Lecture Series presents:
Ticks and Lyme Disease
with Paula Power
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Admission is $5
Many local hikers worry about mountain lions, but the subject of the Thursday, September 25, Gualala Arts lecture will leave you fearing a much smaller predator. Lyme disease and the co-infections carried by deer ticks pose a much greater health hazard to outdoor adventurers and gardeners here on the coast than most people think.
Coordinator Paula Power has assembled a panel of local health experts and advocates to discuss the health implications of Lyme and other tick-born illnesses and what preventative measures anyone who gardens or even steps outside should take to protect themselves.
For Power the issue is personal. Her son, Henry, has contracted Lyme disease and his story illustrates the multiple complications associated with infections from tick bites. Neither Henry, now a high school senior, nor his parents know for sure when he contracted the infection, possibly in kindergarten, but his diagnosis did not occur until just over two years ago.
Because tick bite infections may not present symptoms for several years and the symptoms are often confused with other possible causes, many victims are unaware of the reasons they have health issues. Others may even dismiss a victim's complaints as hypochondria. One day in a high school biology class discussion about Lyme disease, Henry realized his teacher was discussing symptoms that he himself experienced.
After testing positive for Lyme infection, Henry began treatments two and a half years ago that still continue. While he sometimes goes weeks or even months without symptoms, when the spirochetes start to party it takes a cyclical series of homeopathic and antibacterial treatments much like chemotherapy to beat them back down. The tests, tinctures and antibiotics are expensive and insurance does not cover all the costs.
Tick bites that indicate Lyme may create a rash and flu-like sypmtoms within seven days, but not in every case. Left untreated, Lyme and the co-infections such as Bartonella may affect the joints, heart, central nervous system and cognitive thinking. Symptoms can appear in a matter of days or remain dormant for years. Lyme disease, which consists of at least three different bacteria, was not identified until 1971 in Lyme, Connecticut, and the cause not found until 1981.
To alert listeners about this issue, Power has compiled a panel of health professionals and advocates for drawing attention to the dangers of tick bites and the importance of protecting yourself and locally available remedies for sufferers. Panelists and Lyme survivors Jennifer Arana and Glenn McPhee, who was instrumental in getting Henry get diagnosed, both suffer from tick bite infections.
This discussion promises to be a most informative evening with information on a very timely topic. There will be time for audience questions and comments. The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. A $5.00 admission will be collected at the door.
The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email
Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.