I posted this video in my Instagram stories and was inundated with questions so I thought I’d answer a few here.
This is a juvenile tick, a good size bigger than the nymph ticks that were crawling on my legs but were too small for the camera to focus on.
I had chronic Lyme for ten years so, yes, of course these little buggers terrify me. So, how do we live in the deep woods? Well, during tick season – with awareness.
Here’s what we do during tick season (spring and fall):
- Tall, lightweight rubber boots always.
- Light coloured clothes so you can see the ticks.
- If we have been in the woods stringing fence for the cattle, foraging, cutting trees, or whatever, we come in and immediately put our clothes straight into the washing machine with borax, cleaning vinegar, and cedar essential oil. Then the clothes all go in the dryer instead of hanging outside.
- After we pop our clothes in the wash, we pop ourselves into the shower. It’s not enough to just shower with water, we use a rough hemp scrubbie to briskly rub ourselves down and a give ourselves a thorough hair wash.
We resorted to using a permethrin soak on a specific set of hunting clothes and on some camping clothes our daughter had to wear in the Adirondacks a couple of summers ago. There are many online tutorials. It’s wicked stuff. As most of you know, we don’t use any chemical products in our house, bodies or farm. We don’t use wifi. We only eat organic food and have for thirty years. We’re true blue devotees of healthy living. And yet, there I found myself, soaking clothes in permethrin a couple of years ago.
There are directions on how to do this online. If you go that route, wear protective gear and make sure to properly dry the clothes which makes them safe for wearing. Our hunting clothes stay sealed in large plastic ziplock bags until we wear them in the fall. We wear barrier clothes against our skin and just use the outside jackets and coveralls as the permethrin barrier. We don’t use that on any of our other clothes, just hunting clothes that necessitate the sitting/lying directly in tick central.
I cried and my heart ached when I had to come to terms with our new reality. I didn’t want to believe that Nature, my place of solace and reprieve, my touchstone of truth, needed defending against. I’ve had to work through that. I’ve shifted my perspective and done a lot of deep work to get to a place of peace around this new man-made reality. I can’t spend anymore time lamenting. It just is. Move forward.
Last year I had a tick attached inside my belly button. Bastard. If one makes its way past our defences, we assume we have Lyme (given over 1 in 3 ticks have tested positive as Lyme carriers where we live, seems reasonable). That means prophylactically taking the heinous doxycycline for a minimum of a month or another protocol of less-gut-blasting therapies.
If I have immediate physical symptoms, I would go with the doxy, but for the last two bites I’ve had over the last few years, I went with other powerful herbals that I otherwise don’t use. I didn’t get Lyme so I’m sticking with that for now. When I was in the throws of Lyme, I was put on very powerful, longterm antibiotics that exacerbated what was left of my guts after a childhood and teenage years of major overuse of antibiotics. I simply won’t take antibiotics again unless I have absolutely no other option. However, like I said, this is a serious illness and I would not hesitate to once again destroy my gut if it meant avoiding Lyme. Stephen Buhner, a phenomenal, generous herbalist, has some very helpful information on Lyme, including fantastic books, if you’d like to read further.
Lyme is a heinous illness. It kicked my ass at a time when I was my most fit and healthy. I spent years being told I had this autoimmune disease and that disorder until finally finding an MD that knew to test me. I now consider my Lyme to be in remission due to my animal based nose to tail diet and fasting. Of course, my lifestyle of being cautious with EMFs, light and sauna therapy, etc.. keep me well but it wasn’t until I limited my diet to solely animal products and employed regular fasting that things really took a turn.
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