OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – There is a new health risk in eastern Nebraska, and it could be hiding in your own backyard.
Deer Ticks are now common in several districts of the metropolitan area.
As Molly Heng knows, it can be difficult to diagnose the disease. Years ago, she went from doctor to doctor, looking for answers to her complaints. Day after day, she felt weak and dizzy, without a clear explanation for it.
Until she remembered being bitten by a tick in her own garden.
"I just felt a little bump," she said. "I asked my husband what it is, and of course he rummages through my hair and has certainly found a tick and torn it out."
Heng said she believes she was bitten by a deer tick ̵
"We have learned that the black-legged tick has a presence in the districts of eastern Nebraska," said spokesman Phil Rooney. "We know Douglas County, Sarpy and Saunders for sure, and we know this is the tick that Lyme disease can transmit."
Heng got flu-like symptoms in 2015. – and no established Lyme disease cases in Nebraska – Heng went to Minnesota to receive Lyme tests.
"Before she even tested me, she said I can tell you that you have 100 percent Lyme disease," Heng said. "She has tested me, and I have turned up positive with Lyme disease."
Then she was stinged and given IV antibiotics. Blood clots and intolerance to oral medications forced them to treat themselves holistically in Kansas.
"But the problem with this approach is that it does not cover anything," Heng said.
The treatment – though expensive – has helped.
But 11 months ago, Heng stopped eating solid food because Lyme had forced her to become creative when it came to nutrients.
"I puree only that and in between That and the Ensure were my meals."
She is making progress. Sunday she was able to eat a baked potato with her family.
The possibility of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses is the reason why health officials tell you to look after yourself and your children after you've been outside.
"If you see a tick, you should use light tweezers and pull them out very slowly so you do not remove the head," said Rooney in a few weeks to be treated with antibiotics.