Where in the Appalachian Bioregion are we going?

Where in the Appalachian Bioregion are we going? The consensus was for the White Mountain National Forest (in the Northeast), or the Appalachian states of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia. Spring Council selected a site in North Eastern Tennessee.

If you're not familiar with the gauntlet on the road into the gathering, and want to avoid a mandatory court appearance ticket click here.

For the Howdy Folks and directions to the gathering, click here. For the United States Forest Service Incident Command website with groovy maps and updates, click here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Lyme Disease

Now I'm not a doctor and don't claim to be an expert in Lyme disease. However, when folks go camping they sometimes get bitten by ticks and some ticks spread Lyme disease. Because I have had friends whose Lyme disease went undetected for years and were told they had all sorts of other really nasty issues, I want to make sure you take a few minutes to educate your self on the symptoms of Lyme disease.

I do know that the longer your Lyme disease goes without being treated, the harder it is to treat.

So take the time to read this handy article on PubMed Health.  If at the gathering, you suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, please go to CALM.  If after the gathering you suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, please inform your health care provider that you want to be tested for Lyme.


  1. I was recently diagnosed with lyme- because i was able to catch it quite early- I found the bullseye rash 10 days after I pulled off the tick-

    It's REALLY important that you check yourself for ticks EVERY day. From the research I've done, you shouldnt get lyme from a tick thats bites less than 24-48 hours, but you can't be sure. The tick that got me was a deer tick, and was no bigger than the tip of a pen when it bit me; so it must have been attached for a couple of days before I found it-

    ESPECIALLY because there are no showers there; we need to be really on top of tick checks - Light clothes helps to see them.

    Not trying to spread unnessecary fear, but Lyme
    is no joke.

    The tricky thing is Lyme doesnt always leave a bullseye, and theres a list of some 150 symptoms and it doesnt allways act the same- For me it started out with waking up feeling like my body was made of lead for a couple of days- I had real trouble moving in the mornings- Then a weird asthma-like condition where I could only take breaths half as big as I would like.

    I pray that no one gets lyme this year at the gathering. See you all there!

    1. Lets all check each other every twice a day. ;-)

  2. This area actually has an extremely low Lyme risk. Yes, it's possible to get Lyme anywhere, but the chance of getting Lyme in this region is very small (despite the prevalence of ticks).


  3. As I understand, more of a concern is rocky mountain spotted fever which is another disease spread by ticks, and a significant problem in Tennessee this year. I also understand that there have been cases of dengue fever, spread by mosquitoes, in Tennessee this year as well.

  4. Unfortunately, the CDC Lyme Disease Risk Map is based on flawed and questionable data. In examining the Yale study upon which this map is based, the authors concluded there is low risk of contracting Lyme disease in the Southeastern USA based on the collection and testing of only NINE ticks from the entire region! Yes, NINE. In some SE states, they didn't even set up a collection site, in others like Georgia, they only collected a single tick to test. The authors admitted they used collection methods unsuitable for the South. County-by-county tick collection studies need to be done. Additionally, low reported Lyme disease case numbers in Southeastern states give an impression that Lyme disease isn't prevalent here, when in actuality, we're not comparing apples to apples because what is reportable as a case in the Northeast is routinely dismissed in most Southeastern states. In the Northeastern USA, RASHES are reportable as cases. In the SE, they are not. It's estimated that 70% of reported cases are rashes alone, no tick bite or positive test necessary in the NE USA. Because we don't report cases using the same methods, true prevalence of Lyme disease in the Southeastern USA remains unknown. Thousands of citizens in the SE develop these rashes and Lyme disease symptoms following tick bites despite the fact that their cases are not reportable. Many Southern patients do indeed test positive for Lyme disease. (Remember, it can take 4-6 weeks before antibody levels are high enough to be detectable by tests...be careful!) Restrictive, narrow reporting criteria prevent SE cases from being reported,however, Lyme advocacy organizations in the Southeastern USA hear from thousands of folks who report they contracted unrecognized Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses right here in our region. If Lyme disease isn't recognized and treated early, it can lead to ongoing symptoms and permanent damage. Check Georgia Lyme Disease Assoc. website for details: more Lyme bacteria species (7) and strains (hundreds) have been documented in the SE than in any other region of the country and current tests may not detect these. It can take months and even years for Lyme disease symptoms to manifest. (I contracted Lyme disease in Georgia 20 years ago after a tick bite and didn't know it until 3-4 months later when I was hospitalized with a swollen elbow!) Ticks in the SE USA can carry one or more of over a dozen disease-causing agents. Please take measures to prevent tick bites seriously.