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 go home early because my husband was admitted to the hospital.

“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 go home early because my husband was admitted to the hospital. It started late one night a few weeks ago when I woke up and heard my husband stumbling through the dark hallway. I...
It started late one night 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 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, when he came to the table for dinner, his hands were shaking. He could barely hold his glass. Our grandsons, who were visiting for the week, said, "What's wrong, Papa." He told them he didn't know and said he wasn't hungry and left the table.

I asked him if he felt bad, and he said he had a little 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 next morning 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. 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 next morning 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.

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 small tick in his beard, but had a hard time 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 was able to come 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.

The reason I wanted to share this story is 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 from August to November but can actually 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 species of 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 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 of time; 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.

Just as RMSF, you may experience chills and fever, headache, fatigue, in addition to a stiff neck, muscle and/or 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. Do not twist the tweezers as you could leave a part of it in 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 we are 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 was very frightening to him, so he was delighted when we made a visit 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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Story Comments

  1. This is so important! I see a functional medical dr and have heard the horror stories about people becoming completely non functioning because of Lyme disease. Thank you for sharing! Pray your husband continues to get better!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Marty. He is improving but still has effects due to Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Deana

  2. So important to know Lyme's can be so debilitating. A friend's daughter has had it since HS and as a young adult is on disability.

    • Deana Landers -

      Wow, Linda. Thank you for sharing that with me. My husband has suffered a lot since he got Lymes Disease 5 years ago and not the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Take care of yourself.Deana

  3. Wow, thanks for the share, ticks are dangerous, so glad Poppa is doing better

    • Deana Landers -

      Maria, so glad this is a helpful story. Thank you for commenting and sharing. And yes, I too, am glad Papa is better.Deana

  4. So thankful for good medical care. Prayers for continued recovery to full health. Glad Poppa is healing.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you always Lori for commenting and sharing. I am glad Papa is better, too.Deana

  5. This is so scary! I actually know a lot about tick bites and am a huge proponent for carrying a tick kit everywhere we go (http://birdzofafeather.ca/diy/keep-calm-and-carry-the-kit/). I would like to add a few pieces of information to your wonderful post. Only 20% of people bitten by ticks actually get a rash of any sort (whether Bullseye or solid), so being aware of symptoms is hugely important because early treatment (as you pointed out) is essential for the best outcome. If you DO get the rash, this is diagnostic of Lyme disease; there is no further testing necessary and treatment should be started immediately. Ticks carry much more than Lyme disease or RMSF. There are many coinfections including Babesia, Bartonella and other tick borne illnesses they can pass along (they are known as nature's dirty needle). Deet is great, but an alternate solution is clothing treated with permethrin. You can buy it ready made on clothing (like No Fly Zone) or if you are in the US, you can buy the solution and treat the clothing yourself. It will last up to 70 washings if you are a big outdoor enthusiast. There are studies and cases that demonstrate that Lyme disease can be spread through sexual transmission. Unfortunately the IDSA has done too good a job of burying such studies to protect their own interests.Ticks can be found anywhere these days; even in your own backyard. Birds carry them in flight and they can drop off and establish new populations (which is what is happening further and further north in Canada).Thank you for writing this and increasing awareness; especially for teaching the best way to remove one if it latches on! The best way to prevent Lyme disease (and long term symptoms) is knowing how to quickly remove a tick the right way - and being aware of the symptoms so you can get treated early. It's very curable in early stages, but as you said, can have dire consequences if you miss it. Thank goodness your doctor was a knowledgeable one! So glad your grandson's prayers were answer and your husband is no the mend. How is he feeling now Deana?

    • Deana Landers -

      Sara, I love your response. We could have written this story together. You brought out some very important information. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. Yes, I believe my sweet boy's prayers may have saved his Papa.Thank you, dear friend.Deana

  6. Teresa -

    I love reading your stories and just listening to each message in each one and I love you too

    • Deana Landers -

      Teresa, I am so grateful for your comments and encouragement. Thank you for sharing.Love you, too, sweet girl

  7. Oh my goodness Deana. I saw your post on FB and you've all been in my prayers. I'm so glad they found out what caused it. Tick bite fever is horrible. All I remember from when I got bit years ago is the blinding headaches and deadweight muscle soreness. Everything else is a complete blank. Stay safe the both of you and I'm really glad your hubby is back home and okay <3

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Michelle. He is still having a lot of muscle weakness. And thank you so much for your prayers.Deana

  8. Kat -

    I'm with Cooper!! I'm glad his Poppa is still here too!❤

    • Ann barnes -

      So glad Monroe is better ! It’s a rough few weeks for you all . My prayers are with you. Love you

    • Deana Landers -

      I think his prayer made a difference, Kat. I'm glad he's still here too.Love you,

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