Monday, July 27, 2009

diseases... of bee balm and men

Certain plants seem to attract powdery mildew, and bee balm seems to be one of them. It still manages to attract hummingbirds even when diseased. Here is some info on the fungus, and what can be done when it shows up. I have used the 1 tablespoon of baking soda per gallon of water approach to control its spread in the past and I am using it again this year.

Friday night I thought a mosquito had gotten me. Saturday morning thoughts of worse things crept in to my head. Helping my wife at a craft show this weekend kept me busy, but by Sunday morning I was checking out the CDC's info on Lyme disease and by Sunday night I had my Monday planned out. I did not call out sick, but I did call in to say that whenever my doctor could see me, I was leaving work and heading for antibiotics. I am not usually as reactive to bodily woes, but this one was serious enough that I moved on it. My hope is that my quick response will have me not experiencing any more symptoms than the rash. I knew that working in a garden frequented by deer put me at a high risk so I am far from shocked, if far from happy.

But a new challenge has arisen. The doctor and the info that came with the meds were real clear... stay out of the sun. My mind is already racing towards solutions to this problem.


sorry, no photo of the diseased man.


10 comments:

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Watch those Tick bites, if that's what it was.

I avoid Monarda 'cause of the mildew. I seem to spend my life watering stuff.

Wayne Stratz said...

I and the doctor believe it was a tick, I do try to avoid them, but I finally got bit by one carrying the disease. Maybe more avoidance is needed.

walk2write said...

I hope the antibiotics fight off the disease quickly. I'll be praying for you. Ticks are something we have never been bothered with here in Florida. Fire ants are nasty little things, but they don't carry diseases. At least, I hope they don't. I tried growing Monarda in S. Illinois and gave up because of the mildew problem. I do enjoy seeing it in other gardens, though.

susan_morrison said...

Oh my gosh, how yucky. But at least you got to the doctor early so the antibiotics can do their thing.

Do you have a minion you can conveniently order around from a shady spot to do the actual gardening? FYI, I have heard that a mixture of milk and water sprayed on plants is a good antidote for powdery mildew, but I don't recall what the ratios are.

Wayne Stratz said...

walk2write--- compared to most places in the world, we are relatively safe from diseases spread by insects, but not free of them. thanks for the prayers.

Susan--- at first glance I thought you wrote... "how LUCKY" I have a great assistant and many marvelous students who I hope will keep things under control. thanks for the reminder about the milk treatment.

Dana said...

Wayne, our corner neighbors have lupus, another has fibromyallgia and they too were ordered to stay out of the sun. very enthusiastic gardeners too! here is how they manage.... because this is your livelihood, can you consider working outside during those hours when the sun is weak? passing on a thought...and I was delighted to see you mention how good your assistant and some of the students are, it is so true...you have a real good thing going in your classes, no one feels like a "minion" ...it will just be a matter of you adapting, you can do it...

Short Horse Tales said...

Well ... This blog certainly prompted me to look up Lyme disease & whether in occurs in the tropics ...

Luckily it doesnt. I trek a lot ~ needless to say I've been through countless mosquitoe bites ... countless leech bites .... Phewwww!!!

Wishing you well stratoz.... hope you're 101% right now & rash free! Do take care. Cheerio :)

Wayne Stratz said...

Dana--- thanks for your thoughts. in thre weeks I will be off the meds and back into the sun, with all the protection I use.


short horse--- I am sure you have enough diseases to worry about. rash is more 101% than I these days, but I am hanging in there.

Lynn said...

Sorry to hear about it, Wayne. I've taken those meds before, too, and was like, "what? don't go outside?!" Maybe you can try some of the clothing with SPF 50--I hear its good stuff. Ticks are a big issue here, and we had our dog vaccinated for Lyme. Guess we should be more cautions for ourselves. (and I just let the mildew do its thing. the bee balm seems to persist anyway.)

Wayne Stratz said...

Lynn-- at home I have been letting the mildew do "its thing". I just cut back all the diseased tops of the bee balm since it had stopped flowering.