Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just call me......... ROVER!

You may have noticed most of my posts deal with hiking. There's a simple reason for that...... I hike quite often (it's cheaper than therapy). I live in the Hudson Valley of New York which is also the Lyme's Disease capitol of the world (or really close to it). My son had Lyme's two summers ago, was treated promptly and has made a full recovery. Others are not so lucky.

Anyway, tick checks are a part of every day life in these here parts. That means you search your entire body daily for tiny little critters that think of you as dinner. FUN! This morning I checked for ticks as usual and, as usual, found myself tick-less. This afternoon, however, I was changing my shirt and found a not-so-little critter attached to the middle of my back. It was actually huge. Like a quarter-of-an-inch huge. Sticking-straight-out-of-the-middle-of-my-back huge.

You know when you get an itch in the middle of your back that you cannot scratch by yourself? That's where this tick was. Removing it by myself was not an option. Fortunately I was not home alone. My 20-year-old son, his 19-year-old friend-who-happens-to-be-female (I make no judgements here and she reads this blog), and my 16-year-old daughter. My daughter is scared to death of bugs, so she's out. The 19-year-old is a bit squeamish, so she's out. My son had his wisdom teeth removed this morning and is a little drugged, so he's out. Wait a minute, that leaves no one! I called upon my poor son for assistance.

I apologized ahead of time for possibly scarring him for life since he was going to have to see his mother's bare back, but he handled himself like the adult he is. Pain-filled, swollen and drugged, he pulled (most of) the tick out of me and tended my wound until my husband came home to dig out the rest. (My husband spent 30 minutes doing just that. He loves me. And no, that doesn't qualify as a date night.)

We checked out the ticks that are native to New York state and identified the ridiculous creature. It is, of course, the big one in the photo. Yes, it was sticking straight out of my back. It's a brown dog tick. I must be a brown dog. Call me Rover. *

"This tick is considered a nuisance species and is not known to transmit disease-causing organisms to humans in the United States." I'm still going to watch for symptoms since "Although brown dog ticks can be found crawling on humans they rarely attach and feed on humans." I'm already the exception to one rule.....

*We do not have a dog. We have two cats that never go outdoors. This was just a random and freaky event. Did I mention gross? Because it was truly gross, too.


Carolyn said...

Ticks are disgusting creatures, we have loads of them here in the Pine Barrens of NJ and we're constantly pulling them off ourselves and the dog. Once had to take my daughter to the ER to remove the head of a tick that had buried itself deep in her shoulder. Yuck! Keep an eye on it, which will be a challenge as it's in the middle of your back! :o)

sara said...

Gosh, that's horrifying. I often hear my beautiful mom in law complaining of ticks in her part of the world, but I guess we're just luckier here in MI -- I don't think I've ever had one on me that I've known of (knock on wood.)

Marla said...

omg!! that is gross!!! thank God it wasn't a disease spreading tick!!