist warned me to be careful that in the meantime no weird symptoms should occur.

All together those possible symptoms are a very long list. Including chills, severe fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling around the eyes, difficulty with concentration, muscle and joint aches, etc.
And that gives me even more fun. These are the same side effects that I already have with the GIST medications! I know them, one by one, but have no idea how to distinguish whether they (also) come from a tick bite.
Fortunately, I have an appointment with the oncologist next Friday about the results of the CT scan. Can we also discuss this matter…

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