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Friday, December 14, 2018

TIOGA COUNTY LYME DISEASE SUPPORT GROUP MEETING IS THURSDAY, DEC. 20, 2018

Carol and Hugh "Pete" Sides will answer questions about their experiences with Lyme, he as the patient and she as the caregiver, on Dec. 20 in Wellsboro.
The Tioga County Lyme Disease Support Group is meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 at the Native Bagel at 1 Central Avenue in Wellsboro.

Guest speaker Hugh “Pete” Sides of Williamsport will talk about his experiences with Lyme disease and two co-infections. He was originally slated to be the featured speaker at the group's Nov. 15 meeting, but it was cancelled due to a snowstorm.

Sides is the former owner of the Robert M. Sides Family Music Center in Williamsport. His son and daughter now own and operate the music center and the company’s five regional stores. Pete helps out at the store, golfs, attends different sporting events in the area, including car races at Watkins Glen, N.Y. and spends time with his children and grandchildren.

His Lyme story began in April of 2015 when he found a tick embedded under his left arm. "It looked like a mole and itched," he said. A MedXPress doctor prescribed an antibiotic for two days, the standard treatment for Lyme disease recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Throughout the summer of 2015, Pete had balancing issues and tingling in his feet. "Being 78 at that time, I chalked it up to old age," he said. On Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, he took his dog out for a walk. "After about 15 minutes, my left foot went numb and I couldn't walk." Pete headed for home. By the time he reached his driveway, he was on his hands and knees crawling toward his house. “I had no feeling in my feet and a strange wet feeling in my legs. That's when I knew I had a big problem," he said. His wife Carol took him to Geisinger where the doctor ordered a Lyme test. It was positive.

“When we got to the hospital that day, I was numb from the waist down,” Pete said. For four days, he was in a wheelchair and then began using a walker to get up and move around as the antibiotics kicked in. He was sent home to recuperate.

It's been three years since his Lyme diagnosis. At 81, he is not as active as he was before being diagnosed. "I was in treatment until seven months ago when I was taken off medication. Even though his doctor recommended he go on a Lyme diet shortly after he was diagnosed, Pete resisted. "Seven weeks ago I stopped eating sugars and carbohydrates and actually feel much better,” he said. The numbness in my feet was still affecting the way I walked so I started seeing a chiropractor who is working on my spine, legs and arms. I am twisting from side to side and bending more. This treatment is helping and I am getting progressively better."

"At the support group meeting, I will give a brief synopsis about what happened to me; the problems associated with Lyme that impacted my physical and mental health, the importance of diet and treatment and understanding the politics of Lyme," said Pete. “People need to be proactive in avoiding Lyme, which includes treating pets so they don't get ticks from deer, chipmunks, squirrels or mice.”

Pete and his wife, Carol will answer questions about their experiences with Lyme, he as the patient and she as the caregiver.

The support group meetings are free and open to anyone who lives in Tioga County or a surrounding county who wants to learn more about Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.

Luke Dunham and Thomas Putnam, both from the Wellsboro area, are regional co-leaders with the PA Lyme Resource Network and co-leaders of the support group. Both are being treated for Lyme disease and co-infections.

For information, contact Dunham and Putnam by email at tiogacountylyme@palyme.org or by calling Putnam at 570-439-2000.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I have had Lyme disease off and on for at least 11 years. Standard dosage is 21 days the first time and 2 to 5 for recurrences. Sometimes can be 21 days. However, it can come back without new tick bites as my case and comes back in different ways. Wish I were nearer to this I would attend. Good luck to all.