If you live in an area where ticks are common, you probably already know all the signs of a tick bite. But with 2017 shaping up to be a terrible year for Lyme disease, which is transmitted by tick bites, a mom in West Virginia is alerting other parents to a rare symptom of Lyme disease after her daughter became incredibly sick, incredibly fast.

Natalie Welsh, a nurse in Wheeling, West Virginia, has a 7-year-old daughter, Natasha. She described Natasha as a healthy kid, which makes what happened even scarier. As she wrote on Facebook, “So my healthy baby girl woke up Tuesday am with a headache around 5 am no fever just her head hurt more so on one side but nothing was there when I examined her. By 10:30 am she was unable to walk her fever was almost 104 and nothing touched it. I rechecked her head bc she kept complaining and found a quarter size lump on the right side of her head that by 4 pm had become the ugliest looking wound I have ever seen.”

The pictures of the lump are horrific.

OUCH

Image: Facebook / Natalie Walsh

At first, doctors thought Natasha’s lump was a spider bite, and after treating her they sent her home. But within hours, the lump looked even worse and had developed a white and red ring. Poor Natasha “screamed in pain nonstop because she was unable to move her head /neck or even walk, she was dizzy, confused and her knees were swollen and painful.” I would have been freaking out! Natalie, who has been a nurse for thirteen years, wrote that she had never seen like this and was “scared to death.”

Natalie frantically rushed her daughter to a children’s hospital, where the doctors assured her they’d get to the bottom of things and make her daughter well again. After her daughter was examined by countless doctors from departments like neurology, infectious disease, and dermatology, they finally had a diagnosis: Lyme disease.

Natasha’s Lyme disease presented atypically, which accounted for the slow diagnosis. She didn’t have the familiar “bullseye bite” and the Lyme disease attacked her nervous system. Natalie is hoping her daughter’s experience will raise awareness among other parents, especially in the Northeast, where ticks are common. ” I just ask to please take precautions to prevent ticks with your children and yourself. I never saw a tick on Natasha so even if u don’t see one check their skin for bites and know this is something in our local area and so scary.”

After just one round of antibiotics, Natasha was walking, eating, and talking again. Thank goodness! How incredibly scary for her and her mom.

Please remind me to never go anywhere there are ticks.

(Image: Facebook / Natalie Walsh)