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    Enough with the ticks

    June 20, 2010

    Derek complained the other day that we needed to take the boys for haircuts because Nate has too much hair. His is like mine. It’s ridiculously fine but there’s a boatload of it.

    Did I take them on Friday? NOOOO. I went to the Museum of Natural History with 3 children to meet up with Susan but then I never found her because there were 7 million people at the Museum of Natural History. And every single one of them wanted a picture of their whiny kids (and only THEIR whiny kids) in front of the Mastodon. And they wanted the ENTIRE mastodon in the picture so that meant that they needed to stand 40 feet away. Did I mention that they did not want any of MY children in their posterity picture?

    You should know that my children are going to be the Where’s Waldo of about 80 DC vacation photo albums this year because they just don’t abide by that craziness. There should just be a line like the one for the Hope Diamond where everyone gets an unobstructed flash photo where nothing is in focus but you also don’t have Nate smiling wildly at you since he is my strange child and not yours.

    So we didn’t make it to the barbers until Saturday afternoon. The chick had barely taken a #2 to the back of Nate’s head when she screamed. Yes, there was a HUGE TICK stuck in his head. Tick removal is not included in haircuts at this place so I had to do it myself. He had a huge welt and then I knew for SURE he had Lyme.

    K: Do I call the ped?
    D: Do you want to call the ped?
    K: What are you, a shrink? I’m asking for your opinion.
    D: I don’t know.
    K: Eh, I’ll wait until Monday. Why bother them on a Saturday?

    But then he took a nose dive off of the lawn mower into the concrete and I thought that maybe we could get a two-fer at the ER. But the huge knot on his skull went down to a mere bump after 70 minutes and we decided to blow the whole thing off. No vomiting? Check. No zoning out? Well, it’s Nate we are talking about here. It depends. Let’s just say no more zoning out than usual.

    So now he has no concussion but he probably has Lyme. I can’t win here, people.

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    Somehow I missed that 2010 was the Year of the Tick

    June 16, 2010

    I have a deathly fear of ticks. Seriously. I’m pretty sure I’m going to get Lyme disease like that girl I knew back in Jersey. She had that lingering malaise for like two years and was shocked when the doctor diagnosed her with Lyme. She rode horses 5 hours every day. I’m pretty sure she was the only one who was surprised. Although she is also the girl that picked up a demon while playing with a oui*a board one day in high school and her story was it stuck around for two years. I’m not saying that keeping yourself open to a bad spirit having at it makes you more susceptible to ticks. I’m just saying.

    I do not come from people who are well-acquainted with the tick. My husband’s people? They fear nothing. Out come the tweezers and Bactine and everything’s good. When I called my husband to tell him I was pulling ticks off a certain child’s private regions, he sighed. I wanted to dial 911. Somehow I think there could be a middle road somewhere.

    Like the first time I ever had a tick burrow his nasty head into my body. Rewind 5 years ago when I had the baby strapped on my back as I was trying on pants in the Nordstrom Rack dressing room. I was already feeling awesome about being 6 sizes bigger than I was pre-pregnancy. I looked up to see a black spot on my throat. I tried to swat it off and it stayed. I called my FIL and left a message with his secretary. I used the words “EMERGENCY” and “TICK” and “ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER.” My phone rang 2 minutes later in the dressing room.

    FIL: I was in surgery. What’s up?
    K: You left surgery? That doesn’t seem right. I mean, this is an very important emergency because I HAVE A TICK BURROWED IN MY NECK AND I MIGHT HAVE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER AND DIE IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE DIDN’T THAT GUY JUST DIE LAST WEEK OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER but now I feel a little bad for the guy who is still cut open in the trauma OR.
    FIL: I was mostly done anyway. And I’m pretty sure you don’t have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever since you live in Virginia, Kristen.
    K: It could have gotten on a plane in Denver. It’s not outside the realm of possibility.
    FIL: That’s true. But I’m guessing it’s either a deer tick or a dog tick.
    K: Will I die?
    FIL: No.
    K: I’m really sorry you left surgery. I feel bad for that guy now.
    FIL: It’s fine.

    What is the purpose of marrying into a veritable medical dictionary if you can’t make a panicked call once in a while? But I didn’t let it go. I called my husband. When in doubt, keep going until you get the response you want.

    K: I called your father. He left surgery to call me back.
    D: I’m pretty sure he didn’t actually leave surgery to call you back about a tick.
    K: Whatever.
    D: I’ll be home in 3 hours. I’ll look at it then. Just take it out and put it in a baggie.
    K: I think I have Lyme disease.
    D: It takes a little longer than that to get Lyme.
    K: Remember that girl from Jersey?
    D: It’s really not that big a deal. Just save it in a bag until I get home.

    I didn’t. I went to urgent care. Oh, don’t look at me. You never forget your first tick bite if you are a grown adult. And I had post partum depression. And I’m stupid. It was a dog tick. But it explains the path to emotional scarring that will forever haunt me. I cannot stand ticks.

    This week alone? 5 ticks on a variety of family members. FIVE. I’m over it. I’m thinking about making the kids wear cat collars or hosing my husband down on the back porch. My tick removal skills are forever in QUESTION (“stop squeezing, you’re shoving tick guts into my leg,” “oh no I’m NOT”) and I have authorized bags of that toxic tick repellent be spread so thick it looks like a tick repellant sand beach out back but to no avail.

    I’m not saying I’m rational. I’m just saying.

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