Hendersonville, TN – Tick borne illnesses are severe and serious. The short Winter and increasingly warm weather has caused tick borne illnesses to become more prevalent this season. Arriving at the correct diagnoses can even be difficult for experienced medical professionals to recognize within themselves.

Chad R. Swan, MD, Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular surgeon knows all too well what can happen when one gets bit by a tick. He shares, “I thought I just had a case of the flu, but knew after days of prolonged illness, that this was something much worse.”

What he thought was the flu, lead Dr. Swan to the ER and a three-day hospital stay. “I started to feel like I had the flu – with symptoms of fever, chills, aches, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and weakness throughout the body. This went on for days until my wife asked, “Then why am I not sick, why aren’t the kids sick?” I then knew I had to get immediate treatment and headed straight to the Tristar Hendersonville Emergency Room. After numerous blood tests and CT scans, physicians in the ER discovered the severity of the bite. The diagnosis determined that the illness was due to either a tick borne illness or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Due to the severity of both possible diagnosis, physicians empirically determined the approach for recovery. Thankfully, the treatment plan for both tick borne illnesses and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is technically one in the same. I received several rounds of fluids and doxycycline, and began to feel better. After three days in the hospital, I was able to go home to rest.”

“Living near a wooded area, my wife and I are very diligent about checking our children for ticks. I never would have imagined this illness was due to a tick bite. Honestly, I was complacent with my own precautions and did not use insect repellant. My family depends on me in many ways and my complacency almost lead to serious complications.

“I want to remind everyone that anytime you go into a wooded area, or even your backyard, to spray bug repellant, wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks with closed toe shoes. It is also extremely important to check for ticks when returning inside. What is easily mistaken as the flu could be a much bigger problem. Signs of a tick borne illness include nausea, fatigue, weakness, red spots or rashes near the site of the bite, stiffness throughout the body, fever and muscle and joint pain. If you feel any of these symptoms, see your doctor for early treatment, as outpatient and oral antibiotics can be administered. If unable to see your general physician or symptoms persist, head to the closest ER for an evaluation and care, as it could be a situation between life and death.” Informs Dr. Swan.

The Tristar Hendersonville Emergency Room is located at 355 New Shackle Island Rd, Hendersonville, TN 37075 (615) 338-1000 and the Tristar Portland Emergency Room is located at 105 Red Bud Dr., Portland, TN 37148 (615) 745-8000. In the case of emergency, dial 911.