Monday, October 13, 2008

What a weekend! A tick lesson.

I live in Upstate NY. We luck out because we don't get alot of the nasty critters that are often seen down south. But, lately we've had increasing amounts of ticks in the area. I've never seen one before and my mom grew up in Pennsylvania. She tells me about how they were commonplace on kids and dogs.

Last month I found one on me. It was after I went to the sunflower maze, so I was sure that's where I picked it up. I got up on Saturday and went to do my hair and noticed a small thing in my underarm area. I thought it was fuzz, but it wouldn't brush off. Then I pulled at it a little and it came off. With closer inspection, I noticed little moving legs. Freaked me out!! Luckily, I googled it quickly and found that you should save it. I put it in a plastic baggie and froze it. On Monday I went to the doctor. They sent it out to get tested, gave me a tetanus shot, and some antibiotics. It turns out that it was a member of the deer tick family that in known for Lyme disease. All turned out well.

Well, this Saturday, my husband found one on the back of Zach's neck. He rushed home from his nephew's football game to tell me all about it. They picked it off, but never saved it. I think he had temporary amnesia about my experience. Also, part of it was left behind in my son's neck. We spent 3.5 hours in Urgent Care where the doctor tried to get as much of it out as possible but had to leave some behind. He started Zach on antibiotics and we had to follow up with our doc today. She said that the body will get rid of what's left on it's own. It still makes me nervous. These are the times that being a parent is tough. You never know if you make the right decisions.

I thought I would include for you... a tick guideline in case any of you find yourself in this situation for the first time.

1. Use tweezers. Put the tweezers firmly on the tick's body close to the skin. Just place the smallest amount of pressure on the tick and it will loosen up a little and you should be able to pull it out. Be sure not to squish the tick, because you will spread it's bacteria around.
2. Always save the tick. Put it in a baggie and freeze. Your doc will likely send it to a lab for analysis.
3. Wash the area.
4. Make an appt with doctor. They will give you preventative antibiotics in case the tick is carrying lime disease.
5. Do tick inspections daily with a magnifying glass. It's like a self breast exam. You never know when you will have needed it. They are so small. The engorged one that I found on me, was a little bigger than the size of a sesame seed.

If you get the tick within the first 24 hours, it's likely not going to have injected it's bacteria back into your body.
Oh, and my son has been enjoying the creamsicle flavored antibiotics so much, that he gets upset when he can't have more. :D

1 comment:

Renata said...

Once on my birthday, my husband left me at a hotel room all by myself so I could relax and have a full night's sleep. I was enjoying my solitude when I found a tick (the same way you did. I tossed and turned all night!