Archive for the ‘Children and Lyme Disease’ Category

Elet Hall’s Further Success on American Ninja Warrior After a Long Battle with Lyme Disease

September 14, 2014

Congratulations to Smithsburg local Elet Hall, who has been recovering from chronic Lyme disease for several years. He was one of only two contestants to finish Stage 2 in the Las Vegas Finals shown on NBD on September 8, 2014. Even with Lyme disease causing him to be not 100% (according to his Facebook page), he finished the seemingly impossible Stage 2 course faster than the other finalist, Joe Moravsky. It is amazing to think that Elet Hall has been able to compete at all when you read about how this disease has impacted him in his daily life. According to an August 12, 2014 post on his Facebook page, he reports:

“While stretching one night I rested my neck on my foam roller and under light pressure I was able to feel a tingle in my face! It could move ever so slightly. After nearly 2 months I could finally get a tiny response. Over the next 2 weeks use of the left half of my face slowly returned to about 80%.

This was last year and I wish the overt symptoms were the worst I experienced. My memory is shot, I lack energy, and I walk around in a fog. My endurance and muscular recovery, which at this point in my training should not plague me, are regularly an issue. It often takes me 3 days to recover from 1 day of training, both mentally and physically. If I have a particularly exciting day I can expect to feel beat down, depressed and uncoordinated the next, a challenging outlook for an athlete.”

When we hear about the paralysis and other symptoms he describes, we are reminded why we are so passionate about killing the deer ticks that spread it. It’s one of the reasons we wanted to get into the outdoor pest control business in the first place. We wanted to help spare people from the horrors he describes. Oddly, everybody’s symptoms can be different. Some doctors have reportedly told people they had Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when it was really Lyme. We can’t even imagine attempting that Stage 2 course with any of those conditions. Some same champions compete even when injured. Elet Hall has shown he has the heart of a champion.

If you watched the finals you may have noticed that Brian Arnold, the American who has gone the furthest on Stage 3 of the finals course leading to Mount Midoriyama, purposefully waited until the last second to push the buzzer when he finished Stage 1. Arnold’s strategy was to complete Stage 2 early enough to allow his body to rest before attempting Stage 3. Meanwhile, Elet Hall ran through Stage 1 seconds faster than everybody else. The result: Arnold was second to run in Stage 2. Arnold admitted that was a mistake as it did not give him time to study other contestants’ difficulty with the dangling ropes obstacle. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Elet Hall was the final contestant to run Stage 2. Then, surprisingly, Elet Hall had to go first on Stage 3, giving him no time to rest after he had just completed the grueling Stage 2. Meanwhile, Joe Moravsky was closer to the middle of the pack and had more time to rest before Stage 3. Moravsky made it further on Stage 3 than Hall. Perhaps if Elet Hall had not been battling Lyme over the past few years he would have completed Stage 2 in prior years and picked a strategy closer to the Moravsky strategy; give yourself time to watch others attempt the course and to rest after you finish Stage 2.

If you visit Elet Hall’s Facebook Page, he also offers his tips for managing his chronic Lyme disease.

“My essentials for continuing to progress as an Lyme athlete:
1. Proper hydration to stave off muscle cramps and numbness/tingling in my fingers and toes when I become acutely dehydrated. I drink a gallon of water a day.
2. Eating clean. I don’t follow a specific diet plan but in order to reduce inflammation it’s important to keep track of what foods help you manage it. I eat mostly fruits and veggies, rice and beans, chicken, and eggs. Dairy doesn’t affect my inflammation but refined sugar and red meat do.
3. Sleep! Get enough! how much is up to you (sic). If at all possible I try to take a quick nap before 1 pm. I feel almost like my old self in the few hours following this. It’s so important to get enough sleep to help our overtaxed CNS to recover.
4. Supplementation- I use a lot of supplements and to what Ive (sic) found is a good effect. I’ve looked over the studies regarding most of them and experimented personally to find what does and doesn’t work for me.”

Elet would often practice in Frederick, Maryland’s Baker Park. Congratulations again Elet, and we hope to see you training in Baker Park and the gorgeous mountain ranges near your home.

Tufts University Scientists Warn of a “Tick Boom” This Summer

July 3, 2014

nymph tick in frederick marylandWSET news published on June 23, 2014 an article discussing a stern warning from Tufts University scientists about the potential for a “tick boom” this summer. The jump in the tick population is attributed to abundant snow and a wet spring, which created ideal conditions for this tick boom. According to Tuft’s Professor Sam Telford, “the large amounts of snow this winter acts like a blanket to protect ticks. Plus the wet spring kept ticks from drying out.” The most concerning aspect of the impending tick boom is that it especially applies to the type of ticks that carry Lyme Disease.

frederick maryland tick controlAccording to another article, “June and July are the peak season for the tiny, hard to see nymph ticks which are believed to be the main vector for transmitting Lyme Disease”. The larger issue with the nymph tick is the size of the bug itself. The nymph tick can be especially hard to locate and it is possible to have a nymph tick on your body the size of a comma and, therefore, overlooked as being a freckle, or speck of dirt. Because of this, it is very important to check your body daily. With the expected explosion in the tick population imminent, protecting yourself from ticks should be the primary concern.

There’s nothing like a tick boom to inevitably lead to an uptick in Lyme disease. Adding to the difficulty on reporting the statistical analysis of Lyme Disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that “only 10% of the people infected with Lyme disease are accurately diagnosed”. In Maryland in 2013 there were 1,194 cases of Lyme Disease reported, however, the CDC estimates actual cases in Maryland were approximately 11,000. The need for tick control is higher now more than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control homeowners should “Consider using a professional pesticide company to apply pesticides at your home” to protect from ticks in your yard. If you have any questions or concerns related to tick control and how to protect you and your family from ticks, give Mosquito Squad of Frederick a call at (301) 263-7220 or email us at Frederick@mosquitosquad.com.

Children at Greatest Risk of Lyme Disease

June 17, 2010

I found this interesting article in the online version of the Gazette (Frederick County, MD). 

 “Why Kids are at Higher Risk for Lyme Disease, and What You Can Do to Prevent It

By Christine Miller Ford

Because Lyme disease can leave a previously healthy person with debilitating problems for years, experts say the best course of action is to prevent getting it in the first place.

The disease is spread when an infected tick attaches to a person. Initially, it can cause symptoms such as a fever, fatigue and achiness that mimic a standard viral infection. Sometimes, a bull’s-eye-shaped rash will also appear.

If untreated, Lyme disease can lead to joint pain, arthritis, mood and memory problems, neurological problems and other serious complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The article points out that children have a greater risk of getting Lyme disease becuase they play outdoors and roll around on the ground, parents sometimes place playsets near the edge of the lawn next to higher grass, and because ticks are small and hard to detect. 

To reduce the risk of Lyme disease, the article suggests “When walking through the woods or in tall grass, children should stay on the trails and should not roll or play in the leaves on the ground.”  I would add that parents should consider having their yard treated to kill any ticks that are present.  

To read the rest of the article click here.