How Tj Nelson Excels At Sales While Battling Chronic Lyme Disease
Is it possible to have a high-energy, successful career in sales and have chronic Lyme disease?
On my Sales Game Changers Podcast, I interview high-performing sales leaders around the globe. They give tips for sales professionals on how to take their careers and lives to the next level.
Because someone in my life is a chronic Lyme survivor, I searched for sales leaders to interview who have built thriving careers while managing their Lyme treatment.
I found one who truly inspired me TJ Nelson, owner of Direct Solar in Las Vegas.
From the outside, he looks like any successful sales achiever. Smart, productive, energetic. But behind the curtain, hes dealing with the constant pain, fatigue, and struggles many Lyme survivors deal with. He was officially diagnosed with Lyme in February 2017, but believes he probably was bitten a year earlier.
So how does he do it while managing his illness?
After I got Lyme, I couldnt even work for a year and a half. I couldnt do anything, and everything fell apart, he told me. I couldnt work and didnt really know if I was going to make it for eight months, if I was going to die.
He said that before he had Lyme he was always pushing and making things happen. After the diagnosis, he realized he had to acknowledge his limitations.
What Are The Chances Of Lyme Disease After A Tick Bite
Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on August 11, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection thatâs transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick. But what are the chances of Lyme disease after a tick bite? In this quick article, weâll cover what Lyme disease is, factors that increase your risk of getting it after a bite, and helpful tick bite preventative measures you can use to help avoid it.
Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease
Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.
Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.
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How Do Dogs Get Lyme Disease
A spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease. Its transmitted to your dog when an infected tick bites them.
Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include:
- recurrent arthritis/lameness that lasts 34 days
- loss of appetite
- reluctance to move or a stiff, painful gait
- swollen joints that are warm to the touch
- pain in the legs or throughout the body
While there are many species of ticks, Lyme disease is usually carried by:
- Deer Ticks
- Western Black Legged Ticks
- Lone Star Ticks
Before I keep going, I want to emphasize that Lyme disease isnt caused by the tick itself. This is an important fact that I will discuss in more detail later.
But first, lets make sure you understand the ticks role in Lyme Disease.
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
To prevent Lyme disease, you should lower your risk of getting a tick bite:
- Avoid areas where ticks live, such as grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. If you are hiking, walk in the center of the trail to avoid brush and grass.
- Use an insect repellent with DEET
- Treat your clothing and gear with a repellant containing 0.5% permethrin
- Wear light-colored protective clothing, so you can easily see any ticks that get on you
- Wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants. Also tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks.
- Check yourself, your children, and your pets daily for ticks. Carefully remove any ticks you find.
- Take a shower and wash and dry your clothes at high temperatures after being outdoors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover quickly and completely. Antibiotics commonly used for treatment include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil. Patients with certain neurologic or cardiac forms of illness may require additional treatment. It is important to speak with your health care provider if you think you might have Lyme disease. The best treatment for Lyme disease is prevention and awareness.
What If I Don’t Feel Better After Treatment
If you’re treated for Lyme disease and don’t feel better after youve finished your treatment, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend a longer course of antibiotics or may be able to prescribe another medication to help with symptoms like joint or muscle pain.
You might also want to seek a second opinion, especially if your Lyme disease diagnosis was not initially confirmed via a two-step blood test. If your body has not responded to antibiotics, its possible that something else besides the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is making you sick. In 2017, for example, the CDC reported on a woman who was given antibiotics and herbal remedies to treat her chronic Lyme disease, when she actually hadand eventually died fromamyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
Even if you do recover completely from a Lyme disease diagnosis, your immune system may continue making antibodies to fight Lyme disease bacteria for months or even years after the infection is gone. Those antibodies wont protect you from getting a second Lyme disease infection, however, so be sure to take steps to protect yourself from ticks in the future.
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Lyme Disease In Dogs: What Your Vet Isnt Telling You
Lyme disease the mere thought of it is terrifying to pet owners everywhere.
Rashes, lameness, swollen joints these are all symptoms that you never want your dog to experience.
The good news is, the situation isnt as scary as you may have thought.
Before I tell you why, lets take a look at how dogs get Lyme disease in the first place.
Lyme Disease In Horses: Symptoms Treatment And Prevention
Grooming your horse every day and checking for ticks is one of the best preventative measures against Lyme disease. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill
May 20, 2021 | Showing , Timed Events , Trail Riding , Ranching | Ranching , Healthcare and medication , Ranching , Showing , Horse Health and care
The signs can be vague and mysterious. A thumbnail-size lump on the body, general lethargy and sore joints could point to anything or nothing at all, which is exactly the problem posed by Lyme disease in horses, which can present as a number of rather generic symptoms.
If you live in an area where ticks are common, Lyme disease is a possibility for humans and horses alike. While it is usually a treatable disease, it is one where an ounce of prevention is the best option.
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Lyme Disease Isnt As Simple As A Bite From A Tick
I said earlier that Lyme disease is not caused by the tick itself.
While ticks can infect your dog with the Lyme disease researchers have found that infection alone isnt the cause of Lyme disease.
In most cases, Lyme disease only occurs when theres a coinfection.
Coinfection is when a host has one or more bacteria, viruses, or other infections at the same time.
How Long The Tick Is Attached
In general, it takes about 36 to 48 hours for Lyme bacteria to enter the bloodstream after a tick bite. So if you remove the tick within a day and a half, your risk of getting Lyme disease is substantially lowered. Using tweezers is thought to be the best approach for tick removal: carefully grab the tick near its head or mouth and do not squeeze or crush it, but instead pull gently and slowly in an upward direction.
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What If Your Lyme Disease Test Is Positive
Its important to note that a positive result doesnt mean you have a diagnosis of Lyme disease. The tests will show that antibodies are present in your blood, but a physician will need to order another type of test before you get an official diagnosis.
If someone gets a positive at-home test, definitely see your doctor, says Dr. Puja Uppal, a board certified family medicine physician and the chief medical officer at Think Healthy.
A physician will likely order both an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a Western blot test, which check for antibodies specific to Borrelia burgdorferi. They will consider the results of both these tests, along with your symptoms, to make an accurate diagnosis.
What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Tick
If you experience a tick bite, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:
- Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the “head” of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on the skin.
- Avoid crushing the tick’s body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could exposure yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- DO NOT use kerosene, petroleum jelly , or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- DO NOT squeeze the tick’s body with your fingers or tweezers.
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Where Can I Get More Information
- For questions about your own health, contact your doctor, nurse, or clinic
- For questions about diseases spread by ticks, contact the MDPH at 983-6800 or online on the MDPH Tickborne Diseases website . You may also contact your local Board of Health .
- Health effects of pesticides, MDPH, Bureau of Environmental Health at 624-5757
Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese translations of this fact sheet are available under additional resources.
Lyme Disease: How To Avoid It
After a long year of confinement, its time for walks, outdoor sports and outings with friends. Its also prime season for ticks, which can be infected with infectious agents such as Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which causes Lyme disease. Here are some simple precautions you can take to keep ticks at bay.
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Otc Vs Prescription Flea And Tick Medicine
So, what constitutes good tick control? A product recommended by your vet, says Dr. Mengel, who also practices at the University of Pennsylvanias M. J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital.
Many flea and tick preventatives require a prescription, so vets can make sure your dog is getting the right medication and dosage, she adds.
While some over-the-counter dog flea and tick treatment products work well, tell your pets providers what you use so they can ensure it is an appropriate choice.
No matter what type of preventative flea and tick medicine for dogs you choose, whats very important is that it is used year-round when Lyme disease is a concern.
Deer ticks can remain active through the winter months, so it very important to keep your pet protected all year.
Also, dont be surprised if you still see a tick on your furry friend even with protection. Some products cant repel every single tick but still do kill the bugs before they have a chance to infect your dog.
If, however, you are finding significant numbers of live, attached ticks on your dog, talk to your veterinarian about more aggressive tick control methods.
How To Prevent Lyme Disease
If youâre a camper, hiker, or outdoor enthusiast, take these simple measures to help prevent tick bites and Lyme disease.
- Use a tick repellent containing 20%-30% DEET or 20% Picaridin. Re-apply as needed.
- Stay in the middle of trails when hiking and exploring.
- Wear appropriate protective clothing.
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What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is most commonly transmitted by a tick bite.
There are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year.
The symptoms of Lyme disease depend on the how long the infection has been present in the body. The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding round or oval red “bullseye” rash.
If left untreated, people may develop neurological symptoms and heart problems, and have an approximately 60 percent chance of developing Lyme arthritis.
Lyme Disease From Nymphs
Come fall, larvae grow to poppy seed sized nymphs.
Nymphs remain inactive throughout the winter and early spring. In late spring, the nymph will begin looking for a host.
Once a nymph finds a host, it will latch on for four or five days. It will engorge with blood and swell to several times its original size.
If infected in the larval stage, the nymph may give Lyme disease to its host.
If the nymph was not infected as a larva but the host is, the nymph will become a carrier.
Up to 25% of nymphs carry the Lyme disease spirochete in endemic areas of the northeast and upper midwest.
Like tick larvae, nymphs prefer small mammals and birds but
your pet can be a suitable substitute.
They are also the most dangerous.
To give Lyme disease to your dog, ticks must feed for 24 to 36 hours.
Because nymphs are so small, they often go unnoticed until theyre engorged. This makes the nymph most likely to spread Lyme disease.
In fact, all human cases of Lyme disease come from infected nymphs.
Once engorged, the nymph will drop off its host and molt into an adult in the comfort of fallen leaves.
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What Are The Stages Of Lyme Infection
There are three stages:
- Early localized Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye or is round and red and at least 2 inches long
- Early disseminated Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms and legs, changes in your vision, heart palpitations and chest pain, a rash , and a type of facial paralysis known as Bellâs palsy
- Late disseminated Lyme: This can happen weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. Symptoms might include arthritis, severe fatigue and headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and confusion.
About 10% of people treated for Lyme infection donât shake the disease. They may go on to have three core symptoms: joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss or confusion. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. It can be hard to diagnose because it has the same symptoms as other diseases. Plus, there isn’t a blood test to confirm it.
Experts arenât sure why Lyme symptoms donât always go away. One theory is that your body keeps fighting the infection even after the bacteria are gone, like an autoimmune disorder.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.
2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.
You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.
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How Does Lyme Disease Affect The Animal
- Wild mammals usually show no signs of illness
- In dogs, signs of disease can take up to 2 to 5 months to appear
- Lameness and joint pain may be seen
- Knees and elbows are most affected
- Lameness may shift from leg to leg or occur off and on
- Dogs may also have a fever
- The disease usually resolves on its own/some cases may last long-term
- Rarely, the bacteria may affect the kidneys or heart, which may result in death
- In cattle and horses, signs of disease are rarely seen but involve lameness or stiffness
- Tes, through a bite of an infected tick
- The tick must be attached at least 24h to transmit the bacteria
- Immature ticks are the primary source of transmission of Lyme disease in humans because they are generally smaller and thus harder to see
- In humans, disease vary from no illness to severe disease
- Symptoms start 1 to 2 weeks after infection, a small red bump may develop at the bite site which can then spread into a large circular bulls-eye type rash
- Not all people get the rash
- Other symptoms may include fever, body aches, stiff neck and headache
- The second stage of the disease occurs weeks to months later and involves pain in one or more joints, most common is the knee
- Pain will occur off and on and the joint may be swollen. This can continue for years.
- In rare cases, the bacteria may spread to the brain or heart
How Do You Get Lyme Disease
The bacterial infection is transmitted by ticks, but not every tick bite will make you sick.
Now that winter has transitioned to spring and temperatures are warming up in much of the country, youre likely to start hearing a lot about Lyme disease. Rates of this tick-borne illness have been rising steadily in the United States over the last two decades, with most infections happening in April through October.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year. But that number only includes cases that are diagnosed and confirmed by doctors, and recent estimates suggest that more like 300,000 people might actually get sick from Lyme disease each year.
There is also a lot of misinformation out there about Lyme diseaseincluding how people actually get it in the first place. Health spoke with Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, about what to watch out for and how to protect yourself.
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