Letter: The terrible costs of tick-borne disease

Graphic by Lori Deaton

An infected tick bite can cost a fortune to families, cities and countries. This infection gets into the brain, causes rage, suicidal depression and overwhelming anxiety. The blood tests are not reliable, and there is no cure. If you are lucky to get an accurate test, the doctor will give you a couple of weeks of doxycycline, which only covers a few of the infections. The medical schools don’t feel that it’s important to train their doctors about the dangers, yet people are dying every day.

I am sure most of the homeless in Asheville have tick-borne diseases. I suspect they had it before they were homeless because it causes drug addiction and helplessness. They sure have it now that they are sleeping in the grass. You won’t fix this; there is no cure, and after a couple of weeks when it has entered your entire body, you will have mental illness. I believe it is the cause of much of the suicide rate.

Every time I see a mass shooting, I wonder if anyone thought to check his depression and rage for Lyme disease. Violence is huge now. I’m convinced a lot of it is from ticks.

I have hundreds of friends with Lyme disease because I have suffered this nightmare for 28 years. I took up golf; couldn’t get out of bed from depression, exhaustion and anxiety; and it took 12 years for a blood test to find five deadly infections in my brain. I had a stroke two years later. It has cost me a fortune. I never could enjoy my retirement.

Also, we need to pay our police department, fire department, EMS, hospital staff, mental health counselors and all others who have to deal with this out-of-control “mental illness crisis.” The stress in their lives will take its toll, and they deserve so much monetary appreciation. Their families will pay a big price. They should be our No. 1 concern. If these drug-addicted people have a tick-borne disease, they will only get worse. The violence can end up deadly.

Please see “The Monster Inside Me,” “The Quiet Epidemic,” “Bitten” and on May 30, “I’m Not Crazy, I’m Sick” done by Global Lyme Alliance to educate yourself on the very real hidden dangers killing our society.

Ask your representatives and senators for North Carolina free tick testing, an accurate tick count sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, education in the schools and public groups, and demand that Congress find a decent tick-borne test and cure. This infection crosses the placenta; don’t let children suffer anymore. It has been 48 years since Polly Murray blew the whistle in Lyme, Conn. Her whole town had juvenile arthritis, and she wanted to know why.

If you see an attached tick, send it out to be tested. Don’t throw it out; there are many infections in ticks now. You could wake up months from now and not be able to walk or think because of that bite. You need to know. I like tickreport.com in Amherst, Mass., but there may be others.

If you treasure your peace of mind, sleep, ability to eat tasty foods and all the activities in your life, check for ticks.

— Jan Dooley


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