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Tick season has started

April 18th, 2018 at 03:00 pm

Don't read this if you're easily grossed out. Actually, I am thoroughly grossed out myself.

I made the most disgusting discovery last night. There was a fully engorged tick embedded in my right shoulder.

If you remember, I spent an hour or so on several days last week doing tree cleanup with my fallen crabapple and pine branches.

This is what it looks like now that I've removed many of the smaller branches:



(Plus there's a bunch of white pine branches.)

I do remember one night after showering of sitting in bed and feeling the back of my neck and upper back shoulder were itchy, so I scratched, but didn't think anything of it. Next day, my shoulder was still itchy so I used a magnifying mirror to look at it and what I saw was an oval-shaped, dark thing partially attached to my skin.

As hyper-aware of ticks as I am, I have never had one attached to me and am used to finding one occasionally crawling around. So when I saw this thing, I actually thought I partially scratched off a mole on my back! It sounds stupid, but I could only really see it from a certain angle, and I didn't see it moving or any legs! So disgusting!!!!

During the next several days, it was feeling kind of sore; it was right where my bra strap would rub and I didn't want to irritate it further so I carefully put a band-aid over it!

Yesterday, I even went to the store to get some Neosporin as it was still feeling sore and I was afraid I'd scratched off the mole and it might be infected.

Oh my God. I looked at it again last night and by touching it just a little it rolled off and into my sink. That's when I could see what it was.

I am just beside myself, believe me, and just so DISGUSTED and incredulous I could be so stupid.

I brought the tick to my town's Health Dept this morning on my way into work. For engorged ticks only, they will send them to the state to test for Lyme. Their website said it takes several weeks to get results; the woman said it would be a week or week and a half, and they only call you if it tests positive.

They also give you a number for your specimen, and then post the results on their website. I looked at the test results from 2017.

Of the 372 people who brought in ticks for testing, 126 of them, or about one-third, tested positive, 162 tested negative and 84 were either dog ticks and thus not tested at all (becus they don't carry Lyme) or not a tick at all, or not engorged. (They only test engorged ticks.)

So there's a chance I'm okay, but as a precaution and somewhat reluctantly becus I've done antibiotics for ticks so many times, I made an appointment with my doc for tomorrow and plan to start the Doxycycline. My doctor has often started me on 2 weeks of Doxy without waiting for test results. It doesn't even pay to do a blood test now because it takes at least 2 weeks for it to even show up in your system.

Really don't like the idea of doing it because there are risks involved in repeated use of antibiotics, but in this case the risks associated with Lyme or other tick-borne diseases is probably worse.

After seeing my doc for that I'll quickly get the prescription filled and then run up to where my MRI will be done. I called my insurer to double-check that it's pre-authorized and that my copay is just $75.

In the meantime, I also decided to spend $350 for 4 separate tick sprayings of my property this season (Tick Ranger) with an organic spray of cedar oil, so it won't harm bumblebees or other beneficial insects. It's a largish unanticipated expense I haven't budgeted for, but I'm seeing the local herd of deer in my yard nearly daily, and I feel it would be a good idea to at least try the spray one year and reassess for next year.

I also decided I'm done messing with the treework myself, so I'm collecting bids now.

Today after work I ran up to where a local jeweler was doing appraisals and I decided to sell my mother's engagement ring; I got a good price for it and the money was deposited in my account and will help defray the cost of my patio redo. My mother was married three times, so I don't know which husband gave her this ring (!), nor do I know what happened to her other 2 engagement rings.

She may have sold them, as I encouraged her generally to sell any unwanted jewelry when gold prices were very high because she sometimes complained money was tight when art didn't sell. She had savings but didn't want to dig into it so I know she did sell some things.

Interestingly, this same man gave me a higher price last year when I brought him the same ring. I declined at the time becus he was the first place to appraise it and I wasn't sure of its value. This time, he quoted me a price that was $400 less than what he said last year! When I pointed that out, he said the price is partly based on what's already in his inventory, yada yada yada, and I said that's ok, I have no sense of urgency to sell itt, at which point he said well, he could "do a little bit better," which turned out to be an extra $200, so while it was still $200 less than what he said last year, I decided to just let him have it becus I am feeling a little pinched with the patio redo and have already gotten appraisals elsewhere which didn't come close to matching his.

8 Responses to “Tick season has started”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Wow! I'm so sorry that it latched on. And taking antibiotics is a real bummer....any alternative therapies available to treat with while you wait for results? It would be a shame to take them with the risks to the good bacteria in your gut if that tick didn't actually have lyme.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Yes, i actually have some leftover herbs from previous possible infections which include astralagus, wormwood and something else which name escapes me.

    I plan to discuss with doc the option of delaying doxy treatment, at least if i experience no symptoms in the week and a half i'm waiting to get test results back. I wouldn't mind doing that as long as no symptoms....

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Also, I always make a point to take probiotics during and after the time i take the antibiotics

  4. Carol Says:

    I know taking too many antibiotics is really bad and I personally hate doxycycline; still the consequences of Lyme are so awful.....! Good luck and so sorry about the tick. Glad you were able to sell the ring; you'll enjoy it when it's part of your patio!

  5. Carol Says:

    Have you ever tried tick tubes? Not cheap, either. Might be good maintenance??

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    I had one get under my skin once as a kid! I can't remember how they removed it, but you never forget what that looks like when you discover it. (shudder)

  7. rob62521 Says:

    Oh my gosh...how horrible! Hope everything turns out and you are A-OK.

  8. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Ah man! You are so vigilant about that too. I hope it tests negative.

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