Lyme disease is a growing concern for families all over North America as the tick-borne disease continues to expand into new areas.
One mother, Karen McGregor, recently wrote a post about her son’s brush with Lyme disease and how she was lucky in catching it early thanks to another person posting their experience.
“I am so grateful for the post similar to this one that I saw three days ago…a post that potentially has saved my sons life, or at least saved him from a life very different from the one he lives and loves right now. He isn’t even two years old yet.” Karen McGregor wrote as an opener to her own post after she saw a red mark on her son that looked familiar to one she had seen in a photo just days before.
The spot on her son’s temple looked a lot like a bullseye, the same sort of bullseye she had seen in a Facebook post about a little girl who was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Concerned, she right away called her doctor.
“I phoned our doctor as soon as they opened yesterday and got him in quickly. Within a few hours, more and more of these bullseye spots were showing up on his face, legs and arms,” Karen wrote. “We were given antibiotics to treat for Lyme Disease and we are hoping we caught it in time!! The doctor had never seen this before in a child so young…”
She and her son visited McMaster Children’s Hospital for a second opinion and received confirmation from two doctors.
“The stage of rash indicates it must have been from a tick bite he would have received 3-4 weeks ago (we never even saw a tick…). The funny thing is that because my son had been on antibiotics for 24 hours, the spots with the bullseye marking didn’t look as bad as they did yesterday.” Karen explained.
“It took the pictures I had taken with my phone, as well as the doctor seeing a brand new spot pop up while we were there, to confirm what they were looking at. One of these amazing doctors even looked me straight in the eye and said ‘it’s scary for a mom to hear all this…are you okay?'”
Lyme Disease can have serious consequences if left untreated, such as arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, and extreme fatigue. The CDC notes that not everyone that gets Lyme Disease presents with the telltale bullseye rash (although roughly 80% of Lyme disease patients do). They have provided photos of how lyme disease rashes look on their website.
Since posting her pictures, Karen has received thousands of messages from all over the world. She encourages anyone who notices a rash on their child to see their doctor ASAP, because the sooner the treatment starts the better. She also says, “Take a picture with your phone if you see one of these spots on yourself or your family – you might need it to show a doctor down the road what you saw.”
Karen will now be monitoring her son for any other possible symptoms. “The list of things we are watching for is scary – not a list I ever expected to have to watch my kids for, but I am grateful for the fact that we likely caught this in time!!”
If you are looking for further information on Lyme Disease, there’s further information on this website and the CDC has useful information as well on tick prevention and how to landscape around your home to prevent ticks.
Please share this information with your friends to help educate others about what to look for.