Better safe than sorry or is it?

Over the weekend I got a tick bite. Dang! It was the small one — the bad one that carries Lyme disease. Double dang!

We have the big brown dog ticks in the area but this is the first time I saw the small deer tick.

In an unusual stroke of luck (if you can use the term luck when you are talking about being infected by a tick), I already had a doctor appointment on Tuesday. Since I didn’t keep the tick (always keep them if you can), it couldn’t be tested. He recommended a 2 week dose of antibiotics to be safe.

My doc says that not everyone gets the symptoms and problems may present years later. He gave me a 14 day dose of an antibiotic.

I am not a wuss but I hate taking antibiotics. It upsets my fragile digestive system and everything goes wonky. Trust me, wonky is not good.

The first shock came when I picked up the medication. It was $100.90! That’s with my prescription coverage discount. Holy cow! Antibiotics are listed as $4 at my local drugstore. Is this a super drug? More cause for worry as it will kill everything in my body for sure.

Then I read the cautions. Never read the cautions. You can die from anything including water (especially if you are totally submerged in it for a long time). It’s best to skip those.

Then I read the “don’ts.” Wish I hadn’t. This is not a simple drug.

Don’t lie down for 30 minutes after you take it.

Don’t eat dairy for 2 hours before or after taking. That one cramped my style. My morning mocha has dairy! So do I go without coffee until 10 or take the pill at noon?

Don’t take vitamins, antacids, or iron 2 hours before or after.

Avoid (don’t be fooled by the choice of verb, it’s a don’t) excessive sunlight. (What is excessive? 30 minutes? 4 hours?) 

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

Then I read the “mays.” Another section that’s best not to read.

It may cause anaphylactic shock (many things may). 

It may cause severe diarrhea (oh dear). 

It may cause vomiting or stomach distress. If that happens eat a small meal or take with crackers.  (What’s a small meal? One piece of pizza or two?) 

Thirteen more days to go.

I’m rethinking death.

59 thoughts on “Better safe than sorry or is it?

  1. Pingback: Coming up for air | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. I went through this same thing a few months ago…. hate antibiotics. However, if you take a pro-biotic every day that should counteract the anti-biotic and help with your digestion. Honest – it works! 🙂 I take one that is available in health food stores called PB8.


    • I have been taking a probiotic prior to this and will continue along with a little yogurt each day. My stomach is still upset most of the time. Just hoping I don’t get more side effects. Thanks for the suggestion. If mine isn’t working, I will look for the PB8 one.


  3. They say aging is not for sissies; I say living is not for sissies. There’s always something…

    Sorry you’re going through this. I hope it will remain comparatively mild, and cheers to you for choosing to realize that “it could be very much worse.” Take care of yourself.


    • If you don’t go out you probably don’t need warning labels except for excessive cats….maybe…but who am I to say anything. I have the same number and think it’s just right! After all, they are like potato chips. You can’t have just one.


  4. Hi Kate, I read your blog but have never posted a comment before. I am so sorry you got bitten by a tick but when you read the attached link by Amy Tan about her experience, you will feel lucky if all you get is a bill for an expensive antibiotic (if that prevents you from having full-blown Lyme disease – it is truly NASTY!). Best of luck. Here is the link:


    • Just read Amy Tan’s account. Yeeowza! You will not hear me complain about the antibiotics again. Thanks for including the link and I suggest people read it. Even those of you who live in California (like Amy did) and think it’s not there.


  5. I’m glad you found it and could be treated, even if the side effects would fall a horse!

    A gf of mine has Lyme disease and it’s truly disabling … horrible stuff.

    I say go fill up at Starbucks and file the warning list someplace you can’t see it anytime soon 🙂



  6. Oh Kate,  Just read your Wed. blog.  So sorry you are going through this.  The time will pass quickly and fortunately you won’t have to suffer the ill effects of Lyme’s.  Yes, better safe!   


  7. Glad you realized you were bit early on. I was not diagnosed for 3 months and was put on that lovely death pill for 9 months. There should be a warning that says “Reading these side effects could cause a slight heart attack!” Be well and hang in there for the next 3 weeks!!


  8. Like you, I hate taking antibiotic, they always do a number on my digestive track as well. With that being said, I think it’s a very proactive approach that might prevent problems down the road. A very good friend of mine was sick for over a year. She went to several specialists and was finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease. They said it could have been from a tick bite years ago…she had never found a tick. She’s had a rough road, but after 9 months on IV antibiotics, she’d doing better. I think the antibiotics you’re taking now, Kate, is a wise treatment. Keep us posted. Take care of yourself.


      • Yes, she had to do IVs and eventually a port, so she could do the treatments at home. I think it’s a good thing that you spotted the bite and have been able to start a preventive course of treatment. Hang in there…Imodium tablets might help with the diarrhea.


  9. I had pneumonia back in January. After my trip to the drugstore, I came home with a bag so full it looked like I had been out trick or treating. As I sat there reading through all the dos, don’ts and mays, I saw that the medication they gave me is also used to cure plague. I chose to look on the bright side, compared to the plague, pneumonia didn’t seem so bad.

    Good luck with the medication.


  10. “may” and “avoid” are such ridiculous terms, in context

    as much as that long list of don’t and may and avoid is waaaay too long, right about now, I could probably use a hefty dose of antibiotics … been dealing with an infected tooth, and trying to just ride it out, as opposed to coughing up the bucks to see a doctor … even though your list of side effects and cautions sounds almost scarier than the results of a tick bite, it’s always good to play it safe (especially with deer ticks) … only 13 more days!


  11. Kate, I am so sorry. I am not familiar with ticks and all that medications is enough to kill a horse. How does one know that one is bitten by a tick? What are symptoms?


    • I didn’t have symptoms, I saw it. The usual symptoms are a bull’s-eye rash and flu-like symptoms. The problem is that some people don’t get those but they get the more serious effects like arthritis.


  12. Oh man! What a pain! For some reson we dn’t have Lyme Disease west of the Rocky Mountians, thank goodness. They think it is because of the Western Fence Lizard. Something in their blood kills off the Lyme disease bacteria. Every time I see one in my yard, I tell it “thank you!”


  13. My hubby and a close friend of ours were together a few summers back and both were bitten by ‘deer ticks’…oh wow! Michael was really sick until the antibiotics took effect…our friend didn’t fare so well. These things are serious business. Prayers for a good outcome…we didn’t read any of the side-effects or do’s & don’ts. Unwise? Who’s to say…it turned out okay!


    • I was lucky because I saw the tick and hadn’t gotten sick yet. Glad that it turned out ok for your husband. They put the do’s and don’ts right on the container now so you can’t miss them!


  14. ARRRRGGHHH. Hate ticks of any kind. Hope it was just what we call a seed tick.(So you’re supposed to carry a little bottle to capture the biter? Sounds like spider /snake bite approach.)
    Best to be cautious, I guess. Figure out a time you can eat some yogurt to keep “good bacteria” in your gut. Seriously antibiotics kill off the good one which you really really really need.


  15. Pretty much everything I know about lyme disease I read in Amy Tan’s memoir, “The Opposite of Fate: Memories of the Writing Life.” It sounds awful. How did you recognize the tick bite? I’m glad you’re getting treated, but I’m with you–I hate taking antibiotics. I’ve had way too many.


    • Recognizing it is easy if you are familiar with ticks. My cat gets the big dog ticks so I know what they look like. It was a speck of dirt that looked like a poppy seed on my wrist (fortunately an easy to find place). When I tried to remove it, I realized it had attached and it had legs. I’m just so sorry I flushed it. I never read Amy Tan’s memoirs. I will have to do that. I love her stuff.


  16. sorry. A month out from 8 months of antibiotics and I am still not sure what is leftover Lyme and what is medication recovery. I would recommend a good probiotic a few hours away from the med (bedtime?).
    Good luck and way to be observant!!! 8)


  17. I don’t blame you for hating antibiotics. Eat a lot of yogurt and drink milk. It’s one time you can OD on diary. I’m sure you’ll be fine…I’ve had several tick bites and nothing happened. It’s good you realized it…most people who get sick didn’t know they were bitten.

    I’m sorry. 100 bucks…criminal…he’ll probably get a trip to Hilton Head from the drug company that little rascal with the MD.


  18. I got Lyme years ago and am fine…I have a friend who got Lyme and is so not fine…The medication sucks, but the alternative is worse. As you rightly note – thirteen days to go..


  19. I hear ‘ya. I had the same reaction to the disclaimers on my last round of antibiotics. It’s an unwinnable scenario. I finally just took the pills when I could and hoped for the best. Seemed to work for me.


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