And here comes the crazy
So, about two months ago, I took the Child to get fitted for her flower girl outfit. I noticed, at the salon, that she was very warm and was blinking. Constantly. Incessantly. It was weird, but since she’d just gotten yanked out of a deep sleep, I figured it was just that and ignored it.
A month later, she was still blinking.
I finally made an appointment to take her to the doctor. My doctor is really laid back and reassuring and said that sometimes kids just get ticks. They are usually associated with the start of school. Since hers had started just about the time she started preschool — and about the time that the nap battles had reached epic proportions — to doctor said it was probably a voluntary tic and not to fash myself about it.
The thing in, the same week as she started blinking, the preschool sent home a tick awareness note because some kids had been found to have deer ticks crawling over them.
Now, if you’re not from New England, you won’t know about the terror that strikes with the phrase “deer tick.” Lyme Disease (which is carried by deer ticks) is a subtle, degenrative, and hard-to-diagnose disease that started in Lyme, Conn., and has been spreading across the country. It manifrests in a wide constellation of symptoms that are totally inconsistent from one person to another. The blood tests are deeply unreliable and the tell tale rash only appears sometimes. If left untreated, it can have severe nuerological effects.
A friend of mine has a dad who can’t walk up stairs any more because his Lyme was left undiagnosed for so long.
The little flare of panic that hit when I got that flyer from school was such that I squashed it on the assumption that I was just comepletely over reacting.
But the blinking is still going on. She’s a happy kid, cheerful and outgoing and laughing. The doctor seemed surprised when I said that. (She’d asked, “Is she a serious child? Very thoughtful, quiet?” Apparently that’s the sort of kid that usually gets a nervous tic.) She’s got no other real symptoms, besides bad breath.
And now, on the moms list I’m on, a huge discussion of Lyme disease.
Now, again, if you don’t live in the Northeast, you may not know about the huge controversey that accompanies Lyme and its treatment. Because it’s such a subtle and hard-to-pinpoint disease, there are a lot of people who are saying unconfirmed and wildly outrageous things. Sorting fact from fiction is a full time job and it’s hindered by severe arrogant certainty on both sides.
The medical establishment has taken a strong dislike to the disease, for some reason, and will often refuse basic tests. (There are three tests, one of which has a high false negative return. For some reason that no one has ever explained to me, it’s the most common. Probably it’s the cheapest.) On the other hand, the folks who believe the Lyme is an undiagnosed epidemic sometimes sound totally wacky — like “fibromyalgia is just an undiagnosed Lyme co-infection.”
I don’t know why I’ve got this niggling and crazy notion that it’s Lyme, other than the coincidence of the blinking and the note from the teachers. I’m trying not to go nuts here. But the blinking is driving me nuts. \