I know I don't post here often, but I read a lot. :) Looking for some words of wisdom from my fellow NE gardeners now.
Just wondering if any of you all have dealt with this and how you worked your way through it in your head.
I'm a gardening nut. I have a gorgeous 1 acre densely wooded lot on the northern coast of LI. I have a FT job and 2 young sons, but if I have free time and weather permits, I'm out there planting and/or taking care of my "babies." It's a mild obsession.
I've been feeling crappy for quite a while now. I am unaware of an actual tick bite. I am very careful. I wear a "tick suit" when I'm in the groundcover--long pants and boots, long sleeves, all sprayed with clothing only tick repellant. Nonetheless, I've had my share of super huge round rashes (5 inch diameter, I'd say, but never "bullseye," just solid red), always attributing them to a hyperreaction to mosquito bites. I started getting migraines for the first time in my entire life back in March. I started feeling like I had the flu in the summer. I plugged along until a few weeks pre-Sandy when I got really sick, and then things just never got better. By last week, I couldn't even bring myself to microwave leftovers for the kids' dinner. I feel like I have the worst flu ever, yet I have no fever; and I feel like someone is jabbing little swiss army knives into my elbows, knees and wrists.
In any event, my PCP never ever mentioned Lyme and I certainly didn't think of it either. I'm not from the NE and it's just not something I know about or ever think about, other than being aware that tick bites are to be avoided. It was the neurologist I saw for the migraines who mentioned--in April--that they test all new-onset migraine patients for Lyme. Of course I put it off until the last week of NOVEMBER because I didn't think anything of it. Yes, I am an idiot.
So one positive test and then, as if i needed more confirmation, another set of positive re-tests later, it's safe to say it's definitely Lyme. I started abx last Friday and I'm feeling like CRAP today (killing the bacteria makes them release toxins that make you feel WORSE before you get better. Merry christmas! ;) )
I'm not worried about the health part. It is what it is and it will work itself out. My question is about my GARDEN. My obsession. I feel betrayed by my woods. Really. That sounds dramatic, but I'm angry with my land. I put so much energy and time and love into my surroundings, and for the payoff to feel like this... I don't know what to do. I am SO careful out there, and I still managed to get this. There's no reason it couldn't happen again. Do I swear off all my groundcover-wading and consider hiring help moving forward (ugh!!! no!!!) I don't want to, but I'm afraid not to. Do I hire someone to spray for ticks? Is that effective or just costly baloney? Or even potentially dangerous to ME (chemically) and my kids? I hate having to think about these things. We bought this house 2 years ago almost entirely because of the property. I love the property, er... I loved it. I would be lying if I said I didn't look out my windows and feel a bit differently now that I've learned about the lyme. I'm not going to move or anything rash like that, but I have to find a way to deal with this in my head. I don't want to look out my windows and feel a sense of dread and betrayal. I don't want to be afraid to go out there and get dirty. I can't imagine tasking someone else with my garden and yardwork. That's mine. I know what I want done out there and I'm the only one who can take care of it :)
Sigh. I need a pep talk. I don't want this to change things, but it kind of does... I'm starting to get plant catalogs for next spring now and I'm feeling so conflicted. What do I do? What would you do?