Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 5

Started off with a great 18k ride in the morning.  The weather, not my old body believe it or not, ended up being the limitation to not finishing my daily goal.  Somewhere about 20 km east of Blenheim, I skies opened up and I was hit with heavy rainfall that soaked me to the core.  After about 45 minutes of cold wet cycling, the rain passed and I was able to get into a layer of fresh dry clothes.  The rain managed to keep at bay until a kilometer south of Blenheim when I was once again hammered by rain.  When that the day ended on a soggy note.
Early in the morning I mentioned Lyme to an employee in the St. Thomas Walmart.  I instantly received a reply back that a very good friend of hers had Lyme.  When I asked how the person was doing, the reply back was that he was doing great because he had been diagnosed early, treated with antibiotics, and was cured with no long term problems.  It would appear that it only took 5 days to hear back from a stranger, the importance of the message that Cycle For Lyme is trying to promote - that if doctors get themselves up to speed about Lyme and treat patients in a timely manner, people have the opportunity to return to a normal healthy life.  As far as I am concerned, the fact that Lyme has been made such a politically sensitive topic is the main reason why doctors rule out the making the diagnosis.  Doctors simply do not want to risk their medical practice or their careers by getting themselves involved in a diagnosis that is not being accepted as part of regular mainstream medicine.  Lyme, even in the acute and fully treatable form, remains the elephant in the room.
I also had a nice talk with a police officer in St. Thomas about Lyme.  The one thing that always amazes me when I explain what I am trying to accomplish is the positive and upbeat responses that I receive back.  It is great to feel how fast a couple of seconds of positive can put a smile on your face for hours.  I also met a store owner in Blenheim who agreed to distribute a healthy pile of my postcard flyers out to her community.  Not only was she a regular cyclist, but in fact she had her own story about Lyme.  Her dog was bit not by one, but by 3 ticks, but when she tried to get them tested for Lyme, she told me that testing would not be performed because the ticks bit a dog, not a person.  This is an issue that is completely inappropriate.  Whether found on a dog or found on a person, this country lacks any sort of proper statistical testing regarding the frequency of Borrelia burgdorferi in ticks.  By refusing to test ticks that are delivered by the public, our healthcare system is ignoring the opportunity to get a better handle on the spread of this infectious disease.  Ultimately, the fact is that the first reported case of a Borrelia infected tick occurred in Kenora, Ontario, in 1993.  Ironically, the tick was removed from a dog that had never traveled outside the Kenora area.                            


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