Surviving Lyme Disease

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hunter Linzey went out two weeks ago looking to kill a hog, but all he came back with were two ticks and Lyme disease.

It’s easy to laugh about now, Linzey and his family said Monday, but in the three weeks following a weekend hog-hunting expedition in the Ino Community, the potentially deadly disease left doctors puzzled and Linzy miserable.

Hunter Linzy is now well after suffering from Lyme disease.

Linzey, 12, and an incoming seventh grader at Pleasant Home School, and a family friend got up early Sat., July 10.

“We were in the woods about 4 a.m.,”Hunter said. “We didn’t kill anything that day either. We got home about 10 a.m., and I jumped in the shower.”

Linzy said he found the two ticks while washing his hair – one at his neckline, the other above his ear.

“I didn’t think anything about it,” he said. “I just pulled them out.”

Two weeks later, he started running a 102-degree fever and vomiting. Mom Tabitha took Linzy to Opp’s Dr. Bhagwan Bang to see what was wrong.

“And we didn’t know,” she said. “Dr. Bang ran all these tests, and when

Hunter’s liver enzymes came back elevated, they sent us straight to Mobile.”

While at the University of South Alabama hospital, doctors performed a multitude of tests, and by the time the results of Dr. Bang’s blood tests came back, a nurse noticed a rash beginning on Linzy’s leg.

“That’s when they knew for sure what it was,” Tabitha said. “Lyme disease.”

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi). Certain ticks carry these bacteria. The ticks pick up the bacteria when they bite mice or deer that are infected with Lyme disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms and a rash.

If left untreated, it can lead to central nervous system disorders and even death.

In total, Linzy spent a week at the USA hospital. He was given a high dose of antibiotics, both intravaneous and oral. He was released Saturday.

“I told my dad, “You don’t need to send the ransom. I’ve broken out,’” Linzey said of his release.

Mom Tabitha said, “We were lucky. We caught it early. We just want people to be aware that while Lyme disease is rare, it can happen. So, be on the look out.”

She said if one is bitten by a tick, take note of the bugs size, shape, color and defining characteristics, such as spots. That information can help doctors make a diagnosis faster should one present the Lyme disease symptoms.