Did You Know? Day 4


Called the Great Masquerader, Lyme disease and its co-infections can mimic over 300 other diseases, including ALS, Alzheimer’s, Anxiety and other psychological disorders, Candida, Cardiac diseases, Chronic Fatigue (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia, Gastrointestinal disorders, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Lupus, and MS.

Given that Lyme disease tests are unreliable oftentimes coming back negative, physicians rule it out and continue to explore other diseases. Thus, having a doctor who knows how to diagnose this disease clinically and who understands that Lyme disease tests are highly insensitive is crucial.

Under Our Skin, Lyme Disease Organization

Day 3: Did You Know?


The mouth parts of the tick are essential to its survival and quite dangerous for humans. The outside portions of a tick’s mouth contain two moveable palps. It uses these palps to feel across the skin so that it can find the perfect spot. It then punctures the skin using a pair of telescoping shafts equipped with a bundle of fingers armed with hooklike barbs called chelicerae. This bundle of fingers can bend at the joint. Then, like arms bending at the elbows, the bundle bends backward in a series of breaststroke motions. The chelicerae open the skin for insertion of a harpoon-like structure with serrated edges — the hypostome.

Once the hypostome, along with the chelicerae, are inserted, the tick is ready to feed. Since the hypostome has projections that hook backward, the hypostome anchors the tick to the host. This is why the tick can be so hard to remove and why a tiny bit of flesh often exits the host along with the tick when it is removed.

Video showing how a tick penetrates its host

Huffington Post

Spreen, K. (2014-05-06). Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls (Kindle Locations 869-871). Pocopson Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Day 2: Did You Know?


Ticks find someone or something to feed on through a process called questing. Ticks lay in leaf litter, crawl up the stems of grass or perch on the edge of a plant with their front legs extended. Here they wait until they are stimulated by certain chemicals like CO2 that are exhaled from their prey. They also respond to the heat and movement of the passerby.

Some animals, like deer and humans, apparently, release pheromones that attract the tick. When a warm, exhaling, potential host brushes by, the tick grabs on and settles onto the host. The tick snags the host’s fur, hair, clothing, or skin with its barbed front legs.

Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease

Day 1: Did You Know?

I thought I would kick off National Lyme Awareness Month by explaining the lifecycle of a tick. Once you understand this, you will understand why May is such an important month in the world of Lyme disease.

Ticks have four stages to their life cycle: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. Adult female deer ticks lay eggs on the ground in the Spring.

In the summer, the eggs hatch into larvae. Deer tick larvae have six legs and can be as small as the period at the end of this sentence. The larvae find their first host – typically a bird or rodent – and live off its blood for several days. They then detach and fall back onto the ground.

In the ground, the well-fed larvae now molt into the next stage and are called nymphs. Nymphs have eight legs and are about the size of a poppy seed. They lay dormant for several months over the winter and become active again in the Spring as the weather warms up.

The nymph now finds its second host – a rodent, pet, or human – and feeds again. If the tick is carrying infectious agents ingested from its first feeding, it can now transmit these organisms to its next host. If it wasn’t previously infected, the tick can become so now, if it feeds on the right infected animal.

Once well fed, the nymph detaches and falls back to the ground. Here it molts and changes into an adult. Throughout the fall, both adult male and female ticks now find their third host – a rodent, deer, pet, or human – and feed on blood and mate.

Once well fed, both males and females fall back to the ground. The male now dies and the female lives through the winter and lays eggs in the spring, completing the cycle.


Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease

5 More Days!

DSC_7433 (1)May is right around the corner, and with it brings warm weather, lots of great outdoor activities and plenty of time in the sun.

For those of us with Lyme disease, May is one of the most important times of the year for reasons other than sun. Enacted National Lyme Awareness Month by the Lyme Disease Organization, May is a month devoted to awareness, education and advocacy in the area of Lyme disease.

In light of this, I will be interviewed this Thursday, April 30, at 7 pm on Love, Liberty and Lipgloss Blog Radio and will talk about the best ways to enjoy the outdoors while protecting oneself from the bite of a tick. I will also share my personal journey to recovery and discuss the latest information I have learned about Lyme disease.

Join me this Thursday at 7 pm with Love Liberty & Lip Gloss co-hosts Lisa Tarves and Daria Anne as I give the lowdown on “All Things Lyme,” including where to get help if you’re currently suffering. To listen online, click on this link or listen by phone by dialing (347) 945-7246

And in keeping with my part of spreading the word during National Lyme Awareness Month, look for my daily posts throughout the month of May entitled “Did You know?”

Interesting Article About the Effect of this Winter’s Harsh Weather on the Lyme Tick Population

Ticks May Be in Full Force this Season

tickspoughkeepsie42215I know I was expecting this year to be a more positive one for those of us petrified of getting another tick bite. However, experts are saying that the increased amount of snow that fell in the Northeast and Midwest this past winter could actually have helped ticks protect themselves from death. As explained in the following article, the snow might have been like a blanket, which keeps one warm during cold temperatures. Thus, ticks may have been tucked away safe rather than eradicated. This means we will have to be even more diligent as the warm weather approaches. You can read more here: Harsh Weather No Bother for Ticks.

Singer Avril Lavigne opens up about her struggle with Lyme disease

avril lavigneCheck out this article in this month’s People magazine in which Avril Lavigne opens up about her struggle with Lyme disease and how she’s fighting to recover: People magazine. And watch her interview below.

Kudos to celebrities who speak up about this devastating disease!

Cuomo signs bill safeguarding Lyme treatments

Good News for Lyme Disease Sufferers in the State of New York

PoughkeepsieDecember 18, 2014 — Doctors who prescribe longer courses of antibiotic treatments for Lyme disease have new protections under New York state law today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill late Wednesday that prohibits the state Office of Professional Medical Conduct from investigating a licensed physician based solely upon the recommendation or provision of a treatment that is not universally accepted by the medical profession.
Click on Poughkeepsie Journal to read full article.

The KLS Diamonds and Denim Gala 2015 is on!


You Are Cordially Invited!

The spectacular Second Annual Karen’s Lyme Story (KLS) New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration is on!

THEME: Diamonds and Denim

DATE: December 31, 2014

TIME: 8 p.m.

PLACE: Avon Lea Farm — the exquisite National and Philadelphia Historic Register Landmark

ADDRESS: 1779 Pickering Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460

Why Diamonds and Denim?

The perfect blend of glitz, glam, chic and casual, with Diamonds and Denim, the choice is yours! Dress up or down or do a combination of both.

Women, wear your most ostentatious jewels and party dress or mix it with some form of denim. We encourage you to have fun and be creative.

Men, wear denim only or feel free to combine your best blazer with your favorite pair of jeans. Be bold and don them with a pair of rhinestone cuff links!

NO CORNERS HAVE BEEN CUT to provide you with an unforgettable night of celebration – all inside the massive, magnificent, Avon Lea Farm!

Need more details? Click here.

Ready to join the party? Purchase tickets here.

Want to ask questions? Click here.

We look forward to seeing you at Avon Lea Farm for the KLS “Diamonds and Denim” New Year’s Eve Gala 2015!

Della Donne to Raise Lyme Disease Awareness

Women’s NBA star, Della Donna, to serve as first national Lyme Research Alliance (LRA) Ambassador

Della DonneChicago Sky forward, Elena Delle Donne, and Women’s NBA’s 2013 rookie of the year, has dealt with Lyme disease since 2008. It caused her to miss 18 games on three separate occasions during her college years at Delaware. After seemingly having it under control, she had to sit out 17 games for the Chicago Sky this season.

After going through this, Della Donne decided she wanted to do something to help the Lyme disease community. She will now serve as the first national ambassador to help promote awareness of the tick-borne disease.”It’s really special because Lyme disease has become part of my life now,” Delle Donne said in a phone interview. “I learned that I’ll wake up every day and deal with it. There are good days and bad days. If I can be a voice and reach out to people and make them aware of the disease it will help.”

Read more about Della Donna’s Story.