Lyme's Disease Alert
Inside the Outdoors, May 6,

As always, I like to touch upon a few facts I learned last week that were revealed to me by passersby.

Of all the stories I was told two weeks ago, one stood out among them all. I was shown a cell phone picture of a breeder trout that was caught at Upper Twin Lakes by a Latrobe resident.

To say that she landed a “dandy” was an understatement. But the amazing tidbit of information was something I’d never heard before. “I caught it on a spinner that was just laying idle on the floor of the lake.”

Think of it. How hard do some of us fishers work to get a legal-sized trout let alone a fish-of-a-lifetime? Of course, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is making it easier and easier for anglers, as it is seeing to it that bigger trout are being stocked in lakes and streams, particularly the Loyalhanna Creek.

Now, here’s the question. If one takes a Mepps Spinner or a Worden’s Rooster Tail and casts it out to the deep, and lets settle to the bottom, should fishermen or women, youth included, let that lure lie on the bottom or cast and retrieve? Common sense would state, “Cast and retrieve.” But if we are looking to catch the size fish this all-knowing, skillful, avid fisher of the shallow and deep waters, shouldn’t we just let the weighted lure drop and sit and wait? Let each figure out his own destiny on that one…

This will definitely help Latrobe sports enthusiasts ‘rodding’ for some aquatic species. One of my good friends clued me in on the fact that Joe’s Store on Monastery Drive has some of the best minnows and bait found in our neck of the woods. It’s good to know there‘s another bait shop since I closed my mine some years ago. Many anglers are still coming to me stating there is no place around to get good bait. Of course, I’ve been referring them to Long Bridge Station between Latrobe and Ligonier on Route 30. Of course, that is outside of Latrobe. Joe’s Store is in our tourist town and from what I hear, has everything fishers need to catch trout. Tell the folks you read all about them in my column in the Latrobe Bulletin.

Another story I heard about is going to be my main topic this week. It involves the subject of Lyme disease and how everyone should be aware of this problem, whether they go in their yards or in the woods. One should be knowledgeable about not only the prevention, but also the treatment of this monster of this tiny menace known as the tick that is associated with it.

A highly acclaimed person in the medical profession recently informed me that a person unknowingly was ‘attacked’ by this tiny creature. By not attending to it immediately, a young man was paralyzed for 27 years. And to think it may have been avoided if precautionary measures could have been taken such as covering one’s person as much as possible and securing one’s pant leg into one’s sock and securing the two with a Velcro strap made for such purposes.

Another person stated that a neighbor let her grass get too high before cutting it. I was told one is susceptible to ticks if one exposes his skin even by going out onto one’s own property and cutting overgrown grasses to its proper level.

This is not to say that these ticks can’t burrow into one’s skin only in certain places. If one’s skin is exposed, one is leaving himself wide open to be a victim.

According to Dr. Gregory Paul Back, D.O., F.A.A.I.M., P.C., there are not only a few symptoms that lead people to suspect that one has Lyme’s Disease, but many more. As stated in the April 8, 2016 edition of Pennsylvania Outdoor News, in his advertisement, there are 38 reasons one might get the hint that he or she has this debilitating disease.

The top ten discomforting feelings include: “unexplained fever, chills, sweats; unexplained weight gain or loss; fatigue, tiredness; swollen glands; chronic sore throat; sinus infection and testicular/pelvic pain.

And to think I’m more than a one-third of the way along, there are so many others.

Here are a good many symptoms still to be considered: irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction; sexual dysfunction; stomach problems; and change in bowel function.

Lyme Disease may be evidenced by chest pain; shortness of breath/cough; heart palpitations; joint pain with swelling that comes and goes; twitches of the face; headaches; dizziness; mood swings, irritability, depression; and much more.

If one has any of these symptoms and has the least amount of suspicion it is best to check with one’s doctor immediately.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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