“Children’s Book Author Given 3 Days To Live From Micro Critter Bite” “I live, Friend Dies”


          “Nearly everyone including my young readers are at risk.”

CDC SAYS 300,000 cases a year.

Lyme is only one ailment that causes illness and/or death. There are at least four primary tick diseases.

Dogs can have or carry ticks with diseases. Some studies say 1 to 2 of every 100 ticks on dogs have a tick disease.

In our area we have lost, they died, friends from tick fever.

The follow up health problems can be disastrous to young and old. ITP hits youths often and hard, more than seniors.

I have saved several friends and acquaintances from long lasting illness or worse.

            Sharing my experience with my own tick fever and helping others recognize it.  During a walk shortly after daylight one morning a doe and yearling deer jumped up and ran from me. I walked across their nicely wallowed out beds in the grassy abandoned home yard.

MINUTES LATER I had ticks on or around my ears, nose, eyes,……… all over ……..my workers and I guessed thousands were on my pants and me.  I striped off to my under ware and my workers used duck tape to take off most of the ticks. For several minutes every 4-5- inch long piece of tape pressed on and taken off me, my shirt or pants had 20 plus ticks on it. I should have been more serious about this.

I finished the day at work. I got home late and had several ticks attached to me. I am a country, dairy farm raised, rodeo, horse, river fishing…….country and woodsy type guy so ticks on me is fairly common.

TWO MONTHS LATER…….I was hit by flu symptoms……achy, fever, sweats, sluggishness, headache….

NOTE ………The headache and fever breaking was worse than any cold or flu I had ever experienced. I could have watered the lawn with the sweat pouring off my forehead……..I thought this was a bit funny at the time. Of course I tend to have fun and think lots of things, even painful ones, are funny.

This went on for a week. I took aspirins and kept going to work. I did try to get back into the office as early as possible to rest up.  The “FLU” was better by the weekend. I decided not to work Saturday or Sunday and just rest up a little more than usual.

I felt better Monday morning. “Me and my flu shot had beat another round of the flu.”

FRIDAY AFTERNOON my wife and I went out to our favorite restaurant…..the one with the colorful M on it, just kidding. On the way home we noticed spots all over my ankles.

By the next morning I had spots all over me, even on my head. I went to my favorite doctor. She ran a CBC, complete blood count, on my blood and wanted to call an ambulance to take me to the horsepital, hey I’m country. I drove myself.

I couldn’t believe what happened next in the ER. I swear 6 people took six samples of me as I lay on a DOCTOR PO  TABLE. 

They called in our area’s top cancer specialist, Doctor O. He sat down beside my bed and told me my blood platelet count was nearly 0. A 20,000 count is considered a  SPONTANEOUS BLEEDER, IS HOSPITALIZED AND SOMETIMES GIVEN BLOOD TRANSUSIONS.  The ideal platelet count is 150,000 to 200,000. O is not good. Organs or my brain could just begin to bleed from a jolt or bump.

Doc O, the cancer specialists gave me a possible diagnosis of stage 4 leukemia, with 3 days to live if they couldn’t turn my blood problem around with possibly a blood transfusion and other treatments.

I read about my symptoms the night before going in to the doctor and saw an article about tick fever and remembered the 1000’s of ticks on me just 2 months earlier.

I shared the above with doctor O. He listened and thought for a minute. He said it could be tick fever causing the low platelet count but I was still in dire trouble. He began several treatments. I went through what seemed like gallons of platelets, miscellaneous STUFF and nothing was working. Meanwhile my blood was being tested in the state capital, Little Rock, for all the tick fever antibodies that would tell if I had one of the four tick fevers that most folks had in our area.

THREE CAME BACK NEGATIVE. UH OH……. did I actually have Leukemia? The fourth one came back Thursday……….EHRLICHIOSIS. I had been exposed to the most common tick fever in our area. Now what?  Nothing was working.

CHEMO THEROPY was the next step. I am a fairly healthy guy and one treatment got me up to a 9000 platelet count……..not out of the woods or go home from the horsepital time yet…….. but  better than 0 platelets. 

My count went up past the 20000 danger range and I went home. Over the next eight years I had 2 ITP, loooow platelet emergencies. I notice these when I got cut on barb wire on the farm or snagged by a fish hook. I thought I was going to bleed to death when I nicked myself on a rabbit cage one time. 

BELIEVE ME when I tell you I could easily bleed out a quart from a needle prick on a finger. If not bandaged it just pours out like a faucet.

300,000 cases a year is an estimated guess for Lymes. I wouldn’t doubt if the estimate for all tick fever cases, reported and not reported, is in the million count or way more. We had two friends that died from it and many that were fairly quickly diagnosed and treated with an antibiotic. That is the trick, so to speak, quickly diagnosed and treated.

I followed my, a bit dumb I’ll admit, lifetime habit of just wearing an illness out. Tick fever goes after organs after you think you have worn it out.  Sometimes it really does “wear out” but comes back and takes out kidneys, liver etc.

The solutions;

  1. Spend the $75 to treat you yard. Use before a light rain as directed.
  2. Keep your dogs tick free. I use my home made treats; 2cu flour, 1 can chicken broth and a t spoon of garlic powder, make a dough, flatten out ½ inch on cookie sheet, cook at 350 for 15 minutes, take out and cut/score into ¾ inch squares, put back in for about 15 +/- minutes……to a soft, but firm dough. Break up and put in bags….freeze extra. I make double and triple batches. The garlic keeps fleas and ticks off my dogs. Some sites say garlic isn’t good for them.  My shepherds and dogs we have right now lived to 14 plus years so….?

Use any other dog treatments that you research and like.

  1. Just pick off a tick stuck on you. Do not camphor him etc. Try TO GET THE HEAD. If not use something to pick out all you can. Perhaps wash with HP and apply some antibiotic and band aid.
  2. If you or someone else has a flu like symptom for some time see the docs again. Tell them to run the tick fever test on your blood. They will send it off and maybe save you or your friend’s life with the results in time for treatments.

Not bragging but I am outgoing and when I hear of someone with massive headaches, fever, drug out feeling or flu symptoms that won’t go away I badger them until they get the tick test ran. I can “possibly” say I have saved at least four people’s bacon, as Grandpa G would have said.   THEY HAD TICK FEVER.  Note; Run the test again if your symptoms persist. The tests may not catch the antibodies for tick fever for another week. The antibodies take a some time to show up in blood.

  1. Never walk a deer beds. Don’t even think it. I know It was dumb for me to do.
  2. Watch for tick infestations by porches, under debris etc. One of my friends had 1000’s under a concrete porch slab. His dog died covered with ticks. That’s when he began to find the nest.
  3. Spray yourself with a tick repellant. Ask folks…….vets and linemen use and know the best and safest ones. The old Avon Skin So Soft rubbed on my legs trick has worked for me a few times.
  4. If you get ticks on you…..GET EVERY ONE OF THEM OFF….. It is thought that a tick takes only 3 hours to penetrate deep enough to get into the blood stream with it disease. Who knows for sure others say 12 hours.  I say, nowadays for sure, get them off ASAP.
  5. Watch for after the cure return of tick fever or another malady. Remember I had ITP 2 MORE TIMES. Some folks have kidney, liver or a return of the original tick fever. When it doubt…..check it out. This is not a broken fingernail or irritating bad cold. Tick fever can kill you.
  6. Some say ticks, like fleas can live in dog, cat bedding a year without eating until the opportunity arises. They produce more and more and more and more and more or the critters. Keep beds/bedding clean.
  7. Duct tape pant legs tight before spraying is a good idea. I have looked down to see my legs covered by 1000’s of seed ticks from a nest I had walked through out in the woods…..No……not another deer bed. Remember keep a roll of duct tape handy for taking ticks off like I do sometimes. Cut off an eight inch piece, fold over and push hard against pant leg with ticks on it. They are stuck and can’t get off. Send to an enemy …yuk yuk……Note; Throw the tick covered tape in a fire or spray with poison . I have seen ticks live in a gallon of water, soap even gasoline and deseil.  
  8. Stay out the woods and off the grass. Just kidding. Enjoy the out of doors but enjoy the challenge of killing or repelling critters that can infect you. You can do all the above and tell a friend there’s no need. He/she may get all the ticks rather than you….Sorry ….did I say I love to kid a bit and have fun……..My doc told me I had three days and I told him to save me if he could but if he couldn’t I had been around quit a long time anyway. HOWEVER….I would like to fish and write a little more. He laughed and said he wished everyone took it that way. I would never want his job with those, your number is up, talks.   
  9. Ticks can get on you from, dogs, cats, cows, goats, most pets, grass, flowers, tree limbs you brushed, blackberry bushes, and just about anything other than a hot car hood. I never pick wild blackberries any more.  I keep my sticker free, tame ones treated with diatomaceous earth every summer,  called  DE at the farm coop or plant store. DE is cheap and wonderful, research it. It’s simply fiiiiinely ground up sea shells and cuts ticks, ants, fleas, spiders, wasps and any  other exoskelton  varmit’s  joints up and bleeds them out.  Spread it on squash…….no more squash beetles. You can put it on horses, dogs, cats.  Farmers feed it to them for worming. I don’t but some say you can eat as well. It’s white and looks like flour. The dirt like DE is for pool filters. Ask for food grade DE.
  10. Final notes; Use minimum 20 % deet spray, if you use deet. It only lasts a few hours.
  11. Wear light color clothes. Ticks can be easily seen on them.
  12. Use permethrin on clothes. It lasts several washings. Store bought P treated clothes lasts thru 70 washings….they say.
  13. How ticks find you. They climb up on flowers, grass, limbs, bushes and put their feelers up in the air. They can smell carbon dioxide, blood and warmth. They feel you coming. You brush them on you and they dig in to do lunch with a blood side order. You get the side order of……..
  14. Lymes, Rocky Mountain, Ehrlichiosis,  Tulamara, tick fevers or WORSE.

Sort of quoting Forest Gump

“Well……I think this is all I have to say about that.” I loved Forest Gump and most things Tom Hanks does.