I was the little girl covered in dirt from head to toe digging for bugs and worms. I was the little girl that appreciated nature and all of the animals and insects it had to offer. I even had a bug collection and a butterfly collection. I would have had every animal that existed if my parents had allowed it. I had books on butterflies and insects. I hatched spider eggs and praying mantis eggs and collected June bugs in July. I had jars of lightning bugs that would glow all night in my bedroom like a nightlight. I used to watch the nature shows on PBS with my mom on nights that my dad worked late. I can remember one day on our farm when two monarch butterflies were attached to one another and that’s when my mom and I had “the talk”. I was 8 at the time.
I didn’t have a care in the world and never did I imagine that some of my greatest memories are some of the ones that could have caused this horrible disease from hell. I look at nature differently now. I still respect it, but I no longer am carefree when I am outside or even inside for that matter. I cringe when I see spiders, mosquitos, and anything that can bite or suck your blood. I worry about my children. Do I let them be carefree or do I warn them about certain bugs? I don’t want them to be guarded and not have awesome memories of being outside, but yet, it’s not worth it. If I could go back…I would have insisted on being the “bubble girl” and avoided all things that are creepy and crawly. I can honestly say, it’s not worth it.
But, based on research it’s expected that I already passed Lyme down to my children. Based on research they are now varifying that not just ticks carry Lyme disease and it’s nasty coinfections anymore.
It’s hard when you are educated enough about Lyme to know the statistics, the research, and the aftermath to turn a blind eye. I lived years in denial, an ignorant bliss…but now I know. I know the damage that Lyme can cause. I see what it does to bank accounts, families, relationships, friendships, and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
But, I don’t want my kids to live in fear. I don’t want them to worry about something that they may already have been exposed to. But, I also don’t want them to ever have to experience what I’ve been through. I’m honestly at a fork in the road…I don’t know what is the right or wrong thing to do? What is best for my children? What about all the other people out there that don’t know? I worry for everyone. It’s scary. The true reality of Mother Nature.