Dangers in the garden

“Please, God, don’t let my Papa die this week. That’s all I got to say. Amen.” That was my 9-year-old grandson’s prayer when he had to take him home early because my husband had to be admitted to the hospital.

It started a few weeks ago when I woke up and heard my husband stumbling through the dark hallway. I got up quickly and went to him. He didn’t seem to know where he was, and when I tried to help him, I realized his skin was hot, and he didn’t seem to know who I was.

I took his temperature. It was 100.2, and by the time I got him a cold glass of water and Tylenol, it had risen to 101.8. He said his head hurt.

Earlier that evening, his hands were shaking when he came to the table for dinner. He could barely hold his glass. Our grandsons visited for the week and said, “What’s wrong, Papa.” He told them he didn’t know, said he wasn’t hungry, and left the table.

I asked him if he felt bad, and he said he had a slight headache, but he was fine.

Because we had two young grandsons in the house that night, I needed to get his temp down until I could take him to the doctor. The following day at the breakfast table, he seemed alright and didn’t remember anything from the night before. He wasn’t hungry and said his head was still hurting a little.

Once again, when I took his temperature, it started at 99.8 and rose to 101 by noon, so I took him to the ER.

After five hours of blood tests and examinations, including the COVID-19 test, the doctor said they couldn’t find what was wrong. Finally, however, they said he was too sick to go home, so they admitted him.

During the night, his fever went up to 103, and he began vomiting. When I arrived the following day, he looked so sick that I called our children.

The doctor saw a rash on his arm under his watchband and decided to put him on Doxycycline while they continued doing tests to figure out what was causing him to continue to run a high fever and be so sick.

On the third day in the hospital, his fever subsided. I told him my husband was a gardener and spent most of his days from early Spring until late Fall in our garden. Then he told the doctor that he had found a tiny tick in his beard but had difficulty getting it out.

That’s when the doctor decided to do a blood test to check for Lymes Disease or Tick fever.

The next day, he came home, but we still didn’t know what had caused him to be so ill.

A few days later, the doctor called to say the blood test was positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

I wanted to share this story because ticks can be dangerous.

Whether you’re a gardener, like to be outdoors, or have an outdoor pet, there is always the possibility of getting a tick bite.

A tick bite can be harmless or cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme Disease. My husband has had both.

Ticks are more active from March to May and August to November but can be out and about when the weather is above freezing.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever(RMSF) is one of the deadliest tick-borne diseases in America. It can spread by several ticks found in the United States and can be fatal if not treated early with the right antibiotic.

Symptoms of RMSF are fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach and muscle pain, lack of appetite, and a rash that may appear in 2-4 days.

Another tick-borne disease is Lyme disease, caused by the bacteria in an infected deer tick that has fed on small animals. The diseased tick can spread when it bites a person and stays attached for a period; In most cases, 36 hours. Lyme disease does not spread to another person.

You may see a rash resembling a bull’s eye or solid patch, about two inches in diameter, that appears and expands around or near the bite’s site.

Like RMSF, you may experience chills, fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck, muscle, joint pain, and swollen glands.

If Lyme disease is unrecognized or untreated in the early stage, more severe symptoms may occur and eventually affect the heart and nervous system.

Remember that ticks are found in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas outdoors and on your animals.

If you find a tick on your body, the best way to remove it is with a pair of tweezers. Put the end of the tweezers close to the skin and pull the tick straight out. Please do not twist the tweezers, as you could leave a part of it on your skin.

The CDC recommends using a spray that contains Deet on your clothes. Be sure to check your clothes and shoes when you come back inside, take a shower and look for ticks on your body.

The outdoors is our favorite place to be, whether gardening, walking, or having a picnic, but we will be a lot more diligent about protecting and checking ourselves when we come inside.

Our grandson has been worried about his grandparents since the pandemic. He heard that all the older people were dying of coronavirus. Having his Papa in the hospital frightened him, so he was delighted when we visited recently.

My husband hugged him and said, “Thank you, Cooper, for praying for me.” He said, “It’s ok, Papa. I’m just glad you’re here.”

Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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